Monday 1 October 2018

Special Guest Post: When Should I Vaccinate My Kitten?

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Today Kaylin Stinski from is joining us to talk about....

When Should I Vaccinate My Kitten?

Introducing a kitten into your home is an exciting experience, but it can also be a little overwhelming. You need to make sure that you have everything they need, kittenfood, a litterbox, a bed, and plenty of toys. These things are simple to get done in a quick trip to the local pet store, but what about the other things like vaccines? Here we are going to break down what vaccines you should give your kitten and when. Feline core vaccines are vaccines that are recommended for all kittens with an unknown vaccine history. These consist of the feline herpesvirus 1 (FHV1), feline calicivirus (FCV), feline panleukopenia (FPV), feline leukemia virus (FeLV – Kittens), and rabies.

Corevaccines are recommended for all kittens both indoor and outdoor. This will help them at least build some basic immunity even if you are planning on keeping your kitten inside. There are always unpredictable things that can occur and you want to make sure that your kitten has some immunity just in case they escape one day. Once they have received their initial core vaccines you can discuss with your veterinarian whether or not you would like to continue with the yearly, or 3-year boosters. Rabies* is required by law for your cat to have, even if they are indoor only. [*not applicable in the UK, only if you're planning to relocate abroad with your feline/s]

Feline herpesvirus 1 (FHV1), feline calicivirus (FCV), feline panleukopenia (FPV) virus - Core 

These vaccines should be given to kittens starting from 6-8 weeks of age and should be given every 3-4 weeks until the final booster after 16 weeks of age. If your kitten is over 16 weeks of age, two doses of the vaccine are necessary at 3-4 weeks apart. After a booster at 6 months to one year, revaccination is recommended every 3 year thereafter for cats with low risk of exposure.

Feline rabies - Core 

For kittens 12-16 weeks of age, boosters at yearly intervals for recombinant vaccines which are recommended because there is some evidence of decreased risk of sarcoma formation. Killed rabies vaccine booster is required at one year, and then it can be performed every 3 years using a vaccine approved for a 3 year administration.

FeLV - Non-core vaccine, but is highly recommended

FeLV-negative kittens that will be allowed to go outdoors or will potentially be in contact with other cats with unknown FeLV status. This vaccine is not recommended for indoor kittens or those who are not likely to have exposure to other cats. Starting at 8 weeks of age, 2 doses of FeLV vaccine are given at 2-4 week intervals, until they are 16 weeks of age, after which, annual boosters for recombinant vaccines, or 3 year boosters for inactivated vaccines.

There are other vaccines that are available for cats that are none core vaccines. These consist of the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), Chlamydophila felis, and Bordetella bronchiseptica vaccines. These vaccines may be recommended on a case by case basis, but are not considered core vaccines that will give your kitten the greatest amount of protection. There are also the Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) and the Feline Giardia vaccines out there but they are not generally recommended. These vaccines have insufficient research and studies to support their effectiveness.

There is evidence that vaccine frequency for cats should be reduced due to the appearance of vaccine-associated sarcomas in cats. Make sure you monitor the injection sites after your kitten has been vaccinated and feel to see if there is any growths that develop after the vaccine dissipates. If one does, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian immediately. Though sarcomas can occur, this does not mean you should not vaccinate your kitten at all, but rather be attentive to the newest vaccine guidelines and vaccinate for what your kitten truly needs. 

Author Bio:

Kaylin Stinski: Throughout my life, I have always been very passionate about animals and have worked in the veterinary medicine field for the last 10 years. Outside of working directly with the animals, I really enjoy educating clients on the overall care of their pets; not only from a medical perspective but also discussing general concerns such as behavioral interventions and preventative care. Writer at Pet Wellness Advisor.

Thank mew furry much fur such an informative article Kaylin, with some really great tips and advice fur your new kitten, and if mew'd like to see Kaylin's previous guest post:- 

Create The Purrfect Environment For Your Happy Kitty

We'll see mew on the morrow with the next chapter in our latest, spine-tingling adventure, The Clockwurk Labyrinth, so we hope mew can join us then to catch up on the action and find out what the fluff is going to happen next!

Bestest purrs

 The B Team 

Graphics and kitten pics created with paid licence 
  Glitter Text


  1. Excellent post. I never realized feline herpes was part of that series of shots. My Polar Bear has that and it is not pleasant. I wondered why only Noel got it from hi,. but I guess the others were covered with their vaccines. XO

    1. Hey guys, we found it a really useful post too and if The B Team does go on a recruiting mission at some point, we know exactly what to get done! XOX

  2. Very interesting post. Everyone here has had the recommended vaccines.


    1. We totally agree guys,very interesting and like mew, all B Team memfurs are up to date with theirs too! XOX

  3. guyz...manee thanx for sharin thiz post N manee thanx two ewe Kaylin for takin de time
    ta tell uz bout de vaccinez N when de wee onez knead em....sum one in de houz mackerull
    whooz name we willna menshunz iz only 4 monthz old sew he getz ta vizit de v.e.t. a few
    mor timez !! ☺☺♥♥

    1. Hiya Tabbies, oh little Mack will be going then soon, how's he going to like that do mew think? We've got a couple on whingers here who yell all the way to the vets and all the way back - but I didn't tell mew that! MOL MOL XOX

  4. Terrific post! One always thinks they know all about vaccines, but it's good to see it listed out in this manner.

    1. Yes indeed, and who knew about the potential fur sarcoma's at the injection site, wooahhhh!!! XOX

  5. That was terrific and everyone who has kitties should read it!

  6. Thank you for the really helpful information, mew guys! We're all caught up on our vaccines here -- well, we will be when somekitties go for their checkups tomorrow!

    1. Hey guys, oh we do hope all went well fur mew at the vets today! XOX

  7. Vaccinations are so very important. I am not sure what we have in UK but don't think as standard we have all of those, or that they are even offered in most practices! Great informative piece from your guest, and thank you for sharing.

    1. Hi Erin, agreed, and as mew said our system in the UK is a little different to the US, although all The B Team have had their rabies shots a couple of years ago as we were looking to move to OZ back then and it's a requirement fur the kitty immigration process, but then we didn't move! MOL XOX


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