Kitten Vaccinations

In order to keep your new kitten healthy, you need to have your veterinarian administer kitten vaccinations. These vaccinations help protect your kitten from diseases like Feline Panleukopenia, Feline Infectious Peritonitis, Feline Calcivirus and rabies. Adhering to a kitten immunization schedule decreases the chances of your kitten contracting a disease that could lead to serious illness or death.

Kitten Vaccination Schedule

Kittens normally receive their first set of vaccinations, excluding the rabies vaccination, once they reach six to eight weeks of age. Your veterinarian will administer additional kitten booster shots three to four weeks after the initial vaccination. Kittens that experience allergic reactions to vaccinations may need to have immunizations administered individually to decrease the chance of adverse reactions, which may alter the normal kitten vaccination schedule.

Core Kitten Vaccinations

In addition to a rabies vaccination, your kitten will receive a core set of vaccinations that protect against Feline Panleukopenia (FPV), Feline Calcivirus (FCV) and Feline Herpesvirus-1 (FHV-1). Your veterinarian will administer two or three booster rounds of these core vaccinations over a period of two to three months. This booster series protects your kitten for one year, and then annual or three year vaccinations offer continuing protection against these diseases.

Kitten Rabies Vaccinations

Kittens generally receive their first rabies vaccination when they reach 12 to 16 weeks of age. The initial rabies vaccination protects your kitten from this disease for a one year period. Once a year has passed, your veterinarian will administer either a one or three year rabies vaccination to your adult cat. Subsequent recurring rabies vaccinations will be needed on either an annual or three year basis.

Kitten Feline Infectious Peritonitis Vaccinations

Veterinarians administer the initial Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) vaccination to kittens when they reach 16 weeks old. A second booster immunization is required four weeks after the initial vaccination and protects your kitten for a period of one year. Your veterinarian may recommend this vaccine if your kitten lives or interacts with other cats.

Allergic Reactions to Kitten Vaccinations

Mild physical reactions can occur after a kitten receives a vaccination. Symptoms of a mild physical reaction include sneezing, decreased appetite, a low-grade fever, lethargy and sensitivity around the injection site. These symptoms can occur a few hours up to a few days after your veterinarian administers a vaccination. Another reaction to a kitten vaccination is the development of a tumor, called a sarcoma, near the vaccination injection site. These tumors can develop several months after your kitten receives a vaccination.

Kitten Vaccination Considerations

Your veterinarian may adjust your kitten’s immunization schedule based on environmental risk factors, age and any previous vaccinations administered by a breeder, animal shelter or rescue organization. In order to board your kitten in a kennel or travel with your kitten on an airplane, you must show proof that a licensed veterinarian has administered all required vaccinations.