Frequency Of Vaccinations For Adult Cats And Boarding Facility Requirements
The frequency of feline booster vaccinations varies from 1-3 years depending on the vaccine, the disease, and the risk of disease exposure to the individual cat. In general, it is recommended by expert panels on feline vaccination that cats who stay at a boarding cattery require an annual vaccination schedule as this can be a higher risk situation than a normal home environment . This is because boarding may be stressful for a cat and stress has immunosuppressive effects which may result in increased susceptibility to infection and disease and additionally there can be a higher risk of exposure to infectious disease.
For these reasons, it is still recommended that a cat should have a vaccination within 12 months of entering a boarding facility, and why almost all cat boarding facilities require cats to have received a vaccination booster within 12 months prior to admission to the facility.
It is best to speak to your vet about your cats individual needs. Your veterinarian will always do a health check before administering a vaccination to ensure your kitten or cat is healthy to be vaccinated. In addition, this provides an excellent opportunity for your veterinarian to fully examine your cat and discuss any health issues. This allows any health concerns that your cat may have to be addressed as early as possible, giving your cat the best chance possible to be healthy and comfortable.
Kitten Vaccination Schedule And Costs
Kittens are most susceptible to infectious diseases when they are under 6 months of age. Thats why its so important to give your kitten the protection they need with the right vaccinations.
Mother cats pass maternal antibodies through their milk during nursing. These antibodies do offer some degree of protection against diseases, but they also interfere with, or even inactivate, the bodys response to vaccination.
For this reason, core kitten vaccinations start at 6-8 weeks of age and are boosted every 3-4 weeks until the kitten is 16-20 weeks old. Core vaccines should be boosted one year after the initial series.
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 after a few 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.
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Do Kittens Need Vaccines
They certainly do! There may be some buzz around anti-vaccination in the media at the moment, but any vet or veterinary professional will insist that vaccinations are an absolute necessity when it comes to keeping your kitten in good health.
Your kitten will need a primary vaccination course when theyre young, followed by annual boosters to help maintain their level of protection throughout their life.
When Can Kittens Go Outside After Vaccinations
You should keep your kitten inside until theyve had their second vaccination at 13-14 weeks due to the possibility of infection, and diseases such as cat flu or enteritis . Ideally, you should wait at least a week until after their second jab. You can them supervise them to let them explore outside. Find out more about keeping your cat in the outside.
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When Should Kittens Get Their First Vaccination Shots
Vaccines begin at the age of 8 weeks of age. This age is because, before 8 weeks, the kitten still has antibodies in their system they receive from their mother to develop their immune system. If vaccinated too early, these antibodies will destroy the vaccine. If vaccinated too late, a mothers antibodies may have dropped to a level that no longer protects your kitten from a disease. Occasionally, in outbreak situations, kittens may be vaccinated at an earlier age.
When Do I Need To Vaccinate My Kitten
Your kitten will have some natural immunity acquired through its mothers milk when they were just hours old, but this starts to wane as they grow. Vaccinating at the right times is essential to keeping them healthy – too early and their mothers antibodies will interfere with the vaccine, but too late and the risk of falling ill if theyre exposed to a disease increases.
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Vaccinations For Kittens And Cats
Kittens need a series of a few different vaccinations to give them full protection. The schedule typically starts when theyre about 6 to 8 weeks old, and runs until theyre about 16 weeks. After that, cats need boosters every year to a few years to help keep their immunity going strong. We always recommend keeping vaccination records handy to help you make sure theyre up to date.
Which Vaccines Do Kittens Need
When you bring your kitten to the vets for their vaccines, theyll be treated against:
Feline herpesvirus and feline calicivirus – the diseases that most often lead to Cat Flu.
Feline infectious enteritis – also known as feline parvovirus or panleukopenia, this is a highly contagious disease thats often fatal to infected cats.
Feline leukaemia virus – an untreatable virus that affects the immune system, leading to secondary problems.
You may have heard that these conditions are rare in the UK. Theyre rare because of vaccination. Vaccination may not have a 100% success rate, but itll drastically improve your cats chances of avoiding a nasty disease or infection, thats why its recommended for all kittens, or adult cats whove fallen behind with their protection.
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What Should I Expect When My Cat Or Kitten Is Vaccinated
Your pets reaction to receiving their vaccines may be different from others. Vaccines play a very important role in protecting your furry friend from many diseases. Plus, the chances of them having side effects after vaccination are small. Your cat or kitten may experience lethargy, loss of appetite, fever or swelling at the injection site. These effects are completely normal and should go away within 48 hours.
How Often Do Kittens Need Vaccines
Once theyve had their primary vaccination course, your cat will need booster vaccinations every year. Not all diseases need vaccinating that often, but some do.
If theres been an outbreak of a particular disease in your area, your cat may need an extra booster.
Dont worry too much about which exact vaccine your kitten needs and when, your vet will keep you updated and make sure your feline friend stays in good health. All you need to do is turn up to their appointments!
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Kitten Vaccine Schedule For First
One of the most important things you should do in your first few weeks as a cat owner is vaccinating your kitten. Vaccines help protect your pet from serious infectious diseases and prevent them from passing an infection on to other pets in your area.
But what shots do kittens actually need? When should kittens have all their shots by, and how much do kitten shots cost?
Heres everything you need to know about first-year kitten vaccines:
- 9-11 weeks: FVRCP Optional: FeLV, FIV
- 12-14 weeks: FVRCP Optional: FeLV , FIV
- 15-17 weeks: FVRCP , Rabies Optional: FIV
- 1-3 years: FVRCP booster, Rabies Optional: FeLV & FIV boosters
Kitten Vaccination Schedule: A Guide For New Cat Owners
Reviewed by Dr. Sarah Wooten, DVM.
Congratulations on your new kitten! All of the snuggles, playtime, and endless joys of having a feline friend in your life are finally here.
As you cross off items on your new kitten checklist, one of the most important things you can do for your new family member is to take them to the veterinarian for their kitten examinations and vaccinations.
Vaccinations are essential for protecting your kitten from certain illnesses and preventing the spread of disease. In this article, well walk you through kitten vaccine basics, tell you what to expect at your first check-up, and give you a sample cat vaccination schedule to follow.
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Why Do Indoor Cats Need Vaccinations
If your cat lives exclusively indoors, they will still need to be vaccinated against cat flu and panleukopenia, but may not need the FeLV vaccine. This is because FeLV only usually spreads between cats in close and regular contact, but cat flu and panleukopaenia are very infectious and can spread on clothes, shoes, and other surfaces. If you have an indoor cat, discuss their vaccinations with your vet to find the best schedule for them.
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 Do Kittens Need Their Vaccines
Your kittens primary vaccination course should begin when theyre 8-9 weeks old. The course is made up of 2 separate injections, and theyre administered 3-4 weeks apart. So your kitten will get their first injection at 8-9 weeks, and then their second 11-12 weeks – their primary course will then be completed.
Depending on how old your kitty is when you first bring them home, they may have had their first injection already. A reliable breeder will be able to advise further on this.
When Should My Cat Be Vaccinated
Generally, the immunity that a kitten has at birth only lasts for a few weeks. It is then time to begin vaccination. The first vaccination is usually given in two doses, the first dose at around the age of 8-10 weeks and the second about 3-4 weeks later. Thereafter, your cat will require annual booster vaccinations for the rest of his/her life to maintain protection. Of course, these are only guidelines your veterinary surgeon will be able to determine the exact schedule thats right for your pet.
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Why Does My Kitten Need Two Rounds Of Shots
When your kitten is nursing, he gets antibodies from his mother’s milk. These antibodies protect your kitten from many illnesses and support his developing immune system. Sometimes these antibodies can cause the first round of shots to be ineffective. For this reason, vets recommend that kittens get their first round of shots at 10 weeks and second round of shots at 14 weeks. After the second round of vaccinations, kittens will need boosters at one year and every three years after for all of their recommended vaccinations.
When Can You Vaccinate A Kitten
According to the VCA Hospitals, kittens have passive immunity from antibody absorption from their mother through the intestine for 24 to 48 hours after birth. This protects them against disease during the first few weeks of life but they need to build longer-lasting active immunity in order to remain protected against these diseases. Vaccines promote active immunity, but they must be given at the correct time.
Because it’s impossible to predict when a kitten will lose its short-term immunity, a series of vaccines spaced at regular intervals boost the cat’s chances of developing active immunity. The aim is to administer at least two vaccines during the critical window after the kitten loses maternal immunity before exposure to infectious disease.
Kittens need vaccine boosters every one to three years to maintain active, long-lasting immunity.
Talk to your veterinarian about your kittens lifestyle and discuss their kitten vaccination schedule to determine whats best for your pet.
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How Much Do Cat Vaccinations Cost
Prices can vary from practice to practice and costs will depend on which vaccinations your cat or kitten receives. Speak to your vet to see if they offer a health care plan for your pet. These allow you to spread the cost of preventative veterinary treatment, such as regular health checks, annual vaccinations and flea and worm treatments. We might be able to help with vet costs if you meet our eligibility criteria.
What Should I Feed My Kitten
Proper nutrition is essential for growth, so it is important to choose the right food when your kitten is weaned. Cats are obligate carnivores and require meat protein in their diet. This protein should be of high quality, so choose a name-brand food specifically formulated for kittens that is made by a reputable cat food company. Growing cats have different nutritional requirements than adult cats, so kitten food should be fed until your kitten reaches twelve months of age.
“Cats are obligate carnivores and require meat protein in their diet.”
Buy food that has been certified by a recognized organization as complete and balanced. This means that the food is nutritionally complete to meet the needs of growth and development. In the United States, you should look for food that has been certified by AAFCO, an independent organization that oversees the entire pet food industry. In Canada, look for foods approved by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association , or foods that are labeled as having been tested by feeding trials. Your veterinarian can provide you with specific dietary recommendations that will help your kitten develop into a healthy adult cat.
Cat foods are available in dry, canned, and semi-moist formulations that should all bear a label stating that the food is intended for kittens. Each of the types of food has advantages and disadvantages.
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How Kitten Vaccinations Work
Kittens receive a series of vaccines over an 8- to 12-week period beginning at between 6 and 8 weeks of age. Some vaccines might be given together in one injection that is called a combination vaccine. At your kitten’s first veterinary exam, your vet will discuss a vaccination schedule as well as other treatments, such as deworming and beginning parasite prevention.
The vaccine injection itself is typically not very painful. Your kitten may feel a little pinch or sting, but many do not react at all.
At the first vaccine visit, your veterinarian will do an examination before vaccinating your kitten. Vaccines should never be given to a kitten with a fever or illness as the vaccine will not be effective. Giving a vaccine to a sick kitten can actually make her feel worse.
After a vaccine is administered, immunity is not immediate. It takes about seven to 10 days after the second vaccination to become effective. However, kittens with remaining maternal antibodies for that disease will not be affected by the vaccine. There is no way to be certain if a kitten still has maternal antibodies, so boosters are necessary. True immunity is uncertain until about 16 to 18 weeks of age, or until all kitten boosters are completed. Avoid exposing your kitten to unknown animals until all vaccinations have been given.
Your Cat Counts On You For Protection
One of the very best things you can do to give your cat a long and healthy life is to ensure that he/she is vaccinated against common and serious feline infectious diseases. Your cats mother gave her kitten immunity from disease for the first few weeks of existence by providing disease-fighting antibodies in her milk. After that period its up to you with the help and advice of your veterinary surgeon to provide that protection.
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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!
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.
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