vaccinating kitten

A guide to vaccinating your kitten

 

If you recently adopted a kitten, it’s important to make sure your new pet receives all the vaccines needed to ward off diseases and live a long, healthy life. Here’s what you should know about cat vaccinations.

 

Core vaccines

Even if you plan to keep your cat indoors all the time, it can still be at risk of contracting various diseases. Vaccinations are highly recommended for common, dangerous or highly contagious diseases such as:

 

  • Rabies. Cats aren’t a natural carrier of this infectious disease, but they can still contract it from other animals. In fact, all cats in Ontario are required to be vaccinated against this potentially fatal disease, which can also be transmitted from animals to humans.
  • Cat distemper. Also referred to as feline panleukopenia or cat flu, this viral disease can cause vomiting, fever, severe dehydration and even death. A female cat with distemper may also give birth to brain damaged kittens.
  • Feline viral rhinotracheitis and calicivirus. These viruses target the lungs and cause cold-like symptoms such as runny eyes and nose, sneezing, coughing and reduced appetite. They can also make your pet susceptible to more serious infections and disease.

 

Conveniently, your kitten can be vaccinated against distemper, rhinotracheitis and calicivirus with a single shot called FVRCP (feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus and panleukopenia).

 

Additional immunization

Your veterinarian might recommend vaccines to protect your cat against diseases such as:

 

  • Feline leukemia virus
  • Feline immunodeficiency virus
  • Feline infectious peritonitis
  • Chlamydophila felis

 

Typically, these vaccinations will be given if your pet is particularly at risk of contracting the disease because of genetics, where you live or frequent interactions with other cats.

 

Recommended schedule

During your kitten's first vet visit at our Toronto animal clinic, a veterinarian will determine the best time for your pet to receive each of the necessary vaccines. Here’s a tentative schedule:

 

  • Six to 10 weeks old: FVRCP vaccine
  • 11 to 14 weeks old: FVRCP booster and, if necessary, feline leukemia vaccine (FeLV)
  • 15 to 20 weeks old: FVRCP and FeLV boosters and rabies vaccine

 

Once your kitten receives an initial vaccination, you’ll need to schedule annual booster shots to ensure your furry friend remains protected throughout its life.

 

Your trusted Toronto cat clinic

If your kitten needs to be vaccinated, book an appointment at the Bellamy-Lawrence Animal Hospital cat clinic or request a house call from a qualified veterinarian. We also offer emergency vet services for animals in the Toronto area. Contact us today for more information.

 

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