Do We Really Need to Bother
With Kitten Vaccinations?
You bet you do.There are several nasty, very common diseases that seem to stalk unprotected cats, and kittens are the most vulnerable. Vaccines protect your kitten from contracting these diseases, helping them to stay healthy.
Cat vaccines are separated into two categories: core vaccines and non-core vaccines. The core vaccines protect against the most common or most dangerous diseases and vets urge their use for all cats.
Non-core vaccinations are generally vaccines recommended only for those cats that are at high risk of infection. Cats that spend time outdoors, are occasionally kenneled, or live in multi-cat households are good candidates for these vaccinations. The vets here at our Springfield animal clinic will discuss this with you when you bring your kitten or cat in for a visit.
Vaccines All Kittens Need
Those adorable and playful little bundles of fur need your protection. They should receive a vaccination against feline rhinotracheitis, feline calicivirus, and feline panleukopenia. These three diseases are everywhere in nature, and are known to infect unprotected cats. In fact, more than 3/4 of all upper respiratory infections are caused by feline rhinotracheitis or feline calicivirus. A combination vaccine will be given to your kitten to protect against all three disease.
We can begin the vaccination schedule as early as six weeks of age, and we vaccinate once every three to four weeks until 16 weeks or older. And yes, in order for your kitten to be fully protected, it must have the full series of shots. Rabies can be given at 12 weeks or older. We usually coordinate with the 14-16 week boosters to allow the pet to be a little older.
Noncore Vaccines - Not Always Needed
The noncore vaccine we recommend is the one given to protect against feline leukemia (FeLV). Adult indoor cats who have no exposure to other cats and are never outside don’t need the FeLV shot. But because kittens are most susceptible and may indeed venture outdoors when older, we feel they should receive an initial FeLV vaccination series; kittens should be tested for FeLV prior to vaccination.
Your vet will help you understand whether or not your kitten has a need for other noncore vaccines; some are not recommended for general use, and some depend on where you live, how much outdoor exposure your kitten has, and other variables.
The Bottom Line
Cats can live long, comfortable and healthy lives. Help them by protecting them from the core diseases that are so common. A few shots is all it takes to defeat these illnesses and protect your furry pal. Contact us today to set up an appointment for your newest little bundle of feline joy!