Your veterinary surgeon will adapt the vaccination program according to your pet’s lifestyle and local disease conditions. As in children, most of the primary vaccinations are carried out using a series of injections.
When should vaccinations start?
Newborn kittens receive maternal antibodies by taking in the ‘first milk’, or colostrum from the mother. These maternal antibodies are absorbed during the first 24 hours of life and provide immune protection from many infectious diseases during the first weeks of life whilst their own immune system is becoming established. This maternally derived protection will decline over time and it is important that puppies and kittens are vaccinated to allow their own immune system to respond and protect them from disease. The kitten vaccination courses usually start from 8 weeks of age.
Why is it necessary to have repeat vaccinations?
Immunity can decline over time and to maintain optimal protection, regular booster vaccinations of adult cats are required.
Side effects after vaccination are uncommon and if they do occur they are usually mild (e.g. lethargy, inappetence or tenderness at the injection site), and usually last no longer than a few days. If you are concerned about any signs which develop after vaccination, contact your veterinarian immediately.
When should my kitten have a veterinary check?
Your kitten’s first booster may be due a year after the initial course, at approximately 15 months of age (depending on which vaccination programme your veterinarian is using). However, a veterinary check at 7 to 10 months is advisable. Small adjustments to the daily routine at this time, may help to prevent problems (such as inappropriate weight gain, dental disease etc.) becoming established later in life.
Your vet will complete a certificate to record the vaccinations. The vaccination certificates contain the details of the vaccine and the date given. It is signed by the veterinarian as a permanent record and is required as proof of your pet’s vaccination history when going to catteries or shows.