Kitten and cat vaccinations are one of the most important things you need to know about as a new cat owner. Without vaccinations, you are putting your cat or kitten at risk of contracting serious infections and diseases, many of which can be fatal.
Keeping on top of your kitten’s vaccination schedule is important so that each vaccine can be administered at the strategically correct time. That’s why you need to be aware of what cat vaccinations your pet needs and when from an early stage.
Thankfully, we’re here to answer any cat vaccination questions you may have and we’ve even created a handy kitten vaccination calendar so that you can keep track of your kitten vaccination schedule.
What Injections do Kittens Need?
There are a variety of essential and non-essential kitten vaccinations that you need to know about.
First and Second Kitten Vaccinations
There are two essential vaccinations that every kitten needs. These vaccinations are to protect against:
- Feline Herpesvirus (cat flu)
- Feline Calicivirus (cat flu)
- Feline Infectious Enteritis
Your kitten’s first vaccination can be given once they are aged 8 weeks and onwards, they can then receive their second vaccination from 11 weeks onwards, and at least 3 weeks after their first vaccination.
Your cat will also require their first booster vaccination at 14 months, which includes all the components of their first and second kitten vaccinations. Your cat should then return for their second, third, fourth etc booster vaccination on an annual basis.
If your cat is an outdoor cat, they will also need a vaccination against Feline Leukaemia (FeLV). It’s an extremely infectious virus that attacks your cat’s immune system, leaving them susceptible to other illnesses and cancer.
The FeLV vaccine can be administered as part of your cat’s core kitten vaccinations, or at a later date.
Flea and Worm Treatment
Fleas and worms are one of the most common problems facing pets in the UK, including cats and kittens. If your cat comes into contact with any of these parasites, the results can range from mild discomfort to death – although the latter is rare.
If you have an outdoor cat, your vet will administer the treatment during their second core kitten vaccination (from 11 weeks).
It is not essential for cats living in the UK to receive a rabies vaccination. However, rabies vaccinations are mandatory for any cat travelling to an EU country or Sweden. Without a rabies vaccination, your cat will not qualify for an Animal Health Certificate.
Non-EU countries have their own procedure for travelling pets and you must check with DEFRA which rules apply to your chosen destination.
Rabies vaccinations can be administered once your kitten reaches 12 weeks old and they must be injected at least 21 days before your date of travel.
Are There Any Other Appointments I Need to Make for my Kitten or Cat?
In additional to your kitten’s vaccination appointments, there are a few other vet appointments that you should make when you first bring your cat home and in the months that follow.
Kitten Health Check
You should make a vet appointment as soon as you pick up your kitten, this is usually when they are 6 weeks or older. Try to book your vet appointment within 48 hours of bringing your new cat home so that we can check for any congenital problems including heart murmur or umbilical hernia. We will also check for fleas and administer deworming treatment.
It is very important to monitor kittens at this age for sneezing or conjunctivitis, especially if they are adopted, as this may be symptomatic of cat flu which can be a lifelong condition. Your kitten’s first and second vaccinations are against cat flu, so it is important to determine if they have already come into contact with the virus beforehand.
Unlike dogs, it is not a legal requirement to get your cat microchipped. However, microchipping is a quick and painless way to protect your cat should they ever get lost. It’s also required in order to obtain an Animal Health Certificate, so you will need to consult your vet if you are hoping to travel abroad with your cat.
You can book an appointment to get your cat microchipped once they are 5 weeks old or older.
Neutering appointments can be made from 4 months onwards. It is a common procedure for outdoor cats, as you are obviously unable to control who your cat encounters.
However, you should always consult your vet before making this decision, as there are a variety of benefits and risks when it comes to spaying or castrating your cat and individual cases will vary.
Do Indoor Cats Need Vaccinations?
Yes, indoor cats still need vaccinations. The two types of cat flu, Feline Herpesvirus (FHV) and Feline Calicivirus (FCV) are extremely infectious and very common in London and the rest of the UK.
Both diseases are usually spread from close or direct contact with other cats. However, they can also survive in the environment for long periods of time and can be spread through grooming aids at the groomers, or shared feeding bowls or litter trays at the cattery/ kennel.
However, if you have an indoor cat, they may not need a Feline Leukaemia injection. Discuss the risks with your vet beforehand and if you choose to do so, you can opt your cat out of receiving that strain being included in their second kitten vaccination. However, many people still choose to fully cover their indoor cats to ensure they are protected should they ever get outdoors.
How Much are Kitten Vaccinations?
The price of kitten and cat vaccinations will vary depending on the veterinary practice and on which vaccination your cat is receiving.
At Kensington Veterinary Care we offer safe and effective Puravex technology vaccinations at an affordable price. The technology we use for our cat vaccinations gives your pet the best possible protection against the common diseases mentioned in this article, whilst simultaneously protecting them against the rare development of injection-associated tumours which can occur with other vaccinations.
Prices for your initial first and second kitten vaccination start from £42 – £48 per vaccine. Book your cat vaccination appointment in Kensington, London using our online booking system today or call us on 020 7221 3093 if you have any other questions – we’re happy to help! And don’t forget to download our handy kitten vaccination calendar to protect your pet and keep on top of your kitten’s vaccination schedule.
Photo credit: Andriyko Podilnyk