Kitten Vaccinations 101

Did you know that August is Immunization Awareness Month? If you’ve recently adopted a kitten or plan on bringing one home soon, learn about the basics of kitten vaccinations below from your vet in Chesapeake, VA.

How Exactly Do Vaccines Work?

A vaccine works by introducing a virtually harmless strain of disease to your pet’s immune system. It’s just enough that your cat’s system will recognize it and develop natural antibodies in response. This way, your cat’s system is prepared to recognize, fight off, or at least lessen the symptoms of that disease if the real thing ever afflicts them later in life. It’s one of the best ways to keep your pet healthy for a lifetime!

What Vaccines Do Kittens Need?

All kittens need the core vaccines, which are usually administered together in a batch when your kitten is only about six weeks old. The core vaccines most often include those that protect against panleukopenia, feline Rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and rabies. These are given thanks to the dangerous and potentially contagious nature of the diseases they protect against.

Kittens may also benefit from non-core vaccines, which aren’t required for all cats but may help some. A few examples are the Bordetella vaccine, the feline leukemia vaccine, and the immunodeficiency virus vaccine. Ask your veterinarian for further information regarding the core and non-core vaccinations that your cat may require.

Do These Vaccines Need Booster Shots?

Yes, most vaccines will require booster shots to remain effective. These shots are required in yearly intervals or in several-year increments, depending on the vaccine itself. Most kittens and adult cats receive their booster shots during their regularly scheduled bi-annual veterinary appointments; call your vet’s office today to ask about a schedule for your cat’s vaccinations.

Is There Any Chance of Side Effects?

Side effects from vaccines aren’t common, but they are possible. Mild reactions like low-grade fever and soreness may occur, but these will usually subside on their own in a day or two. Your veterinarian can also help to relieve any side effects your kitten may experience; if you think your pet isn’t responding well to a vaccination, contact your vet’s office for help.

How Do I Get Fluffy Started?

Do you have questions about the vaccination process? Ready to have your kitten vaccinated or given booster shots? Call your Chesapeake, VA animal clinic today to set up an appointment. We’re here to help!