Cat vaccination schedule

Kitten lying on a veterinary table being given a vaccination
The first booster for the core vaccines will be given at between 12 and 16 weeks of age. Your kitten will need a regular booster one year after the second injection was given, and annually after that.

At what age will kittens have their first booster injections?

The first booster for the core vaccines will be given at between 12 and 16 weeks of age.

This initial booster injection will be for:

  • Cat flu – both feline herpesvirus (fHV) and feline calicivirus (FCV)
  • Feline panleukopenia virus (FPV)
  • Feline leukaemia virus (FeLV)

Can my kitten go outside before their first booster?

Kittens are only considered to be vaccinated when they’ve had at least two injections – including the first booster at 12 – 16 weeks. After this point they are protected against the diseases covered by the vaccines.

In theory, they should not be allowed outside until they have had the second injection. However, from a behavioural point of view, it is very important that a young kitten of this age is confronted with different situations, to ensure that it grows into a socialised adult.

Kittens that have not yet had their second injection can therefore be let out, but only in places where the risk of infection is low such as your own garden.

If you plan for your kitten to be an indoor cat, this isn’t necessarily something you should concern yourself with.

Will my kitten receive any other injections at this time?

This is the right time to administer the first rabies vaccine if your vet decides it’s necessary. This will always depend on the lifestyle your kitten will have and if you have any plans to travel abroad with them.

What other booster injections will my kitten have?

Your kitten will need a regular booster one year after the second injection was given, and annually after that. If your kitten received non-core vaccinations early in their life, they’ll also be required to have scheduled booster injections for the same vaccines.

Your vet will recommend and put in place an appropriate vaccination schedule for your cat’s individual needs.

Will my cat get the same boosters every year?

Not necessarily. The immunity against different diseases and viruses last for different lengths of time. This means that your cat won’t have the same booster injections every year.

This will be based on the following:

  • The type of vaccine used
  • The age of your cat
  • Any risks of local epidemics
  • Any changes in the current law

Your vet will know which boosters they will require and will explain to you which diseases they are vaccinating against at each appointment.

Will my vet tell me when booster injections are due?

Your vet should send out reminders to make sure you remember to get your kitten booked in for their booster injections. It’s always a good idea to make a note yourself of when they are due, rather than just relying on the reminder from the practice.

If you have any questions about your kitten’s first vaccinations or their booster injections, it’s important that you contact your vet.

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