What vaccinations do kittens?
The first year of a cat’s life is not only a joyful time of exploring the world, but also a period when basic medical procedures are performed. These include vaccination, and treatment of worms. They can in no way be neglected.
Why do kittens need vaccinations?
To protect against diseases, specific immunity is required, which is produced either as a result of the disease or with the help of vaccinations. The specificity of this immunity means that in the body of a kitten there are antibodies to a specific virus, at the meeting with which they will protect the kitten or an adult cat from the disease.
A kitten can be completely healthy, grow well and develop well, but be defenseless against the cat’s plague virus (panleukopenia) if it has not been immunized accordingly. Of course, a healthy and strong kitten is more likely to successfully endure the disease, but why put his life in danger when preventive vaccination can be done? That is why vaccines were developed for the most severe and frequent diseases that allow you to protect and sometimes save the lives of domestic animals.
What vaccinations are needed?
There are basic vaccines for major diseases and additional ones used by choice or need. Vaccination against panleukopenia, herpes virus (viral rhinotracheitis), calicivirus and rabies is considered basic for all domestic cats. Additional include vaccination against viral leukemia in cats, immunodeficiency virus, against bordetellosis and chlamydia in cats. What kind of vaccine to choose and what additional vaccines to include, advise the veterinarian, having examined the kitten and discussed with the owner the intended lifestyle of the pet.
When to start?
Kittens are vaccinated no earlier than 8–9 weeks of age. This is due to the fact that kittens are present in the blood of antibodies transmitted from the colostrum of the mother – they can prevent the formation of immunity in response to the introduction of the vaccine. In some kittens, the level of antibodies is low, in others it is high; On average, antibodies are present in the blood up to 8–9 weeks of age, however, in some kittens they may disappear earlier or, on the contrary, last longer, up to 14–16 weeks.
Vaccination against viruses of panleukopenia, herpes virus and calicivirus is carried out several times, with an interval of 2-4 weeks. As a rule, 3-5 vaccinations are recommended in the first year of a kitten’s life. In this case, a vaccination against the rabies virus is done once, with revaccination one year after the first injection. The first rabies vaccine may be administered at the age of 12 weeks.
Before vaccination, it is necessary to carry out treatment from internal parasites (helminths), usually it begins at the age of 4-6 weeks and repeat every two weeks until 16 weeks of age.
Not all drugs are safe for kittens, so consult with your veterinarian on this issue. At the time of vaccination, the kitten must be healthy: it is not recommended to administer the vaccine to animals with symptoms of diseases.