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When Should Kittens Get Shots

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Are There Any Risks With Vaccinating My Kitten

This Is Why You Should Not Ignore Symptoms Of Prediabetes

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.

What Are Cat Vaccinations

Several serious feline-specific diseases afflict many cats every year. To protect your kitten from contracting a preventable condition, its critical to have them vaccinated. Its equally imperative to follow up your kittens first vaccinations with regular booster shots during their lifetime, even if you expect Fluffy to be an indoor companion.

The aptly named booster shots boost your cats protection against a variety of feline diseases after the effects of the initial vaccine wear off. There are booster shots for different vaccines given on specific schedules. Your vet can provide advice on when you should bring your cat back for more booster shots.

How Is Rabies Transmitted

Weve too long underestimated the threat that rabies poses to cats. There are more laws governing the need for rabies in dogs, the domestic animals most often associated with the virus. Cats seem more innocuous, perhaps due to their size, and are thus given freer reign in outdoor situations. Both of these are risk factors. A single bite from infected wildlife can transmit the disease.

The animals that pose the greatest threat for infecting a cat with rabies are bats, foxes, raccoons, and skunks. Rabies transmission is achieved when the saliva of an infected creature enters the bloodstream. This typically happens in altercations when a cat is bitten. Given the self-grooming habits of all animals, it is less likely but possible for rabies to be transmitted through a particularly violent scratch wound. The incubation period of a rabies infection whether it is furious or paralytic in nature is very fast.

Depending on the distance from the bite site to the brain, where it is free to wreak havoc on the nervous system, symptoms and signs of rabies in cats can take as little as a week to manifest. No matter how unlikely your cat is to encounter a woodland or urban carrier, a cat with an up-to-date rabies vaccination stands the best chance of survival.

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When Should Your Cat Get A Feline Leukemia Vaccine

Kittens should be given an initial vaccine at 8 12 weeks of age and second dose is normally given 3-4 weeks later. Annual booster vaccinations are recommended, but not necessary for every cat.

Kittens should be given an initial vaccine at 8 12 weeks of age, depending on the specific vaccine product and a second dose is normally given 3-4 weeks later. An annual booster vaccination is generally recommended but should be discussed with your vet annually.

These vaccinations are often combined with routine feline vaccines known as FVRCP against the common respiratory infections often called cat flu and feline panleukopenia .

The vaccine will not protect cats that are already infected with FeLV, so FeLV testing prior to vaccine administration is recommended.

Only healthy cats and FeLV negative cats should be vaccinated.

When To Spay Or Neuter Your Cat

Vaccinations

There is debate among veterinarians about the time to spay/neuter your cat, says Dr. Adam Denish of Rhawnhurst Animal Hospital in Elkins Park, PA. There are three general options: Early or pediatric spay/neuter is done at six to eight weeks of age. Standard spay and neuter at five to six months. Finally, waiting until after the first heat, somewhere between eight to twelve months of age, he says.

As a vet who has done thousands of spays and neuters, I still perform them at five months of age. The pets are a good size, the owners have already trained and accepted them, and the anesthesia and surgery are usually safe, says Dr. Denish. The concerns over early spay/neuter are mostly due to the prevailing opinion that new owners may not do the procedure, and the pet is free to breed. The additional offspring contributes to the overpopulation of cats in the wild, as well as the burden of euthanizing unwanted and ill cats at shelters.

Whatever the age of your cat when theyre spayed or neutered, there are definite health benefits for cats of either sex to have the procedure.

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Why Should I Have My Male Cat Neutered

Neutering or castration refers to the complete removal of the testicles in a male cat, and like spaying, offers health advantages:

  • Unneutered males are involved in more cat fights than their neutered friends.
  • Some male cats go through a significant personality change when they mature, becoming possessive of their territory and marking it with their urine to ward off other cats. Intruding cats that disregard the urine warning may be met with aggression.
  • The urine of an unneutered male cat has a very strong odor that is difficult to remove from your house if he marks his territory. Unneutered males will spray inside the house and will have litter box issues.
  • Fighting increases the risk of infectious diseases like feline immunodeficiency virus and feline leukemia.
  • Unneutered males may be less friendly toward their human family members too.

Male cats are usually neutered between 4-6 months of age under general anesthesia. Unless there are complications such as undescended testicles , the cat may go home the same day . Cats with undescended testicles should be neutered too. The testicles still produce testosterone and these cats still act like unneutered males. These cats are at a high risk for developing cancer later in life.

What Are Cat Booster Shots

Depending on your cats current health and lifestyle, your vet may suggest a booster shot. Furthermore, vets may require a booster shot later on. Booster shots can provide more antibodies in your cats body that will enable it to fight diseases.

Moreover, cats that are fully vaccinated since they were kittens will receive their booster shot every 3 years especially if they just stay indoors. However, if your cat always stays outside, it means that booster shots can be done more regularly. It will help your cat be protected from the outside world.

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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.

Titer Testing For Cats

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A titer is a test that is done using a sample of your cats blood to measure the level of antibodies to a specific disease. Antibodies are proteins made by the body as a response to antigens. Antigens are foreign substances or stimuli to the body, such as viruses, bacteria, or vaccinations, that cause the body to mount an immune response.

Vaccine titers are used as a screening tool to determine whether or not to revaccinate for a particular disease. If a vaccine titer comes back high, this indicates that your cat, if exposed to that disease, should be able to fight it off.

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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 integral component in the longevity equation. Kitten vaccinations and cat vaccinations are medically and scientifically proven to prevent various insidious diseases.

Why Does My Kitten Need More Than One Vaccination

Immediately after birth, a kitten receives a temporary form of immunity through the colostrum, which is the milk produced by mother cats shortly after birth, laden with protective antibodies. This first milk is produced only for a few days after birth and contains proteins called maternal antibodies. For about 24-48 hours after birth, the kitten’s intestine allows absorption of these antibodies directly into the blood stream. This passive immunity protects the kitten during its first few weeks of life when its immune system is immature, but in order to remain protected against these diseases, the kitten must produce its own, longer-lasting active immunity.

“In order to remain protected against diseases, the kitten must produce its own, longer-lasting active immunity.”

Vaccinations stimulate active immunity, but they have to be given at just the right time. As long as the mother’s antibodies are present in the kittens bloodstream, they prevent the immune system from responding effectively to the vaccines. When a kitten is ready to respond to vaccinations depends on the level of immunity in the mother cat, the amount of antibody absorbed by the nursing kitten, and the general health and nutrition of the kitten.

To keep up the cats immunity through adulthood, vaccines are repeated once every 1-3 years depending on individual circumstances and vaccine type.

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Are There Any Risks Associated With Vaccines

There are many risk variables that we take into consideration before vaccinating, including overall health, immunodeficiency, immunosuppressive therapy, and nutritional status. With any vaccine, there is a rare possibility of allergic reaction. This happens very quickly after vaccination and may cause loss of appetite, pain at the site of injection, lethargy, vomiting, and fever. There is also the rare possibility of developing a feline injection site sarcoma. This is a malignant tumour linked to vaccine injection, especially if given higher up on the body.

There are many risk variables that we take into consideration before vaccinating, including overall health, immunodeficiency, immunosuppressive therapy, and nutritional status. With any vaccine, there is a rare possibility of allergic reaction. This happens very quickly after vaccination and may cause loss of appetite, pain at the site of injection, lethargy, vomiting, and fever. There is also the rare possibility of developing a feline injection site sarcoma. This is a malignant tumour linked to vaccine injection, especially if given higher up on the body.

What Age Should You Spay Or Neuter Your Cat

What Age Should Your Kitten Be At Their First Vaccination?

Spaying or neutering your pet is one of the cornerstones of pet ownership in the United States. ASPCA statistics place the U.S. pet cat population at anywhere between 74 and 96 million and there may be as many as 70 million strays fending for themselves. Unfortunately, the ASPCA also estimates that 41 percent of cats who enter shelters cannot find a home and end up being euthanized. Breeders, shelters and rescue groups team up with vets and their staff to stem the tide of cat overpopulation but its bound to be a continuing battle for the foreseeable future.

If you find yourself with a new kitten in your household, spaying or neutering is something youll need to be thinking about soon. But at what age is it appropriate to spay or neuter a cat? More importantly, why should you consider having the procedure done at all?

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Getting Your Kitten Vaccinated

We recommended bringing your kitten in for their first round of vaccinations when they are between six and eight weeks old. Below is a series of vaccinations your kitten should given in three to four week intervals .

First visit

  • Fecal exam for parasites
  • Blood test for feline leukemia
  • Review nutrition and grooming
  • Vaccinations for chlamydia, calicivirus, rhinotracheitis and panleukopenia

Second visit

  • Examination and external check for parasites
  • Second vaccinations for calicivirus rhinotracheitis, and panleukopenia

Third visit

  • Second feline leukemia vaccine
  • Rabies vaccine

What Diseases Can You Catch From Your Cat

Its not common for humans to catch diseases from their cats, but it does happen. These types of diseases are referred to as zoonotic diseases. Small children, pregnant women, the elderly or sick are more susceptible to the transmission of disease from cats, due to their vulnerable immune systems. These zoonotic diseases include worms, ringworm, giardia, toxoplasmosis and cat scratch diseases.

Healthy tips for cat owners

You can reduce the risk of zoonotic disease by:

  • Washing your hands frequently
  • Cleaning out litter trays regularly
  • Disposing of faeces in the tray quickly
  • Washing your cats bed if it is soiled or dirty
  • Isolating infected cats

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Is My Kitten Protected After Their First Round Of Shots

Until they have received all of their vaccinations , your kitten will not be fully vaccinated. Once all of their initial vaccinations have been completed, your kitten will be protected against the diseases or conditions covered by the vaccines.

If youd like to allow your kitten outdoors before they have been vaccinated against all the diseases listed above, we recommend keeping them restricted to low-risk areas, like your own backyard.

Planning For A Healthy Future

The right vaccines will help your kitten stay protected against disease. And this is just one of many steps youll take as a new cat owner to make sure that your feline friend is set up for a long, healthy life.

After your kitten has received their vaccines, talk to your veterinarian about the best path forward for your cat whether thats choosing the right cat food, finding a great brush, or discussing environmental enrichment to prevent stress-related diseases and improve quality of life. And while youre at it, read on for more vaccination pro tips here!

Preventive care and insurance can help

While vaccines are an essential part of preventive kitten care, some illnesses can still arise. In the event that your kitty needs a vet visit, pet insurance can help you say yes to the best care possible now, and in the future.

Preventive Essentials is not an insurance policy, and is not available in all states. It is offered as an optional add-on non-insurance benefit. Pumpkin is responsible for the product and administration. For full terms, visit pumpkin.care/customeragreement.

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Does My Kitten Need Only Core Vaccines

Cats that go outside, live in multi-cat households where other cats go outside, or cats that go to boarding kennels should receive the feline leukemia vaccine. Feline leukemia is spread by any bodily secretion , so direct contact with other infected cats is not necessary to transmit disease. There is no cure if a cat becomes infected and cannot clear the virus. The virus suppresses the immune system and predisposes cats to lymphoma, and deadly infections. It is recommended that all kittens receive the feline leukemia vaccine the first year of life, as many kittens that were initially going to be indoor only, start going outside. The feline leukemia vaccine is given at 12 and 16 weeks of age.

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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Basic Vaccine Schedule For Cats

Cat vaccinations can get confusing. Not only are there different schedules and needed vaccines for cats and kittens, but there are also some extra vaccines for different lifestyles.

Its difficult for pet parents to understand their cats vaccination schedulefrom which ones they need to how often they need them.

While there are certain mandatory, or core vaccines for cats, there are also noncore vaccines for different lifestyles or vaccines that are only recommended during the kitten years.

Your veterinarian is your best resource for figuring out the best vaccine routine for your feline family member, but this chart will help you understand the basics.

To help you navigate the world of feline vaccines, the chart covers a kittens vaccination schedule all the way into adulthood.

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What Diseases Do Vaccinations Protect My Kitten Against

Rabies Vaccinations for Indoor Cats

There are many diseases out there which could make your kitten severely ill, but vaccinations will protect them from most of these. Depending on their lifestyle, they may not need every jab but you should always consult your vet for the best advice on what they need.

  • Feline parvovirus FPV, also known as feline panleukopenia, is often fatal in kittens. The disease attacks the gut and immune system causing diarrhoea and vomiting.
  • Cat Flu – There are two viruses which cause cat fluFeline Herpes Virus and Feline Calicivirus . Just as human flu can make you feel pretty bad, cat flu can lay your pet low for a while. However, cats can become lifelong carriers of the disease, suffering regular flare ups. Its particularly dangerous, and sometimes fatal, for kittens.
  • Feline Leukaemia Virus FeLV, which attacks the immune system and causes cancers, weight loss, vomiting, lethargy, and diarrhoea. FeLV damages the immune system, meaning theyll require lifelong specialist care to keep them cancer free for as long as possible.
  • Rabies Rabies is a virus which is fatal to both animals and humans, attacking the brain and nerve cells. The UK has been rabies-free since the early 20th Century but its still prevalent in other parts of the world so your kitten will need a vaccination if you intend to travel abroad with them.

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