What If I Adopted My Kitten
If you choose to adopt a kitten or cat from us, they will 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 are ready for their second set of vaccinations, if this is the case we will 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.
Core Vaccinations What Basic Vaccines Kittens Need
Core vaccines are a kittens first vaccinations that protect against the most common and fatal diseases for cats and are recommended by all veterinarians.
Feline rhinotracheitis, feline calicivirus, and feline panleukopenia are what shots kittens need to get a healthy jump on life. Theyre often combined into one vaccine that can be administered as early as 6 weeks of age, with booster shots administered every 3-4 weeks until they reach 16 weeks of age. To avoid over vaccinating, most vets recommend starting this vaccine at 8 weeks of age, with boosters at 12 and 16 weeks.
- Feline Rhinotracheitis is triggered by the common feline herpes virus. It can cause sneezing, runny nose, drooling, crusty eyes, lethargy, and weight loss. If left untreated, it can lead to dehydration, starvation, and eventually death.
- Calicivirus affects the respiratory system and may cause ulcers in the mouth. When it progresses, it can result in pneumonia. Young kittens and senior cats are most at risk.
- Panleukopenia, or distemper, is spread from cat to cat and is so common that almost all cats will be exposed to it at some point in their life. Once a cat contracts this disease, they can die within 12 hours. Symptoms include vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and fever.
Vaccines Truths And Myths
As with many medical interventions, there is often a misunderstanding of the benefits and risks of vaccination. This misunderstanding can sometimes lead well intentioned cat owners to make misinformed decisions about this vital aspect of feline health maintenance. Here are some examples of truths and myths regarding feline vaccination.
- Vaccination protects all cats by making disease transmission less likely
- No vaccine is 100 percent effective, and the effectiveness of different vaccines varies
- Although uncommon, all feline vaccines carry the risk of feline injection site sarcoma
- Vaccinating a cat against a disease can treat that disease
- Vaccinating a cat against a disease causes that disease
- All cats should receive every vaccine available for cats
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Do Cats Need An Fvrcp Vaccination
It’s a routine vaccination administered to countless cats and kittens every year. The FVRCP shot fights three feline viruses: rhinotracheitis, calicivirus and panleukopenia. The vaccination is named after the viruses: “FVR” for feline viral rhinotracheitis “C” for calicivirus infection and “P” for panleukopenia . Knowing more about these illnesses, and the threats they present to your cat, will illustrate why cats need protection from them. Here’s why the FVRCP shot is so important to your cat’s health.
What are rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia?
Rhinotracheitis, caused by the feline herpes virus, is a common virus that invades the nose lining, sinuses, throat, windpipe and eye membranes. Signs include sneezing, nasal discharge, drooling, fever, lethargy and a noticeable loss of appetite. The cat may also squint, with mucous discharging from his eyes. If the cat develops a herpes ulcer in his eyes, he’ll need intensive treatment, including intravenous fluids and possible forced feeding to prevent death from dehydration and starvation.
Calicivirus is a common respiratory infection that affects the cat’s throat, eyes, nasal passages, mouth, and sometimes lungs, intestines and musculoskeletal system. Symptoms include runny eyes, sneezing, nasal discharge, fever, drooling, and ulcers on the tongue or palate. Severe cases can cause pneumonia. Kittens and older cats are at greater risk of death from calicivirus than healthy adult felines.
Frequency of vaccination
How Often To Vaccinate A Dog Or Cat
Whether or not to vaccinate pets and how often to vaccinate are among the most debated questions in veterinary medicine in recent years. It used to be so easy: You took your dog or cat to your veterinarian once a year, your pet received the recommended vaccinations and whatever other things he or she might need, and you went on your way. Now, the standard of care in veterinary medicine has changed. No longer are we vaccinating every animal every year with every vaccine available.
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How Can I Tell If My Kitten Is Happy And Healthy
Happy and healthy kittens have fun and energetic behaviors. They’re curious and constantly playing. You don’t need a television anymore when you get a kitten, as they are so fun. It’s mostly about setting them up for correct boundaries in the household so that we can make sure that their behaviors are consistent with a happy life for everybody.
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, deworming 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 adhered to without deviation, 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.
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What Shots Do Kittens Need
If you are adopting a kitten, a common question is when to get her vaccinated and which shots constitute the bare minimum. As with dogs, there are certain core vaccines for cats that can provide immunity against a combination of preventable health issues. The ASPCAs recommendation is that essential cat vaccinations include two causes of respiratory disease namely feline herpesvirus and calicivirus along with distemper and rabies.
Catsters resident veterinarian suggests the FVRCP combo vaccine for kittens be administered three times in total during their first 16 weeks of life, along with a booster at 1 year of age. The FVRCP injection offers protection against three of the ASPCAs core cat health issues:
- FVR: feline rhinotracheitis, which is another name for the herpes virus
- C: feline calicivirus
- P: feline panleukopenia, another name for distemper
That leaves rabies. Dr. Barchas is adamant that there is no disease that should be more dreaded, a dictum he applies to cats across the board. Do indoor cats need shots? Unless you live in an impregnable compound sealed off hermetically from all contact with the outside world, yes. A previously vaccinated cat who is infected with rabies may be subjected to six-month quarantine. For unvaccinated cats, rabies, once diagnosed, is fatal. Why risk your cats life?
Theyre Necessary To Protect Puppies Against Infectious Disease But Yearly Vaccines Through Adulthood Are Unnecessary And In Some Situations Even Contraindicated
If youve ever wondered how to protect your own dog from infectious disease without subjecting him to potentially dangerous vaccinations, its most likely youve already done so. If he had vaccines for distemper and parvo after six months of age, he will most likely be protected for the rest of his life from these diseases. Dogs just dont need that many vaccinations to acquire full immune protection.
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How Can I Get The Most Out Of My First Vet Visit With My Kitten
Just make sure that the vet is examining everything about the kitten from head to toe to the tail. Make sure everything is well, including the oral cavity, heart, bones, joints, skin, everything. Then a lot of times I do encourage my clients to write your questions so they don’t forget to ask us on the first visit. Definitely bring all those questions so you can ask all those questions and hopefully that will be helpful.
What Are Some Early Signs And Symptoms That My Kitten Might Have Health Issues
Watch for diarrhea that does not go away after a few days, vomiting, and kittens not being interested in eating. Those are common signs. Also, you might see upper respiratory signs like sneezing and/or eye issues. Those are the common signs that you might see and, if you do see those, obviously let us know so we can figure out what’s wrong with your kitten.
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What Should I Expect At My Kitten’s First Veterinary Visit
We’re going to probably ask some questions of you about the kitten’s vaccine history. Then we’re going to do a thorough physical from their nose to their tail, and have a good look at the kitten to make sure that everything looks right there. We’ll discuss behavioral issues, preventative care, parasites, and we’ll do a fecal on your kitty and get the vaccines started.
What Are The Right And Wrong Ways To Pick Up My Kitten
You don’t want to grab them by the scruff. That’s something that we commonly maybe see as mommy cats carrying kittens. But as they get older, that gets very uncomfortable to kittens. So I would just gently put one of your arms under the belly and then gently hold the kitten. But probably not just picking them up by the scruff. Unfortunately, we do see that often, but I feel like that’s just probably uncomfortable as they get older.
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What Are The Recommended Kitten And Cat Vaccination Schedules
Kitten vaccinations and cat vaccinations are dependent upon several factors, including preexisting medical conditions and indoor or outdoor living situations. You should always discuss these factors with a veterinarian to determine what your cat vaccine schedule should be. However, we have listed an approximate cat vaccine schedule here for an ‘average’ indoor housecat to give you an idea of a cat vaccination timeline:
Preparing For Your Kitten
In order for life with your new kitten to run smoothly, make preparations before bringing her home. The first thing you should do is kitten-proof your home by viewing each room from kitten level. Close or block off windows, vents, and any nooks and crannies she might be tempted to explore. Move electronics and power cords, window blind cords, and any other strings out of reach. Completely remove objects that might pose a choking hazard.
You’ll need a number of supplies to help you care for your kitten. Here are the basic items you should stock up on before bringing her home:
- Cat treats – you can make quality treats using kitten food to make sure she is still getting quality nutrients.
- Food and water dishes
- Litter box and cat litter
- Cat bed
- Cat brush and/or flea comb
- Toothbrush and pet-safe toothpaste
- Scratching post and kitten-safe toys
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Why Vaccinate Your Kitten
When kittens are born, their immune systems are not fully developed and they are unable to fight disease on their own. Fortunately, they are able to get some protection from their mothers. Nursing mothers provide antibody-rich milk called colostrum. These maternal antibodies provide kittens with temporary immunity against illness. The length of this immunity varies from kitten to kitten. Protection from maternal antibodies generally fades somewhere between the ages of eight and 18 weeks.
There is no easy way to know exactly when a kitten is vulnerable to a specific disease. In an effort to strategically protect kittens from diseases, veterinarians administer vaccinations at strategic intervals. A vaccine is designed to trigger an immune response and prevent future infection from that disease.
All kittens need certain core vaccines, which provide immunity against the most dangerous and widespread diseases. Core vaccines are considered essential for kittens in most geographical locations. Depending on your location and your kitten’s environment, certain non-core vaccines may also be recommended. Talk to your veterinarian about your kittens risk of exposure to these diseases.
When Should Kittens Be Vaccinated
To help protect kittens they’ll need two sets of vaccinations to get them started. Kittens should have their first set of vaccinations at nine weeks old and at three months old they should receive the second set to boost their immune system. After this, kittens and cats usually need ‘booster’ vaccinations every twelve months.
Until your kitten is fully vaccinated , you should keep him or her inside.
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What Are The Core Vaccines That My Kitten Must Have
Your kitten must be vaccinated against the following diseases:
- Cat flu: caused by various pathogens, including feline herpesvirus and feline calicivirus . Cat flu affects the eyes, mouth and airways.
- Feline panleukopenia virus : an often-fatal viral infection causing diarrhoea and vomiting.
- Feline leukaemia virus : this suppresses the immune system, leaving the infected cat highly vulnerable to other diseases.
Your vet will be able to assess your kittens risk profile and the best age for vaccination. They will draw up a vaccination programme specifically suited to your kitten and their needs.
Jumpstart Your Puppys Immune System
In their first year of life, puppies will need to visit their veterinarian numerous times to get vaccinated for and become immunized against potentially fatal, yet preventable infectious diseases. The worst of these are Distemper and Parvo.
The timing and interval between booster vaccinations is critical to ensure your puppy is protected, as their mothers antibodies can interfere with a vaccinations ability to mount your puppys own immune response. Thus, puppies need a series of vaccinations to allow their immune system to break through waning maternal antibody.
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Do All Kittens Have Worms
Not all kittens have worms , but most of them do. The same milk that protects nursing kittens from disease and provides nutrition also carries intestinal worms, so drinking mothers milk can transfer worms to young kittens shortly after birth. Infection can occur even earlier – before kittens are born – because some intestinal parasites are transmitted to kittens through the blood stream while they are still in the womb. Since kittens can become infected so early and since intestinal parasites can cause severe illness, treatment needs to begin when the kitten is only a couple of weeks old.
A microscopic examination of a stool sample will identify which worms the kitten is infected with so a specific treatment plan can be prescribed. Since many kittens are infected with the more common intestinal worms, your veterinarian may routinely administer a broad-spectrum dewormer that is safe and effective against several species of intestinal worms. This medication, which kills adult worms, is given every 2-3 weeks to target the most susceptible stage of the worms lifecycle. For other types of intestinal parasites, different medications and treatment intervals are required.
“Not all kittens have worms, but most of them do.”
There are other less common parasites that can infect kittens, such as coccidia and giardia that require special treatment. Both of these parasites can be identified with a stool sample examined under the microscope.
What Should Kittens Be Vaccinated Against
The most common diseases that your kitten will need to be vaccinated against include cat flu and feline infectious enteritis . However, kittens are susceptible to other illnesses, so depending on where you live and your vets recommendations, you may also want to protect your kitten against diseases such as the feline leukaemia virus and rabies. Your vet is the best person to consult about what vaccinations are needed for your area.
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Why Is It Important To Avoid Self
You could certainly misdiagnose what’s going on by going to Dr. Google. So if you are seeing some sort of abnormal symptoms with your cat, just give us a call. My nurses can let you know if that’s normal for the kitten and can just be monitored versus whether it needs to be addressed immediately.
I don’t think it’s a good idea to go online and Google what is wrong with your kitten because veterinarians have to lay their hands on them to see what’s going on. So whenever you’re concerned, it’s just probably better to just call us or email us so we can make that judgment call.
Keep A Happy Home With Feliway
A calm, supporting environment can help your cat feel safe, happy and healthy. Using a FELIWAY OPTIMUM Diffuser in the rooms where your cat spends the most time can help to support them, by releasing calming messages that reduce kitty stress and prevent signs of discomfort such as spraying, scratching or hiding.
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When Vaccines Should Not Be Given
Aside from what weve already discussed, there are several specific situations and conditions in which you should not vaccinate your dog, or at the very least, take extra precautions.
1. Take care with puppy shots
Vaccinating puppies too early and too often actually prevents vaccines from having the desired effect. First of all, maternal antibodies in the mothers milk identify the vaccines as infectious agents and destroy them before a four- to nine-weekold nursing puppy can benefit. Additionally, vaccinations too closely spaced interfere with a puppys immune system response because immune components from the earlier vaccine nullify the following one. To prevent nullification, the ideal interval between the first vaccine and the next booster shot should be three to four weeks.
2. Dont vaccinate when dogs are stressed
If you have adopted a puppy, keep him at home for a week or more before you rush to the veterinarian to get vaccines. If you want to follow the minimal vaccine protocol, you can get the little fellow examined as soon as you like, but wait on the vaccines. Get him on a good diet and healthy supplements. As well, if you are moving to a new home or taking your dog on a plane, be careful not to vaccinate during these stressful periods.
3. Know that certain medications suppress the immune system
4. No vaccines for dogs with cancer or other serious illness
5. Avoid vaccines near pregnancy