How Old Does A Kitten Need To Be To Go Outside
If youre planning to supervise your kitten at all times when they go outside, then, if you really wanted to, you could take them out once theyve had all their vaccinations and microchip. However, if theres any chance of your kitten getting away from you, or if you would like them to go out unsupervised, they need to be older and bigger, ideally at least six months old. By this time, they will also have been neutered.
How Often Should Pets Be Vaccinated
Most animals living in homes do not need vaccines every year. We recommend doing the puppy and kitten series, and a booster vaccine in one year, and then every three years for the majority of core vaccines or possibly only rabies for indoor-only animals. Studies have shown that most animals have immunity from the diseases they are vaccinated against for at least three years after their first booster. This immunity may last even longer, but at this time, the recommendation is to administer most vaccines every three years. And when pets become elderly, most vaccines can be stopped, unless there are factors that make vaccinating necessary.
Basic Vaccine Schedule For Cats
Cat vaccinations can get confusing. Not only are there different schedules and needed vaccines for cats and kittens, but there are also some extra vaccines for different lifestyles.
Its difficult for pet parents to understand their cats vaccination schedulefrom which ones they need to how often they need them.
While there are certain mandatory, or core vaccines for cats, there are also noncore vaccines for different lifestyles or vaccines that are only recommended during the kitten years.
Your veterinarian is your best resource for figuring out the best vaccine routine for your feline family member, but this chart will help you understand the basics.
To help you navigate the world of feline vaccines, the chart covers a kittens vaccination schedule all the way into adulthood.
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What Do Vaccinations Protect Against
Cats need to be protected against the below serious and sometime fatal diseases:
Feline Enteritis This is the most common disease that affects cats. It is a very contagious and is highly life threatening especially in kittens under 12 months of age. The most common symptoms are: High fever, depression, dehydration, severe stomach pain, vomiting diarrhoea and dehydration.
Feline Respiratory Disease Cats of all ages can contract this disease as it is highly contagious. Symptoms of this are sneezing, nasal discharge, runny eyes, coughing, loss of appetite and ulcers on their tongues, in their mouths and on their nose, if left untreated this disease can cause severe dehydration.
Feline Calicivirus this virus can cause respiratory signs, fever, drooling ulcers of the mouth and footpads, pneumonia, diarrhea, arthritis, and neurologic signs
Feline Distemper or Feline Panleukopenia this disease are not very common in Australia however vets still see the occasional case, this viral disease is contagious that can cause high fever, vomiting and diarrhoea. Unfortunately it is often fatal in young kittens. It is also important to know that the feline distemper virus is not the same as canine distemper virus.
How Kitten Vaccinations Work
Kittens receive a series of vaccines over an 8- to 12-week period beginning at between 6 and 8 weeks of age. Some vaccines might be given together in one injection that is called a combination vaccine. At your kitten’s first veterinary exam, your vet will discuss a vaccination schedule as well as other treatments, such as deworming and beginning parasite prevention.
The vaccine injection itself is typically not very painful. Your kitten may feel a little pinch or sting, but many do not react at all.
At the first vaccine visit, your veterinarian will do an examination before vaccinating your kitten. Vaccines should never be given to a kitten with a fever or illness as the vaccine will not be effective. Giving a vaccine to a sick kitten can actually make her feel worse.
After a vaccine is administered, immunity is not immediate. It takes about seven to 10 days after the second vaccination to become effective. However, kittens with remaining maternal antibodies for that disease will not be affected by the vaccine. There is no way to be certain if a kitten still has maternal antibodies, so boosters are necessary. True immunity is uncertain until about 16 to 18 weeks of age, or until all kitten boosters are completed. Avoid exposing your kitten to unknown animals until all vaccinations have been given.
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When Can Kittens Go Outside After Vaccinations
You should keep your kitten inside until theyve had their second vaccination at 13-14 weeks due to the possibility of infection, and diseases such as cat flu or enteritis . Ideally, you should wait at least a week until after their second jab. You can them supervise them to let them explore outside. Find out more about keeping your cat in the outside.
More About Vaccinating Your Cat
Kittens are old enough to be vaccinated once they are 8-9 weeks old. They will have an initial injection, and then a second about 3 weeks later, as well as a thorough health check, and discussion about all aspects of kitten-care, including neutering, flea and worm protection, diet and behaviour. This is known as the primary course. Kittens should then have an annual vaccination appointment each year, throughout their lives, in order keep their immunity topped up and maintain protection.
For adult cats, if you are not sure if your cat has had vaccinations previously, or if you know that they have not had a vaccination appointment within the last 12 months, your cat may need to restart their vaccinations with a primary course, just as if they were a kitten. Adult cats can start the primary course at any time, but if you know your cat is currently not protected by vaccination, the course should be started as soon as possible.
Although your cat will need a vaccination appointment every year, not all the vaccines will be given at every appointment. This is because different vaccines last for different amounts of time, and the need for some vaccinations may be lifestyle dependent. Your vet will be able to advise on the best schedule for your cat.
The medical exam also allows the vet to check if there are any visible reasons to delay vaccination, for example if your cat is already fighting an active infection.
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Cat Vaccinations : Everything You Need To Know
When it comes to cat vaccinations, you cant just give all cats the same shots. You may hear conflicting opinions about what your cat needs and what will keep your furry friend safe from disease. This can be confusing, especially if youre a new cat parent. With that in mind, weve put together a short guide on cat vaccinations.
Are Booster Vaccines Necessary For Cats
Primary vaccination is essential in order to prevent the return of the once common deadly infectious diseases in kittens and cats. Recent research indicates that not all vaccines require yearly boosters. However, there is no evidence that annual booster vaccination is anything but beneficial to the majority of cats. Published research has shown conclusively that abstaining from some boosters can put your cat at risk.
“Just because your cat has a high serum antibody, these antibodies may not ensure adequate disease protection if your cat is exposed to a virulent strain of disease.”
To establish whether boosters are necessary for your cat, blood tests to measure the amount of antibodies are sometimes recommended. Unfortunately, these tests are often more expensive than revaccination and may be stressful to your cat. In addition, just because your cat has a high serum antibody, it does not mean that these antibodies will ensure adequate disease protection if your cat is exposed to a virulent strain of disease.
Government regulatory bodies have strict guidelines for vaccines, and manufacturers must prove that a vaccine is safe and effective before it can be used in your cat. Through vigilance and high standards, the veterinary vaccines used today are the safest and most protective ever.
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Here’s When Your Kitten Needs His Shots
When it comes to your kittens vaccines, it can be hard to keep track of which shots he needs and when.
Your veterinarian can help you determine your kittens recommended vaccine schedule, but its helpful for a pet parent to know what to expect so they can have informed discussions with their vet about their kittens health.
The Dodo spoke with Dr. Debra Eldredge, a veterinarian with Senior Tail Waggers, to break down a typical kitten vaccine schedule.
Vaccinations For Adult Dogs: Boosters And Titers
There is a difference of opinion about having your adult dog vaccinated every year. Some vets believe too many vaccinations in adult dogs pose health risks. But others disagree, saying that yearly vaccinations will prevent dangerous diseases such as distemper. Talk with your vet to determine what kind of vaccination protocol works for you and your dog.
Many dog owners opt for titer tests before they administer annual vaccinations. Titer tests measure a dogs immunity levels, and this can determine which, if any, vaccinations are necessary. One key exception to this is rabies: a titer test is not an option when it comes to the rabies vaccine. This vaccination is required by law across the United States. Your vet can tell you the schedule for your particular state.
And its all worth it. For your effort and care your puppy will lavish you with lifelong love in return. This critical first year of her life is a fun and exciting time for both of you. As she grows physically, the wonderful bond between you will grow, too.
Dont miss crucial information when it comes to raising your puppy. Get personalized training, nutritional, veterinary, and everyday advice sent straight to your inbox. , a weekly email newsletter with customized content based on your puppys breed and age.
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Selecting A Veterinarian For Routine Exams And Insurance Coverage
Your kittens veterinarian is your partner in health, helping you take the very best care. You should feel comfortable with the veterinarians credentials, her attitude toward your pets care, and her ability to have an open dialogue with you. Does she specialize in cats? Ask your friends or neighbours for recommendations, call the local veterinary medical association or check the Yellow Pages for names in your area. Your veterinarian should also have an office and clinic fairly close to your home in an emergency, youll be glad you saved the time. If your veterinarian does not have 24-hour emergency service, keep the name and phone number of one near your telephone.
When Should My Kitten Be Vaccinated
Vaccinations are important for your young kitten. Some infectious diseases are fatal, and vaccinations can protect your kitten from many of these diseases. In order to be effective, immunizations must be given as a series of injections at prescribed intervals, so it is essential that you are on time for your kittens scheduled vaccinations. Immunizations are started at 6-8 weeks of age and are repeated every 3-4 weeks until the kitten is 4 months old.
The routine or core vaccinations will protect your kitten from the most common diseases: feline distemper , feline viral rhinotracheitis , calicivirus, and rabies. The first three are included in a combination vaccine given every three to four weeks until the kitten reaches 16 weeks of age. Rabies vaccine is usually given once at 12-16 weeks of age.
“Your veterinarian will assess your kittens lifestyle and discuss these vaccinations with you to help you decide what is best for your cat.”
Non-core vaccines are not administered to every kitten, but are recommended in certain areas for cats with certain lifestyles. Cats that live outdoors are at more risk for infectious disease and often need these additional vaccines. One non- core vaccine for chlamydophila may be given if this disease is common in your area. Feline leukemia vaccine is recommended for all kittens that are exposed to outdoor cats, so if your kitten goes outside or lives with another cat that goes in and out, feline leukemia vaccine may be added to the regimen.
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What Are Ear Mites
Ear mites are tiny parasites that live in the ear canal of cats where they cause itching. The most common sign of ear mite infection is vigorous and persistent scratching of the ears or shaking of the head. Sometimes the outer ear canal will appear dirty and contain black debris.
Your veterinarian will examine the ear canal with an otoscope that magnifies the tiny mites, or will take a small sample of the black debris and examine it under a microscope. Although the mites may crawl out of the ear canals for short periods, they spend the majority of their lives within the protection of the ear canal.
Ear mites are easily transmitted between cats and dogs by direct contact. Kittens will usually become infected if their mother has ear mites. If one pet in the household has ear mites, it is advised to treat all of your pets. Successive applications of topical medication to the kittens ear or skin will eliminate ear mites .
How Long Do Cat Vaccines Last
The length of vaccination protection depends on the disease, the type of vaccine used and your cats immune system. As a general rule, FeLV vaccination protection lasts for about a year, and herpes, calici and panleukopenia last for around three years. However, this can last a little longer if youve kept your cats vaccines up to date throughout their lives. If youre unsure whether your cat is still protected by their vaccines, speak to your vet to discuss their specific situation.
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When Should I Schedule Kitten Vaccinations And Cat Vaccinations
You should schedule your kitten vaccinations as soon as you get your new kitten. Regardless of the age, your new kitten should be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. It is important to get a preventive health care plan in place including vaccinations, deworming and flea control. In addition, we will spend time discussing behavioral training to make sure your kitten develops good behaviors and becomes a great pet.
Plan on spending at least thirty minutes at your first visit. This is a great time to get all your questions answered on kitten care and discuss the recommended preventive program with our veterinary team.
An adult cat vaccination schedule, which includes periodic booster immunizations, will be scheduled one year after the kitten vaccination schedule has been completed.
As with any other immunization protocol, a cat vaccination schedule should be adhered to without deviation, in order to ensure your cat remains healthy and well for the duration of his or her life. We cannot control all health issues but we can prevent the majority of infectious disease with the proper vaccine schedule.
Why Should I Get My Indoor Cat Vaccinated
Though you may not think your indoor cat requires vaccinations, by law cats must have certain vaccinations in many states. For example, a common law requires cats over the age of 6 months to be vaccinated against rabies. In return for the vaccinations, your veterinarian will provide you with a vaccination certificate, which should be stored in a safe place.
When considering your cats health, its always prudent to be cautious, as cats are often curious by nature. Our vets recommend core vaccinations for indoor cats to protect them against diseases they could be exposed to if they happen to escape the safety of your home.
There are two basic types of vaccinations for cats.
Core vaccinations should be given to all cats, as they are essential for protecting them against the following common but serious feline conditions:
Rabies kills many mammals every year. These vaccinations are required by law for cats in most states.
Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia Typically known as the distemper shot, this combination vaccine protects against feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus and panleukopenia.
Feline herpesvirus type I
Non-core vaccinations are appropriate for some cats depending on their lifestyle. Your vet will provide advice about which non-core vaccines your cat should have. These offer protection against:
Feline immunodeficiency virus and Feline Leukemia
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Do Kittens Need Booster Vaccinations
Immune system memory drops over time and a good way to check is with Vaccicheck, which can measure some immune responses. Speak to your Medivet vet about Vaccicheck. Theres no way to measure immune responses for all diseases vaccinated against should your cat be exposed to a virus or bacteria, which is why they will need boosters for ongoing protection. Some vaccines will need annual or three yearly booster vaccinations . Talk to your vet to plan your kittens boosters.
On top of that, as cats age, just like humans, immune response can be slower and less effective. Annual vaccinations offering them a helping hand in the fight against serious disease.
Are There Any Other Times That My Cat Will Need Vaccinations
When it comes to protecting against common infections, your cat will need additional booster vaccinations to maintain their protection, with the first boosters happening a year after their first vaccines. The frequency of booster vaccinations will depend on the vaccine, the age and health of your cat and the protection your pet needs – for example, cats who come into contact with other neighbourhood animals and go outside may need more protection. Your vet will be able to advise on the best schedule of vaccinations for your pet – annual health check ups are best for even the healthiest of pets!
If you are planning to travel with your cat, its also wise to take them to the vet for a health check, and to find out what vaccinations or boosters are needed ahead of travel. Keep in mind that certain destinations will require a vets certificate and vaccinations history to allow your pet to fly, often dated within a few days of travel. Always check ahead with airlines, and with your vet to understand whats required!
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