Routine vaccinations for kittens should begin at 6-8 weeks of age. Because the immune system of young animals is not fully developed, a series of several vaccinations is necessary for protection against infectious diseases. The diseases routinely vaccinated for are:
Feline Rhinotracheitis– a viral disease of the upper respiratory and ocular system;
Calici– a viral disease of the upper respiratory system (can lead to pneumonia);
Panleukopenia (distemper)- a viral disease of the small intestines that is often fatal;
Chlamydia Psittaci- a bacterial disease of the upper respiratory system;
Vaccinations for the above diseases should begin at 6-8 weeks of age and be repeated every 3-4 weeks until the kittens are 14-16 weeks of age (for a total of 3 to 4 vaccinations). Other diseases that may be vaccinated for under some circumstances are:
Feline Leukemia(FeLV)- deadly virus that inhibits the immune system, can cause cancer;
This vaccine would be recommended to any cat that spends time outdoors, or is in contact with a cat that has been diagnosed with FeLV. This vaccine should be given at 12 to 16 weeks of age. All the above vaccines should be repeated yearly.
Cats should be started on a rabies vaccination program at about 4 months of age. The initial vaccination is protective for one year. Following the booster vaccination, cats are recommended to receive a rabies vaccination every 2 years. In some situations, in the face of a rabies outbreak in the area, vaccinations may be started earlier and boostered more often.