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What Age Should Kittens Get Vaccines?

Taking care of a kitten is an exciting journey filled with cuddles, playtime, and, most importantly, ensuring they grow up healthy and strong. A key part of their health is getting vaccinated at the right time. This blog will dive into the question: “What age should kittens get vaccines?” We’ll explore the best times for these important shots and why they’re so necessary for your kitten’s health. If you have questions or need to schedule a vaccination appointment, the team at Main Street Veterinary Center in Bartow, FL, is here to help. Give us a call at (863) 534-9584 to chat more or book a visit.

kitten receiving vaccine

Understanding Kitten Vaccinations

Vaccines play a huge role in protecting your kitten from various diseases, some of which can be very serious or even life-threatening. Like little humans, kittens have an immune system that’s still developing, which makes them more vulnerable to illnesses. Vaccines help their body learn to fight off these diseases without getting sick first.

Why Vaccines are Needed

Kittens receive some immunity from their mother’s milk, but this protection starts to fade as they grow. That’s where vaccines come in, offering a safe way to build their immunity against specific diseases. Starting vaccines at the right age is crucial to ensure they are protected early on.

Core vs. Non-Core Vaccines

Not all vaccines are the same. Core vaccines are recommended for all kittens because they protect against diseases that are common, severe, or both. Non-core vaccines are given based on your kitten’s lifestyle and risk of exposure to certain diseases. Your vet can help decide which non-core vaccines are right for your pet.

When to Start Kitten Vaccines

The question of “what age should kittens start getting vaccines” is a common one among pet owners. The simple answer is: starting around 6 to 8 weeks of age. This is when kittens usually get their first round of vaccinations. They’ll need several more doses after that, spaced 3 to 4 weeks apart, to build strong immunity.

The First Vaccination Visit

During their first vaccination visit, kittens usually receive a combination vaccine that includes protection against some of the most common and serious diseases. This might include feline herpesvirus, calicivirus, and panleukopenia. Your vet will also check your kitten’s health and discuss the best vaccination schedule going forward.

Following Up

After the initial vaccine, kittens will need additional doses to make sure they have full protection. This usually continues until they are about 16 weeks old. During this time, it’s important to follow the schedule your vet recommends to keep your kitten healthy.

Keeping Up with Vaccinations

Vaccinations don’t stop after kittenhood. Adult cats need regular booster shots to maintain their immunity over time. The frequency of these boosters can vary based on the vaccine, your cat’s health, and their lifestyle. Some vaccines might be needed yearly, while others can last longer before a booster is required.

The Role of Regular Vet Visits

Regular visits to the vet are important for more than just vaccinations. They’re a chance to check on your kitten’s overall health, discuss any concerns you might have, and catch any potential issues early. These visits are an essential part of keeping your kitten happy and healthy for years to come.

Creating a Vaccination Schedule

Your vet will work with you to create a vaccination schedule tailored to your kitten’s needs. This schedule considers the core vaccines every kitten should have, along with any non-core vaccines that might be beneficial. Keeping track of these appointments and sticking to the schedule is key to your kitten’s health.

Schedule An Appointment with Main Street Veterinary Center

Vaccinating your kitten is a critical step in ensuring they lead a long, healthy life. Starting at 6 to 8 weeks of age, these vaccines help protect your kitten from serious diseases and build a strong immune system. Main Street Veterinary Center in Bartow, FL, is here to guide you through every step of this process, from deciding on the right vaccines to scheduling appointments. If you have questions or need to make an appointment, please call us at (863) 534-9584. Together, we can make sure your kitten grows into a healthy and happy cat.

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Family is family, whether it has two legs or four. At Main Street Veterinary Center, we've spent the last 40 years healing and caring for your pets. As a family-operated practice, we know that family is about more than simply being related. Animals give us the ability to develop strong bonds and feel great compassion for a fellow living creature.