When Do Cats Need Their First Shots: Follow the Schedule for Your Kitten
Do kittens need vaccinations? If you have a kitten in your house, then we are sure that you made this important decision consciously. Also, you should know what are the required shots for kittens and when is the appropriate time to administer them. It doesn’t matter if you took a kitten from a shelter for homeless animals, friends, or an elite cattery, vaccination is needed to strengthen immunity and prevent serious diseases. In most cases, the vaccination schedule would be the same, regardless of the origin of the kitten, but there may be changes in the choice of vaccine components against which the vaccination would be carried out. These changes primarily depend on the plans for the future life of the new pet. For example, dwelling only at home, possibly visiting the street, or participating in breeding. Your veterinarian would advise you on an accurate kitten vaccination schedule. However, we would like to tell you about the basic vaccinations that your pet is likely to need.
What Should You Do Before Vaccinating Kittens?
First of all, you need to conduct a complete examination of the kitten in a veterinary clinic. There are congenital diseases and diseases acquired in the first months of life. The earlier the treatment begins, the higher the chance of a speedy recovery. It makes sense to vaccinate only healthy kittens. Secondly, make sure that the kitten was treated for worms and, if not, deworming. The kitten could have become infected with them from the environment or the mother. Treatment can be done independently or in a veterinary clinic. Thirdly, check the kitten for infections such as FiV and FelV.
What Is Vaccination and When Do Cats Need Their First Shots?
You should note that there are two types of feline vaccines:
- Basic (core). These are vaccines that prevent especially common and dangerous diseases and are recommended for all kittens and adult cats.
- Additional (non-core). These vaccines are recommended if your kitten or adult cat is at high risk of infection. As for non-core ones, you should always check with your vet, since their list depends on many factors. For example, the habitat.
Today we talk about both types of vaccines. So at what age do kittens get shots? You can start vaccination from the 6th week of your kitten’s life until the age of 17-18 weeks. How many shots do kittens need? The veterinarian recommends 4 basic vaccinations which are described below.
What Kind of Shots Do Kittens Need?
- Rabies. It is a dangerous and deadly virus that can infect cats and humans. All pets should be vaccinated against it. It is recommended to do it at the age of 15-17 weeks.
- FVRCP. These are viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia. It is an indispensable vaccine for all kittens. The first two viruses cause upper respiratory tract infections in cats. And the third is also called the feline plague. It is highly contagious and can affect the intestines, bone marrow, and the developing fetus. How old do kittens have to be to get shots? Between 6-14 weeks of age and is often done in 3 steps.
- FeLV. In other words, it is the feline leukemia virus. This is not the primary vaccine, but if you plan on taking your kitten out a lot, then you should definitely consider administering it. This virus can cause many health problems, including cancer and diseases of the immune system. It is best to give the vaccine at the age of 6-14 weeks, but it can also be given to an adult cat.
- FiV. This refers to the feline immunodeficiency virus, which is most commonly transmitted through bites. If your cat is highly at risk of infection, your veterinarian would suggest this vaccine. Due to this disease, various diseases can develop due to dysfunction of the immune system. The kitten vaccination age for this shot is 6-14 weeks.
Risks of First Shots for Kittens
Of course, vaccination is always associated with some risks. However, we must admit that this rarely happens. Negative reactions and side effects do not cause significant harm to the animal and can go away on their own. This is usually mild pain and swelling at the injection site, mild fever, and lethargy. If you find a more serious reaction, it is worth contacting your veterinarian immediately, as it might be fatal. Among the dangerous side effects are shortness of breath, swelling not at the injection site (for example, the face), urticaria. Such reactions can lead to neuromuscular diseases and skin problems. However, most veterinarians recognize that the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the potential risks.
Don’t neglect your kitten’s vaccination schedule. During this risky period of life, a new pet needs help and maintenance of his health. What types of vaccines did your veterinarian recommend for your kitten? Share in the comments. Thank you for reading the article to the end. See you very soon!
- If you would be a cat you would say Meow* (happy sound)
- If you would be a cat you would say HRR* (angry sound)