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Vaccinations for Your Kitten

August is Immunization Awareness Month! If you’ve recently adopted a kitten, vaccination is an essential step toward a lifetime of good health. Learn about some vaccination basics below from a Marietta, GA veterinarian.

How Do Vaccines Work, Anyway?

Vaccinations work by introducing a small strain of a disease to your pet’s immune system. The strain doesn’t actually do any harm; it’s just enough that your pet’s immune system recognizes the disease and develops natural antibodies. Should the real disease ever come along later in your cat’s life, your pet’s system is prepared to recognize, fight off, or at the very least minimize the symptoms of that disease.

What Vaccines Does My Kitten Need?

All kittens should receive the core vaccines, which are most often administered together in a batch when your kitten is as young as six weeks old. The core vaccines include those against feline Rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, panleukopenia, and rabies, among others. These are given thanks to the common, contagious, and/or dangerous nature of these diseases.

Some cats may also benefit from non-core vaccines like the feline leukemia (FeLV) vaccine, the Bordetella vaccine, or the immunodeficiency virus vaccine. While not necessary for every cat or kitten, these shots may help some cats based on exposure risk, environment, pre-existing conditions, and other factors. Ask your veterinarian if any non-core vaccines are right for your kitten.

What About Booster Shots?

Many vaccinations will require booster shots, given in yearly increments or in multi-year intervals, to remain effective. Many cat owners have their feline friend’s vaccinations updated as necessary at one of their pet’s twice-yearly veterinary appointments. Work with your veterinarian to set up a booster-shot schedule that is effective for your cat’s needs.

Is There Any Risk of Side Effects?

Vaccinations rarely cause significant side effects, but minor symptoms are possible. Low-grade fever, mild soreness, and other basic symptoms sometimes occur, but these will usually disappear on their own within a day or two. If symptoms persist, or if you think your cat is having a bad reaction to a vaccination, let your veterinarian know so that treatment can be given.

How Do I Get My Kitten Vaccinated?

Do you have further questions about the vaccination process and the vaccines that your kitten needs for a lifetime of great health? Ready to have your kitten vaccinated? Call your Marietta, GA animal hospital today to make an appointment. We’re here to help!

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