KITTEN VACCINATIONS

When a kitten is born and first nurses on the mother, the kitten gets a dose of colostrum from the mother; this colostrum is filled with good immune cells, also known as Maternally Derived Antibodies (MDA), to protect the kitten from common feline illnesses. This dose of colostrum starts to disappear from the body of the kitten between 4-8 weeks of age, but can last in the kitten up to 16 weeks, and we cannot predict the exact timing in the loss of the protection they receive from the MDA.

The idea of using a Modified Live Vaccine (MLV) is to stimulate the kitten’s own immune system into making more protective immune cells, as the MDA disappears.  By giving the dose of vaccine every 2 weeks, we are able to minimize that “window of susceptibility”, which is the time when the MDA disappears and when the kitten is able to make their own immune proteins to fight infectious disease. Kittens that received a large dose of colostrum, or MDA, may not be able to have a response to the vaccine until they are 20 weeks old; the best strategy then is to give the dose of vaccine every 2 weeks until the kitten is 20 weeks old. 

Vaccines

FVRCP is the vaccine for Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, and Panleukopenia (URI – upper respiratory infection – and Distemper)

FVRCP is given at 4 weeks of age or older depending on when they went through intake.

  • 2nd FVRCP is given 14 days after the first FVRCP. No later than 21-30 days after or you will need to restart the series.
  • 3rd FVRCP is given 14 days after the second FVRCP. No later than 21-30 days after or you will need to restart the series.
  • FVRCP should given every 14 days until the kitten is 20 weeks old.

Deworming

Pyrantel is for Roundworms. You might see these pass in the stool after treatment – they will look like spaghetti.

Strongid is given at 4 weeks of age with the kittens first FVRCP vaccine

A 2nd Strongid is given 14 days after the first dose. This series is repeated every 2 weeks until the kittens have returned for adoption.

Your kitten/s may also get Fenbendazole for other worms, or Ponazuril for Coccidia, especially if not gaining weight or are failing to thrive/grow. They may get Praziquantel for tapeworms if indicated, and they might be prescribed an antibiotic if abnormal bacteria are found in the fecal testing. One or more fecal tests may be run on any kitten not gaining weight or thriving. Please report to C.A.R.E. immediately if your kittens are failing to gain weight.

Nail Trims

When your kittens are brought in for booster vaccines and deworming, we almost always trim their nails as well. We also include a nail trimmer in your supplies. If you feel comfortable trimming their nails in between routine visits, here are some tips. Please feel free to ask us to give you a tutorial during their booster vaccines visit as well!

  1. Set the Mood: In order for both you and your kitten to have a pleasant experience, you’ll want to do the nail trimming in a low-stress environment. This is a new experience for the kitten, so you want to make it as comfortable as possible. Try trimming claws away from loud noises and distractions, maybe after a meal time or when the kitten is nice and sleep
  2. ONLY trim the white part: When trimming your furry friend’s nails you may notice that her nails are white on the ends and pink closer to their paw, just like human fingernails are pink with white tips. Only clip the white part of the kitten’s nail, just like you would only clip the white part of yours. The pink that you are seeing is actually their flesh, and cutting this part of the nail will cause your kitten a lot of unnecessary pain and bleeding. If you’re not sure how far down to cut, simply start by trimming just the very tip of the claw. It’s always better to cut too little than too much, so go slow!
  3. Positive Reinforcement: One wonderful thing about starting claw trimming young is that the kitten will get used to the sensation of having her paws touched. Be sure to make this a positive experience! After trimming your kittens nails, try giving her a favorite treat as a reward for good behavior. By using positive reinforcement, you’ll ensure that trimming the kitten’s claws will continue to be a breeze as they get older.

Want to see a video? Click HERE.

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