“Kittens are angels with whiskers” Alexis Flora Hope

Your kitten means the world to you and to us.

We want to ensure your kitten is given the best start to life. It is therefore of utmost importance to provide your kitten with vaccinations, to ensure it has immunity against serious and potentially life-threatening disease.

Your kitten will have “maternal immunity” from their mother which is obtained via colostrum (first milk). This milk contains important antibodies which enable protection from certain diseases. However over time these maternal antibodies decline and this is why it is recommended for kittens to have a short “course” of vaccines.

In kittens, the initial course of three vaccinations is given at 8, 12 and 16 weeks. After this your kitten would not need a vaccination until a year after their third kitten vaccine. Times and age can be variable, so it is best to check this with one of our friendly veterinarians or nurses. At these visits, one of our vets will also provide a full examination to ensure your kitten is in the best of health.

What does a kitten vaccination provide protection from?

Feline Enteritis (Panleucopenia)This is a viral disease that is highly contagious. The death rate is especially high in patients under 12 months of age, however, it can also be fatal to older cats. Symptoms include, depression, lethargy, loss of appetite, and uncontrollable diarrhoea.

Feline Respiratory Disease (rhinotracheitis and calicivirus) (‘Cat flu’) Cat flu can affect cats of all ages. It is a highly contagious disease and causes sneezing, coughing, runny eyes, nasal discharge, loss of appetite and tongue ulcers. The death rate is low except in young kittens, however the condition can last for several weeks and cats that have had the disease can continue to be carriers for long periods of time.

Planning on letting your kitten outside eventually?

If you are planning to let your kitten have an indoor and outdoor lifestyle, it is important to prevent them from catching serious diseases.

Therefore, we recommend for those who will allow their kittens to roam outdoors, a second vaccine FIV is strongly recommended.

What does a FIV vaccine protect my kitten from?

FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) attacks the cells of the immune system which compromises a cat’s ability to fight off infection. Symptoms include chronic infections, poor coat condition, gingivitis and dental disease and a shortened life span. FIV cats are more susceptible to ill health and usually require more visits to the vet.

FIV is transmitted via saliva and therefore is most commonly spread through cat bites during cat fights. Up to 50% of entire male cats (tomcats) are positive for FIV, which puts our domestic cats at a huge risk when venturing outside the house.

There is no cure for FIV so prevention is key.

If you are eventually wanting your kitten to have outdoor access and they have not yet gone outside, we can organize a short course of 3 initial vaccinations, given 2 weeks apart and then an annual booster every year.

If you would like more information about kittens and vaccinations at Johnston Street Vet please chat to one of our friendly team members.

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