Yonge Sheppard Animal Hospital

102 – 280 Sheppard Ave E., Toronto, ON M2N 3B1 | 647-260-8387 | yonge.sheppard.vets@gmail.com

The Vital Vaccinations for Your New Kitten

Unlocking the Power of Feline Vaccines: A Shield for Our Whiskered Companions! Discover the vital role of feline vaccines in protecting our beloved cats from dangerous diseases. Let’s ensure a long, happy, and healthy life for our fuzzy friends!

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Welcoming a new kitten into your home is an exciting and joyful experience. As a responsible pet owner, it’s crucial to prioritize their health and well-being. One of the key aspects of their healthcare is ensuring they receive the necessary vaccinations to protect them from various diseases and illnesses. In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss the essential vaccinations for your new kitten, including core vaccines like FVRCP and Rabies, as well as the non-core vaccine, Feline Leukemia. By understanding these vaccinations, you can provide your adorable feline friend with a strong foundation for a healthy, happy life.

Why Vaccinations Matter​

Vaccinations play a vital role in safeguarding your kitten's health. They work by stimulating the immune system to recognize and defend against specific diseases. By administering vaccines, we can prevent the onset of potentially life-threatening illnesses and protect not only your kitten but also other pets they may come into contact with. Vaccinations are a crucial step in disease prevention and are considered a cornerstone of responsible pet ownership.

Core Vaccinations

These are vaccinates that are recommended for every cat and kitten, no matter if they are indoor or outdoor.

1. FVRCP
FVRCP stands for Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, and Panleukopenia. This combination vaccine protects against three common and highly contagious diseases in cats.

Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FVR) is a respiratory infection caused by the herpesvirus.  It can cause sneezing, nasal discharge, coughing, and eye inflammation.

Calicivirus causes respiratory symptoms such as sneezing, nasal discharge, and oral ulcers. In severe cases, it can lead to pneumonia.

Panleukopenia (Feline Distemper) is a severe and often fatal disease that affects the gastrointestinal tract and immune system. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and a decreased white blood cell count. The initial FVRCP vaccination is typically given at around 8 to 9 weeks of age, followed by boosters every 3 to 4 weeks until the kitten reaches a certain age. These boosters are crucial to ensure your kitten develops strong immunity against these diseases.
2. Rabies

Rabies is a fatal viral disease that affects the nervous system of mammals, including cats and humans. It is primarily transmitted through the bite of an infected animal and poses a significant public health risk. Having an up-to-date rabies vaccination is required by law in many jurisdictions, including Ontario, and is crucial for protecting your kitten from this deadly disease. The initial Rabies vaccination is usually administered around 12 to 16 weeks of age, with a booster given after one year. Subsequent boosters are typically recommended annually.

Non-Core Vaccinations

Non-core vaccines for cats are additional immunizations that target specific diseases based on individual risk factors. While not universally required, they offer crucial defense for cats at higher risk, ensuring comprehensive protection for our feline friends. 

1. Feline Leukemia (FeLV)

Feline Leukemia (FeLV) is a viral infection that affects cats worldwide. It can lead to various health issues, including anemia, immune suppression, and the development of certain cancers. Vaccinating against FeLV is particularly important in kittens, cats with outdoor access or if there are other cats in your household that have tested positive for the virus. The initial FeLV vaccination is usually given at around 8 to 9 weeks of age, followed by a booster after 3 to 4 weeks. Annual boosters are typically recommended thereafter, depending on the cat’s lifestyle and risk of exposure.

Consult with your Veterinarian 🥼🩺

It’s essential to consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate vaccination schedule for your kitten, taking into account their health, lifestyle, and environmental factors. Your veterinarian will provide tailored advice and ensure your kitten receives the necessary vaccinations at the right time.

By ensuring your new kitten receives the essential vaccinations, including FVRCP, Rabies, and Feline Leukemia, you are providing them with crucial protection against common diseases. Vaccinations are key to maintaining their health, preventing the spread of contagious diseases, and promoting responsible pet ownership. Consult with your veterinarian to establish a vaccination plan that suits your kitten’s specific needs. With proper vaccinations, your adorable feline friend can enjoy a long and healthy life filled with purrs and playfulness.

Vaccination Schedule for Cats and Kittens