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When Do Kittens Need Shots

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Here’s When Your Kitten Needs His Shots

New Kitten? 10 things you NEED to know!

When it comes to your kittens vaccines, it can be hard to keep track of which shots he needs and when.

Your veterinarian can help you determine your kittens recommended vaccine schedule, but its helpful for a pet parent to know what to expect so they can have informed discussions with their vet about their kittens health.

The Dodo spoke with Dr. Debra Eldredge, a veterinarian with Senior Tail Waggers, to break down a typical kitten vaccine schedule.

Are Feline Vaccines Necessary

California, like our cats, does not require state vaccinations. That does not mean cat owners should refrain from immunizing their animals against potentially fatal diseases. For cats, a rabies vaccine is recommended by the state and veterinarians at the most.

Vaccinating Your Cat: Why Its Important For Their Health

The intestine and other organs of a cat are adapted to digest and process meat as obligate carnivores because they are innately adapted to do so. Because cats cannot defend themselves against a wide range of diseases that humans carry, they are more vulnerable to infections and illnesses. Vaccines are effective in protecting against a number of diseases, including enteritis and cat flu. A cat who is vaccinated will have no visible symptoms of illness or become less likely to become seriously ill from a disease if treated promptly. Vaccines, in addition to population control, are required due to their ability to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Several FeLV vaccinations are currently available, and the recommendation is that all kittens be vaccinated before being given to adults on a regular basis. The risk of developing FeLV is higher in cats who have not been vaccinated.

Should I Take My Kitten To The Vet For Felv

When you take your kitten in for vaccinations, ask your vet to test for feline leukemia . This dangerous virus is contagious and can spread from cat to cat. Theres a vaccine for feline leukemia but even after your young kitty is protected, its best not to expose them to cats that have not been tested for the virus.

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Selecting A Veterinarian For Routine Exams And Insurance Coverage

Your kittens veterinarian is your partner in health, helping you take the very best care. You should feel comfortable with the veterinarians credentials, her attitude toward your pets care, and her ability to have an open dialogue with you. Does she specialize in cats? Ask your friends or neighbours for recommendations, call the local veterinary medical association or check the Yellow Pages for names in your area. Your veterinarian should also have an office and clinic fairly close to your home in an emergency, youll be glad you saved the time. If your veterinarian does not have 24-hour emergency service, keep the name and phone number of one near your telephone.

Are There Any Side Effects I Should Watch For After Cat Vaccination

What Shots Do Kittens Need And How Much  Pet and Animals Care

Most cats show no ill side effect from receiving a cat vaccine. If your cat does have a reaction, they are usually minor and short-lived. However, you should still be on the lookout for the following symptoms that might indicate negative side effects from a cat vaccine:

  • Swelling and redness around the injection site

If you suspect your cat is experiencing any ill side effects from his or her cat vaccine, call us immediately so we can help you to determine whether any special care is needed.

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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:

Cost Of Kitten Vaccines

Each vaccine costs roughly $25 to $50 depending on the manufacturer and where you live. Your kitten will also usually need a physical examination to make sure that they are healthy enough to get vaccines.

The initial examination is usually with the veterinarian, and follow-up exams are either with the vet or a certified technician. The cost for the initial exam can range from $40-$60 on average. The follow-up visit cost might be lower with a technician.

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What Vaccines Does My Kitten Need

So you took a big step. You brought a new kitten home. Some kittens are obtained from rescue adoption groups some are adopted as strays who are foundlings some are obtained from private individuals whose cat had a litter and some are obtained from breeders of pure bred cats. From the kittens perspective it really doesnt matter since all kittens have similar health needs and vaccination requirements. It is important to discuss vaccination recommendations with your veterinarian since the timing of intervals between vaccinations may vary depending on the age of the kitten. Most kitten vaccination recommendations are the same regardless of the kittens origin but there may be some variables depending on whether or not the kitten will live a strictly indoor life . The first steps for a new kittenThere are a few things you should do right away to be sure your new kitten is free of parasites and viruses:

Do vaccinations have risks?As with any medical procedure there are some risks associated with vaccines. Those risks range from minor to extremely serious and have the potential to include side-effects like:

Are There Any Risks Associated With Cat Vaccinations

How To Raise A Kitten

Any living being can have an allergic or adverse reaction to vaccines, but this is very rare. Cats usually tolerate vaccines very well. After their shots, the veterinarian and his team will then provide information on the normal and undesirable side effects your pet might experience after being vaccinated.

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Last updated: May 30, 2021

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective May 19, 2020 the restrictions on veterinary practices have been lifted. Based on these changes, below are some important updates to our operating policies.

1. WE CAN NOW SEE ALL CASES BY APPOINTMENT ONLY This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!


  • Continue our “closed waiting room” policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain outside the hospital and use your cell phone to call us. We will take a history of your pet’s health and discuss any concerns. A staff member will then meet you outside to bring your pet into the hospital for an examination. The Veterinarian will call you to discuss the recommended treatment plan. After your appointment, a staff member will return your pet to you outside, and take care of any needed medications and payment.
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    Cat Vaccinations Are Required By Many States

    In addition to helping to protect your cat from diseases, theres a second important reason to give your indoor cat vaccinations: Its the law. Many states require that pet owners give their pets certain vaccinations, like the rabies vaccine. These vaccines can help to prevent these preventable yet deadly diseases from spreading, especially if your cat ever escapes from the house.

    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.

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    Your Cat Is Overdue For A Booster Vaccination

    The vaccines are safe to give your cat as old as nine months. If a dog or cat had only received one dose of core vaccines three years ago, they should be reimmunized. It is recommended that all core vaccines, including the rabies vaccine, be administered with this recommendation regardless of manufacturer. Depending on their individual circumstances and health, cats may or may not need to be vaccinated. Some vaccine manufacturers have developed vaccines that can be used for three years or more. Booster shots for cats more than three years old are recommended.

    What Is The Best Vaccination Schedule

    What Vaccinations Does My New Kitten Need? Your Questions Answered ...

    Kittens surely have a course of three vaccinations, normally given 4 weeks apart:6 8 Weeks First Vaccination – Temporary10 12 Weeks Booster Vaccination14 16 Weeks Final Vaccination

    Adult cats require an annual vaccination booster for life. Your vet clinic will send you a reminder a few weeks before your cat is due for their yearly booster.

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    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.

    What Vaccines Do My Cat Need


    Vaccines are a regular part of feline healthcare that need to be attended to in order for your cat to stay well however, there are many different kinds of cat vaccines. Some are core and are considered vital while others are non-core and arewhile importantnot always necessary. Thus, many cat owners have the question: what vaccines do cats need? Here we cover the different vaccines cats need, what the vaccines do, and when cats need them according to the American Association of Feline Practitioners.

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    How Vaccines Are Administered

    Most vaccines are given by injection, either under the skin or into the muscle. Some are administered in drop or mist form into the nostrils or eyes. The most novel way to give vaccines is to put them directly onto the skin. Multiple vaccines given in one shot are called combination or multivalent vaccines. In the past, many combination vaccines contained five or more antigens. The current trend is to reduce the number of antigens in multivalent vaccines, to increase effectiveness and decrease the burden on the vaccinated animals immune system.

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    All cats should have identification. Even strictly-indoor cats have been known to escape the confines of their safe homes and become lost. Cats often do not tolerate collars well, so ID tags are not the best option for pet identification. The best way to identify your cat is to have your veterinarian insert a microchip under the skin. A microchip, pictured to the right with pennies for scale, is a tiny device that is implanted with a needle much like any other injection. The microchip contains a unique number that you register with a database along with your contact information.

    Veterinary hospitals, Humane Societies, and animal shelters have electronic scanners that detect the presence of a microchip and access your cat’s unique identification. Microchips and data registry assist the reunion of cats with their families throughout the United States and Canada. For more details, see handout Microchipping Your Cat.

    Adding a kitten to your family is a lot of fun. Remember that kittens are very energetic, so be prepared to build play routines into your daily routine. Discourage play that encourages your kitten to play with your hands directly and offer kitten safe, stimulating toys. Providing your kitten with the health care she needs will set her up for a long, healthy, happy life.

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    How Often Do Cats Need Shots

    Generally, adult cats need shots every one to three years depending on their lifestyle, health assessment, and the vets recommendation. However, adult cats that had their vaccinations and boosters already, do not need to get new shots so often. Kittens are more at risk for different kinds of diseases and therefore need to get shots more often.

    Knowing which vaccines your cat needs and the proper age to administer them gives you a great chance of protecting your cat for a long time. Vaccines can help strengthen their immune system by producing necessary antibodies and keep bacterial infections and viruses away.

    Core Vaccines For Cats

    Core vaccines are vaccines that all cats should get.

    The basic core starts with vaccination for calicivirus , herpes virus and panleukopenia , Dr. Eldredge told The Dodo. Feline leukemia and rabies are also considered to be core vaccines for most cats.

    Herpes virus , calicivirus and panleukopenia are all covered in one combination vaccine called the FVRCP vaccine, while the vaccines for feline leukemia and rabies are administered individually.

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    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.

    Are There Any Risks With Vaccinating My Kitten

    What Shots Do Kittens Need

    Vaccines are very safe for your kitten and they shouldnt suffer any long-term ill effects. Its quite common for them to be a bit lethargic or out of sorts after the jab but they usually recover quickly. Very rarely a kitten may suffer breathing difficulties or seizures. If youre at all worried its best to contact your vet straight away.

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    What Shots Do Cats Need

    Cats should receive four core vaccinations to protect themselves from highly contagious viruses. These are the shots that your cats need:

    • Calicivirus shot: This virus is highly contagious and causes problems in the upper respiratory system of your cat. It can eventually lead to gum sores, conjunctivitis, and lameness.
    • Feline Herpesvirus shot: It is another contagious virus that spreads through sneezing, inhalation of droplets, sharing of food and water bowl, and sharing of the litter box. It can cause infections to the upper respiratory system of your cat.
    • Panleukopenia shot: This virus can cause high fever, vomiting, and sometimes, sudden death. A distemper shot is known to be effective in fighting this virus.
    • Rabies shot: This shot is required because rabies cannot only harm your pet, it can also cause death to humans. Rabies virus is passed on most often through bites and scratches.

    There are bacterial infections and viruses that can cause serious illness and even death to your cat. Certain kinds of vaccines were created to fight those diseases. These shots are needed by cats in a specific dose and age.

    Vaccines can protect your cat from:

    • Bordetella bronchiseptica FeLV

    How Long Does It Take For A Cat To Recover From Poisoning

    In severe cases, cats that do not receive treatment quickly die in just a few hours after exposure. Some cats may have long term disabilities after insecticide toxicity. However, many cats recover if they are taken to their veterinarian promptly and treated. When it comes to insecticide poisoning, time is of the essence.

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