Common questions about kitten vaccinations
Are you about to bring home a new kitten?
Protecting your kitten against nasty, even life-threatening infectious diseases is an important part of responsible pet ownership.
Let’s look at the answers to the internet’s most-searched ‘kitten vaccinations’ queries.
Do kittens need vaccines?
They certainly do! There may be some buzz around anti-vaccination in the media at the moment, but any vet or veterinary professional will insist that vaccinations are an absolute necessity when it comes to keeping your kitten in good health.
Your kitten will need a primary vaccination course when they’re young, followed by annual boosters to help maintain their level of protection throughout their life.
When do kittens need their vaccines?
Your kitten’s primary vaccination course should begin when they’re 8-9 weeks old. The course is made up of 2 separate injections, and they’re administered 3-4 weeks apart. So your kitten will get their first injection at 8-9 weeks, and then their second 11-12 weeks - their primary course will then be completed.
Depending on how old your kitty is when you first bring them home, they may have had their first injection already. A reliable breeder will be able to advise further on this.
Which vaccines do kittens need?
When you bring your kitten to the vets for their vaccines, they’ll be treated against:
Feline herpesvirus and feline calicivirus - the diseases that most often lead to Cat Flu.
Feline infectious enteritis - also known as feline parvovirus or panleukopenia, this is a highly contagious disease that’s often fatal to infected cats.
Feline leukaemia virus - an untreatable virus that affects the immune system, leading to secondary problems.
You may have heard that these conditions are rare in the UK. They’re rare because of vaccination. Vaccination may not have a 100% success rate, but it’ll drastically improve your cat’s chances of avoiding a nasty disease or infection, that’s why it’s recommended for all kittens, or adult cats who’ve fallen behind with their protection.
Like most things, price will vary depending on where you and your cat or kitten live. Certain areas of the country are more expensive than others, and different veterinary practices may charge different prices.
At My Family Vets, we recommend The Pet Health Club. You’ll get your kitten’s primary vaccine course, plus all their booster vaccinations for just £14.60 per month.
Find your nearest Pet Health Club practice and sign up online today.
Once they’ve had their primary vaccination course, your cat will need booster vaccinations every year. Not all diseases need vaccinating that often, but some do.
If there’s been an outbreak of a particular disease in your area, your cat may need an extra booster.
Don’t worry too much about which exact vaccine your kitten needs and when, your vet will keep you updated and make sure your feline friend stays in good health. All you need to do is turn up to their appointments!
Thankfully, Rabies isn’t a problem in the UK so your kitten will only need a Rabies vaccination if you plan to take them abroad - this is a key part in the process of applying for a pet passport.
Kittens can be vaccinated against Rabies from 12 weeks of age.
Find out more about travelling with your cat or about how the rules for travelling to Europe with your cat may change once the UK officially leaves the EU.
If your cat is an indoor cat (i.e. they don’t leave the house at all), they’ll still need to be vaccinated against Feline herpesvirus, Calicivirus (Cat Flu), Feline enteritis and in some cases, Feline leukaemia.
An indoor-only kitten will need a primary vaccine course as normal, followed by a booster one year later. From this point on, they’ll only need boosters every 3 years.
It’s important to make sure that your indoor cat doesn’t slip outside by accident. Likewise, if you plan to allow any other cats into your house, you’ll need to make sure they’re fully protected - just in case. Chat to your vet for more info on keeping your indoor cat protected.
Need more info?
As they say, prevention is better than cure! If you need further help and guidance on your kitten’s vaccinations, have a chat with your local vet.
Find your nearest vet using our Find a Vet page.