Our Guide to Kitten Vaccinations
If you’re welcoming a kitten into your home for the first time, there’s a lot to look forward to! You’ll get to see them grow up and find their place in your family, keeping you and your loved ones delighted and amused with everything they get up to.
But once they’re all settled in, it’s time to start thinking about getting the important stuff sorted – and one of the most crucial is the vaccinations.
In this blog, we’re going to run through how kitten vaccinations work and what vaccinations your little fuzzy friend will need to stay fit and healthy.
Vaccines are all about boosting your cat’s immune system against all sorts of nasties, and often there are a number of different vaccinations they’ll need for different diseases. Getting the right vaccines for your kitten can ensure their protection – your vet will know best what vaccinations your cat will need but the most common ones are:
- Cat flu (feline herpes virus and feline calicivirus) – cat flu causes upper respiratory tract infections in cats and signs vary from sneezing, nasal discharge, conjunctivitis and mouth ulcers to pneumonia and severe infection
- Feline panleukopenia virus – also known as feline parvovirus or feline infectious enteritis, this is a highly contagious virus which frequently causes a fatal bloody gastroenteritis
- Feline Leukemia Virus – this virus is spread through fighting, grooming, sharing food, water bowls and litter trays, and it can be passed from a mother to her kittens before they are born. It can cause immunosuppression, anemia and a type of cancer known as lymphoma.
When kittens are adopted, they’ll need two sets of vaccinations for the initial kitten vaccination course – one initial shot at eight or nine weeks old and one shot three to four weeks later. If they haven’t had their vaccinations yet and they are not neutered, it’s important to always keep them indoors – this will both prevent them from catching diseases and infections, and from spreading those infections to other animals.
Once those initial vaccinations are complete, you’ll need to make sure you get booster vaccinations every year to keep your cat’s immune system up to date.
The cost of vaccinating a new kitten can vary from practice to practice. A recent study by NimbleFins found out that on average, new kitten owners will pay £63.30 for the full initial 2 courses of injections. This price may be cheaper for indoor cats, though this is on a practice basis and dependent on where you live in the country.
The best way to find out how much you would pay is to talk to your vet. They’ll be able to tell you what vaccinations your kitten will need, how much they’ll cost, and whether you can set up a payment plan that works best for you.
Kittens should always be vaccinated by licensed vets who’ll know how to give kitten injections correctly and safely and will check your kitten over to make sure they are fit and healthy to have it. They’ll also supply you with a kitten vaccination card so you can keep track of whether your cat is up to date with its immunisation.
VetHelpDirect’s find a vet tool is a handy resource for finding a vet near you who can carry out your kitten’s vaccination.
As we’ve seen, your kittens will need two rounds of vaccinations to complete their kitten course -two shots spread apart by 3-4 weeks, one which is the initial shot and another which is the booster shot to top up their immune system.
From there on, your cat will need annual vaccinations to ensure it has the best protection against developing diseases.
On the topic of keeping on top of vaccinations, if you’re adopting, you should never assume that your kitten has been fully vaccinated. Always check with your vet to establish the immunisation status of any cat you adopt, whatever their age.
Kitten vaccination is an essential part in keeping your cat free from dangerous illnesses that can cause them discomfort and pain. If you ever have any questions about vaccinations or the health of your cat, always consult a vet first, who’ll have the expertise, the experience, and the equipment to properly treat and vaccinate your best furry friend.
To find out more about owning and caring for both cats and dogs, visit the Asda Money blog.