When Should Kittens Be Vaccinated
Your kitten will need two sets of vaccinations to get them started – their first set at nine weeks old and a second booster set at three months old. After this, kittens and cats usually need ‘booster’ vaccinations once a year.
Until your kitten is fully vaccinated , you should keep him or her inside.
What Are Fvrcp And Core Vaccines For Cats
The core vaccine for all cats, indoor and outdoor, is known as FVRCP, which is an abbreviation summarizing the three components of this combination vaccine. This vaccine protects against three viruses feline herpes virus , Calicivirus, and Panleukopenia. Feline herpes virus and calicivirus both cause upper respiratory disease, which may lead to sneezing, eye infections, and fever. While some cats can eliminate calicivirus from their system, some become chronic carriers and can show signs of infection again later in life, as well as spread the virus to other cats. Feline herpes virus is more problematic, as it becomes incorporated into a cats DNA, and will continue to cause upper respiratory signs throughout a cats life during times of stress. Lifelong struggles with respiratory illness can be frustrating for owners and limiting to a cats quality of life.
Kittens will generally receive their first FVRCP vaccination between 8 to 10 weeks old, with a booster occurring 4 weeks later. A booster 1 year after their last kitten vaccine is recommended, and then boosters every 3 years afterward.
Rabies and feline leukemia vaccinations are not considered core vaccines, as not all cats will receive them. These vaccines are typically administered to outdoor cats, but may also be important for indoor cats that may have contact with unvaccinated cats or those that may attend a boarding facility.
Myth: Older Cats No Longer Need Vaccination
Your senior cat has been vaccinated all their life. Surely, in their old age, they have built-up enough immunity to skip the booster?
Actually, no. While this is a logical argument, sadly this isnt the case.
Firstly, even with a healthy, strong immune system, the protection drops over time and needs boosting.
Secondly, older animals have weaker immune systems. This means they are less able to fight infections and depend more on vaccine protection, rather than less. Thus, it becomes more important, not less, for seniors to get their booster shot.
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When Should I Schedule Kitten Vaccinations And Cat Vaccinations
You should schedule your kitten vaccinations as soon as you get your new kitten. Regardless of the age, your new kitten should be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. It is important to get a preventive health care plan in place including vaccinations, de worming and flea control. In addition, we will spend time discussing behavioral training to make sure your kitten develops good behaviors and becomes a great pet.
Plan on spending at least thirty minutes at your first visit. This is a great time to get all your questions answered on kitten care and discuss the recommended preventive program with our veterinary team.
An adult cat vaccination schedule, which includes periodic booster immunizations, will be scheduled one year after the kitten vaccination schedule has been completed.
As with any other immunization protocol, a cat vaccination schedule should be followed with little to no inconsistency, in order to ensure your cat remains healthy and well for the duration of his or her life. We cannot control all health issues but we can prevent the majority of infectious disease with the proper vaccine schedule.
How Often Do Cats Need Vaccines
Your kitten will actually need a few doses of these vaccines until hes about 4 or 5 months old.
They should then get vaccinated every three to four weeks with the core vaccines of FCV, FHV and FPV until 16 to 20 weeks of age, Dr. Eldredge said. FeLV is given at 8 weeks and then one more about four weeks later.
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How Much Do Kitten Shots Cost
Nobody can precisely estimate how much do cat shots cost. However, there is an overview that may help you set your budget. The prices of vaccines vary from country to country, especially vet to vet, since vets may also charge a little extra for their services. Undoubtedly, you need to spend a good amount on your cats vaccines. However, it is worth it!
What Diseases Can Vaccinations Protect Against
Cats are commonly vaccinated against:
- Cat flu
- Feline infectious enteritis
- Feline leukaemia virus
Your vet can advise which vaccinations your cat or kitten will need to help protect them from infectious diseases. When you get your kitten, one of the first things you should do is register them with a local vet, who will be able to carry out the vaccinations your kitten needs.
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Are Vaccines Safe For My Pet
Absolutely! Vaccines are completely safe for your loyal companion. It is normal for your pet to have a reaction that may last up to 48 hours. Some pets may become lethargic, have diarrhea, hives or fever. Again, these side effects are very common in pets, but if you are worried about their situation, we encourage you to reach out to us at .
Please note that after 6:00pm, our phone lines will be answered by our triage service, Guardian Vets.
Cat Vaccinations Protect Your Pet
The first reason is that by vaccinating your cat, youre protecting him from serious diseases that he could contract every year. Vaccinations only provide optimal immunity for so long, which is why vets recommend that you booster your cats vaccinations yearly.
Even thought your cat might stay indoors, they can still be exposed to extremely contagious diseases. That exposure can occur if your cat ever escapes from your house. Even if your cat doesnt get out on their own, if you take them to the groomer or ever board them at a facility, they can be exposed to these diseases.
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Consider The Risk Of Escape Or A Lifestyle Change
While your indoor cat may be at no risk of getting FeLV or bordetella right now, its still a good idea to consider the future. What if your cat accidentally gets out or even ends up in an animal shelter? What if your cat was already exposed to the feline herpesvirus as a kitten or you decide to let your cat roam outdoors in the future? These are important questions to ask yourself before you completely write off the idea of most vaccines.
Frequency Of Core Vaccinations
Kittens under 6 months of age are most susceptible to infectious diseases, so they are considered a primary focus of vaccination recommendations.
Maternal antibodies passed on from the mother are meant to confer some degree of protection against diseases, but they also interfere with, or even inactivate, the bodys response to vaccination.
For this reason, initial core kitten vaccinations occur at three- to four-week intervals until the cat is 16-20 weeks old and maternal antibodies are out of the system.
For any cat over 16 weeks old whose vaccine history is unknown, the initial series consists of two doses given three to four weeks apart.
Core vaccines should be boosted one year after the initial series.
The scientific community is still learning exactly how long these vaccines last. Currently, the recommendation for indoor/outdoor cats is to administer the FVRCP vaccine annually.
For indoor-only cats, the recommendation is to administer the vaccine every three years. Cats heading into stressful situations, such as boarding, may benefit from a core vaccine booster 7-10 days before.
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When Should My Kitten Receive Their First Shots
You should bring your kitten to see your vet for their first round of vaccinations when they are about six to eight weeks old. Following this, your kitten should get a series of vaccines at three-to-four week intervals until they reach approximately 16 weeks old.
Kitten Vaccination Schedule
- Review nutrition and grooming
- Blood test for feline leukemia
- Fecal exam for parasites
- Vaccinations for chlamydia, calicivirus, rhinotracheitis and panleukopenia
- Examination and external check for parasites
- First feline leukemia vaccine
- Second vaccinations for calicivirus rhinotracheitis, and panleukopenia
- First feline leukemia vaccine
- Rabies vaccine
- Second feline leukemia vaccine
Are Kitten Vaccinations And Cat Vaccinations Necessary
The answer is yes. A kitten or cat owner is responsible for the wellbeing of their feline friend this includes happiness and longevity of life. Cat vaccinations are an integral component in the longevity equation. Kitten vaccinations and cat vaccinations are medically and scientifically proven to prevent various insidious diseases.
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Extra Cat Vaccination Shots
In addition to the above-recommended vaccinations, you may also want to vaccinate your cat against these diseases:
- Feline Leukemia. This is one of the most common infectious diseases in cats, which often leads to cancer, blood disorders, and compromise a cats immune system. It can be transmitted by infected cats via their saliva and is one of the top causes of cat deaths worldwide.
- Feline Immunodeficiency Virus . Similar to human HIV, FIV is a slow-acting complex virus that weakens a cats immune system, which can make it easier to catch secondary, more dangerous infections and certain types of cancer.
- Chlamydophila Felis. A bacterial infection, this disease causes inflammation of the conjunctiva, respiratory problems, and rhinitis in cats.
While some of these diseases are not fatal, all are uncomfortable and fully preventable with vaccinations. As a responsible pet owner, you can help your cat avoid this discomfort by sticking with a recommended vaccination schedule.
What Vaccines Are Necessary For Indoor Cats
Feline inoculations should only be attempted by a qualified and professional veterinarian.
Even though your cat might not enjoy the idea of traveling, its a good idea to make a vets appointment as soon as your kittens have hit six to eight weeks old.
Initial vaccinations cover basic diseases which are common in cats. All of these are conditions owners would prefer their cats never get and thats why injections are one of the most important things you can do for the lifelong health of your pet.
Expect your cat to get vaccinations for feline panleukopenia virus , feline herpesvirus , feline calicivirus , feline leukemia virus , rabies, chlamydophila felis, and bordetella bronchiseptica.
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Reasons To Have Your Indoor Cat Vaccinated
While it may not be obvious why your indoor cat needs vaccinations, many states have laws legislating mandatory vaccinations for cats. For example, in several states cats older than 6 months need to have rabies vaccinations. Once your cat has received their shots, the veterinarian will give you a certificate indicating that your cat has been vaccinated as required.
Core vaccines and lifestyle vaccines are the two types of vaccinations available for pets. Core vaccinations are strongly recommended to prevent your cat from being exposed to highly contagious diseases if they escape the safety of your home, need to stay at a boarding facility while you are away or if they happen to visit a groomer.
If I Choose To Breed My Cat When Should I Start
There are many kittens that need adoption, so unless you have specific plans for the kittens, breeding is not recommended. Even if you find homes for all of the kittens, those homes are then no longer available for the many cats and kittens that need adopting from shelters.
If you decide to breed your cat, she should be at least one year old. This will allow her to mature physically and minimize the physical demands of pregnancy. Many breeds have preexisting genetic conditions. This needs to be considered and screened for before breeding can occur. Speak with your veterinarian to make sure you practice responsible breeding techniques.
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How Long Are Feline Leukemia Shots Good For
Each cat is given two doses of FeLV two to four weeks apart. Most vaccines show the duration of immunity and the length of time your cat is protected from them during the first year. Several vaccines have been shown in studies to provide 2 years of protection in cats, but not all cats will be fully protected.
What If I Adopted My Kitten
If you adopt a kitten or cat from us, they’ll be vaccinated before they leave our care. That’s one of the reasons we charge an adoption fee when we rehome an animal.
Some kittens may be rehomed before they’re ready for their second set of vaccinations. If this is the case, we’ll let you know and may arrange for you and your kitten to come back at a later date. Otherwise, you can make arrangements with your local vet.
If you’re looking to buy a cat from a breeder, take a look at our advice on what to look for when buying a kitten.
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Feline Injection Site Sarcomas
There is no denying these injection-related tumors are serious. Studies show that this is a rare complication of injection, affecting approximately one to four in every 100,000 cats.
Since vaccines are one of the most frequently administered injections, FISS has become linked to vaccination but can occasionally occur with other injections, such as long acting antibiotics or steroids.
To reduce this risk, vets take care to tailor vaccine protocols to the individual to reduce giving unnecessary vaccinations. They also give vaccines in an extremity, such as a back leg, and each year record where the injection was placed, so any suspicious swelling can be linked back to the injection and monitored.
When alls said and done, its up to each cat parent to make an informed decision about whats best for their pet. But just be sure to base that decision on the facts, rather than fiction, of cat vaccinations.
Does your cat have their core vaccinations? What other myths have you heard about cat vaccines? Let us know in the comments below!
Should You Vaccinate Your Indoor Cat
I suspect this is a question every veterinarian is asked at least once a day and I also suspect there are many cat families with this question in their minds as well. Research shows the average cat sees their veterinarian less than once a year, suggesting that some cat owners have answered the question without the input of their cats veterinarian and answered the question with a NO!
Common Cat VaccinesMost vaccinated cats receive two separate vaccines which the American Association of Feline Practitioners has designated core vaccines: a rabies vaccine and a trivalent vaccine against feline herpes virus, panleukopenia virus and calicivirus also known as FVRCP.
Herpes virus and calicivirus cause upper respiratory signs and panleukopenia is the feline version of canine parvovirus, a deadly diarrhea-causing virus. In addition to cats, rabies can affect wildlife, dogs and humans, and infection with the rabies virus is nearly always fatal.
Why Vaccinate Cats Against Rabies?
Some state and local governments mandate rabies vaccinations for cats and nearly all municipalities require dog rabies vaccinations. This regulation arises from a concern on the part of our government for public health and because cats are the domestic animal most commonly infected with rabies. Two hundred and forty-seven cases of feline rabies as compared to 89 cases of canine rabies were reported in the United States in 2013, the most recent year with data available.
Why Vaccinate Cats with FVRCP Vaccine?
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Can I Trim My Kitten’s Toenails
Kittens have very sharp toenails that can wreak havoc on cat owners and their furniture. You can trim your kittens nails with your regular fingernail clippers or with nail trimmers specifically designed for cats, but you must do so carefully. If you take too much off the nail, you will cut into the quick which will result in bleeding and pain.
Here are a few helpful pointers:
- Cats often have clear or white nails, so you can see the pink quick through the nail. This is a small pink triangle visible near the base of the nail. If you avoid this pink area, you should be safely away from the quick.
- When cutting toenails, use sharp trimmers. Dull trimmers tend to pinch or crush the nail and cause pain even if you are not in the quick. A good set of human nail trimmers are often sufficient. Many larger clippers meant for dogs do not trim cats nails well and can cause splintering of the nails.
- Have styptic powder on hand in case bleeding occurs. These products can be purchased from pet stores or your veterinarian. In an emergency, a bar of soap can be used to help stop the bleeding.
- Playing with your kittens feet and rewarding her with treats after nail trims is a good way to help encourage good behavior for future nail trims.
If you are unsure about trimming your kittens nails, ask your veterinary healthcare professionals for help. They can teach you how to make the procedure easy and painless for you and your kitten.
Recommended Core Vaccine Schedule For Kittens
Theres not a universal vaccine schedule for all cats
Most kittens start vaccinations at about 8 weeks of age, Dr. Eldredge said. Rabies vaccination date is generally set by your state.
And your kitten can get the FVRCP vaccine as early as 6 weeks old, so if you want to stagger his shots, you can.
Heres an example of a kittens core vaccine schedule, according to the American Animal Hospital Association :
- 6 weeks old: FVRCP vaccine
- 8 weeks old: FeLV vaccine
- Varies by state: Rabies
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