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Kitten Vaccine Series

Kathryn C. Linden DVM

Kittens should receive their first vaccine at 6-8 weeks of age. This should be boosted every 3-4 weeks thereafter until 12-16 weeks old. Starting later than 6-8 weeks or waiting longer than 3-4 weeks between boosters puts the kitten at risk for contracting disease.

Kittens receive maternal antibodies (which protect from disease) from their mother through her milk. These antibodies will block the body’s reaction to the vaccine making it ineffective. These antibodies disappear anywhere from 1-4 months of age. Since there is no way to tell when an individual kitten loses its maternal antibodies a series of vaccines is given to shorten the “window of susceptibility” (the period of time when maternal antibodies have disappeared and vaccine antibodies have not reached protective levels).

Vaccines your kitten may need:

FVRCP- also know as the “4 in 1” shot, contains vaccine against the following disease: feline viral rhinotracheitis, chlamydia, calici virus, and panleukopenia. This is the vaccine to which the above series applies. This vaccine is recommended for all cats, whether strictly indoors or otherwise. This should be boosted at 1 year and then every 3 years thereafter.*

FeLV- feline leukemia. All kittens should be tested for feline leukemia virus before being vaccinated.

- Kathryn C. Linden DVM
Sun Lakes Animal Clinic
June 1,2004

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
- Anatole France, 1921 Nobel Prize Speech -

Titlebar Image: The Gentle Doctor, 1937-38 by Christian Peterson (U84.179) - Iowa State University