A critical part of taking care of your cat is making sure its health is protected with cat vaccinations. Vaccinating your cat can protect it from many common ailments.
You should begin vaccinating your kitten when they are six to eight weeks old. Before this time, their mother’s antibodies have been protecting them from many of the common health problems that vaccinations protect against. However, now that they are weaned, they will need to develop their own antibodies.
Visiting the Vet for Cat Vaccinations
First Cat Vaccination Visit
On your kitten’s first veterinarian visit, your veterinarian will give them a physical examination. The veterinarian should also complete a fecal exam to be sure your kitten doesn’t have worms.
Before your veterinarian vaccinates your kitten, they should also do a blood test.
If your kitten is not already infected with one of these diseases, your veterinarian will give your kitten their first Feline Leukemia Virus and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus vaccines if they are at risk for these diseases. An only cat who never leaves their home may not need these two vaccines.
Your kitten should receive their first Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, and Panleukopenia (FVRCP) vaccine whether they leave the house or not. This vaccine is actually a combination of several vaccines. FVRCP protects kittens from Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, Panleudopenia and Chlamydia.
Second Cat Vaccination Visit
Your kitten should visit your veterinarian again in two to four weeks. At this time, they will get a second FVRCP vaccine and a second FIP and Feline Leukemia vaccine.
If they were dewormed during their first visit, they will also receive their second worming. Kittens who are twelve weeks old and spend time outdoors should also receive their first Rabies vaccine at this time.
Third Cat Vaccination Visit
The third visit to your kitten’s veterinarian should occur when they are ten to sixteen weeks old. During this visit, they will receive their third FVRCP vaccine.
Kittens who were too young to receive their first Rabies vaccine on their second visit should be given the vaccine this time. (Read more about how to care for your new kitten).
Your cat will need to return for a FVRCP vaccine each year. If your cat received FIP and Feline Leukemia vaccines as a kitten, they will also receive boosters for these shots when they are one year of age.
Vaccination Side Effects
While vaccines are usually safe, some of them do occasionally have side effects. Feline Leukemia vaccines can actually cause a form of cancer at the injection site.
This is the reason most veterinarians do not recommend giving the vaccine to cats who are not at risk.
Other vaccines can also occasionally cause tumors at the vaccination site. Many times, the tumor can be removed before it spreads. This side effect is rare enough that the risk of catching a disease without vaccinations is much higher.
If you notice a lump developing at the injection site, tell your veterinarian, as these lumps usually are a simple reaction to the injection, but can develop into a tumor.
Stock up on Cat Supplies
Our favorite place to buy cat supplies is online at Chewy.com. You can get up to 30% off on auto shipments of the products you purchase regularly, like litter and food. You choose the frequency and you can cancel anytime. Plus get free shipping on orders over $49.
As long as you stay on top of things, you can protect your cat from common ailments. Cat vaccinations protect your cat and ensure that your companion is healthy and happy.
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