Why Should I Vaccinate My Kitten?

Your new kitten may have already received a vaccination prior to joining your family. If your kitten is less than 16 weeks of age, you should be aware however that they may not have completed their vaccination program, and therefore care must be taken when socialising your kitten. Your veterinarian can advise you on how to manage this process. For your kitten’s best protection it is essential to maintain an optimum vaccination regimen throughout their life.

Vaccinate Kitten
Vaccinate Kitten

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.

After-vaccination care
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.

Vaccination certificate
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.


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