Kittens need vaccination in order to have long lasting immunity to infectious diseases. After birth, kittens obtain passive immunity from their mother’s milk. This occurs when the kittens ingest colostrum from their mother, and her antibodies are transferred to them. After 8 weeks of age, this passive immunity starts to fade, and the kittens become very susceptible to infectious diseases. This is why it is recommended to start a kitten’s vaccination series at 8 weeks of age. Booster vaccinations at 12 and 16 weeks of age ensure that the kitten’s immune system has had the chance to fully respond to the vaccine and develop lasting immunity.
When do kittens get their first shots?
Kittens should have their first vaccine at 8 weeks of age.
How often do my kittens need a vaccine?
Kittens require a series of 3 vaccines to have full coverage. These should be given at 8, 12 & 16 weeks of age. This is the FVRCP or ‘core’ vaccine. The rabies vaccine is also given at 16 weeks of age.
Does my kitten need only core vaccines?
Since many indoor cats are master escape artists, and others spend time outdoors in backyards and on patios, we recommend that all cats also receive the rabies vaccine. Rabies is a fatal disease and can be transmitted to humans. It is easy to prevent the risk of transmission by vaccination. Depending on your kitty’s lifestyle, it may be recommended that they have a feline leukemia vaccine. We will discuss your cat’s risk level for feline leukemia during your visit and help you decide whether it is appropriate for your cat.
Are there any risks associated with vaccines?
Like any vaccine, there is always a small risk of a reaction, however, it is very minimal. There is, however, a greater risk associated with not vaccinating.