This information sheet contains advice regarding vaccination of kittens to ensure that they are protected from major diseases.
Your kitten’s first visit to the vet
When you first get your new kitten, your vet will need to perform a health check to make sure that they are fit and well. Your vet will be able to give you advice and discuss vaccination in particular, as well as parasite control, insurance and diet.
When your kitten is 8 weeks old
Your kitten is now old enough to start their vaccination course. Kitten vaccinations are very important to protect against a number of diseases and to limit the spread of diseases in the cat population. Vaccination has been very successful in decreasing the number of animals we see suffering from these diseases. At your kitten’s vaccination appointment you will receive a free kitten pack containing information on how best to care for your kitten.
Your kitten vaccination course
The kitten vaccination course requires two injections: the first at 8 or 9 weeks and then a second injection at 12 weeks of age. These protect against Feline Panleucopenia, Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (Cat Flu), Calicivirus and Feline Leukaemia.
Kittens get some short term immunity to infections from their mother’s first milk (maternally derived antibodies). These antibodies can interfere with their response to vaccination but by 12 weeks of age most kittens will have low enough levels of these antibodies to allow a good immune response to vaccination.
Socialising your kitten
This process usually starts from around 2 weeks of age, when your kitten is still with their mother and they are most responsive up to 7 weeks of age. Therefore it is important to remember that if your kitten has not had the opportunity to be well socialised they may be fearful of new experiences. It is important to regularly play and interact with your kitten.
At home your kitten should only mix with other cats in the house which are fully vaccinated and up to date with their vaccinations. They must stay indoors until at least 7 days after their second vaccination or ideally until they are neutered, between 4-6 months of age. Annual boosters are required to maintain your kitten’s antibody levels and protection against diseases.
We hope you enjoy looking after your new kitten.
Caring For Your Kitten