Becoming the owner of a new kitty is an exciting and wonderful time. However, it also comes with many responsibilities, one of the most important of which is to keep your kitten safe from the many diseases and illnesses that pose a threat to her health and well-being. Much like infant humans, a kitten’s immune system is not fully developed when it is born, and this means that she is much more susceptible to disease and illness than an older cat might be.
Vaccinations are by far the most successful way of protecting your kitty from dangerous and sometimes deadly diseases. Fortunately, most vaccines can be given to your furbaby from a fairly young age, meaning that you can protect her from early on in life. Some of the vaccines given also contribute to her immunity to certain conditions once she is much older and this can help maintain her health for years to come.
What are vaccinations?
Vaccinations are the single most successful solution for preventing a variety of diseases, illnesses and infections that can put your pet’s health and even life at risk. There are dozens of different maladies out there, many of which are contagious. This means even the smallest contact with an infected animal could put your kitten at risk. Some diseases are airborne, meaning that they still pose a threat to indoor cats, while others are zoonotic meaning that they can be passed from animal to human. This could potentially put your human family members in harm’s way.
Each vaccine is based around a pathogen known as an antigen. The properties of this antigen closely resemble that of a dangerous disease but without causing your kitten any harm. When the antigen is introduced to her body, it will prompt her immune system to produce white blood cells to fight it. Her body then has the remarkable ability to remember the properties of the antigen so that if the real virus ever comes knocking, her immune system will recognize and then fight it. This could lessen the effects of the illness or prevent your pet from ever suffering any effects from it.
What vaccinations does my kitten need?
Every animal is unique and so while there are generalized guidance as to what vaccines your puppy needs and at what stages of her life, this may need to be amended depending on the health and circumstances of your animal. Our veterinarian will be able to advise you of an appropriate schedule of vaccinations for your kitten.
General guidelines for kitten vaccinations
The recommended generalized schedule of vaccinations for kittens is as follows:
8 weeks of age - FVRCP vaccine (This protects against rhinotracheitis, calcivirus and feline distemper aka panleukopenia)
12 weeks of age - FVRCP booster, FeLV aka Feline Leukemia Virus
14/16 weeks of age - FVRCP booster, FeLV booster, Rabies (unless state law indicates it should be done sooner)
After this time, our veterinarian at Avondale Animal Hospital will recommend that your kitten has FVRCP and Rabies boosters when she is between 12 and 18 months old, and then again on a 3-yearly schedule.
Again, it is essential that you follow the advice given to you by our veterinarian who has the training and experience to be able to recommend the vaccinations needed to keep your kitty healthy.
If you would like further information about a schedule of vaccinations for your kitten, our professional team would love the opportunity to assist you. Please telephone our Birmingham, AL office to speak to us or to arrange an appointment for your feline friend.