kittens pets

kittens image by pexels

Expert opinion | Ask our vet: Is it necessary to vaccinate my kitten?

Vaccination protects your fur baby from severe disease and also prevents them from passing it to another animal/ human.

kittens pets

kittens image by pexels

Our pets add more to our lives than is often realised, including unconditional love, companionship and the emotional connection that humans crave.

BOOKMARK | For the latest pet news, visit The South African website

So, when they fall sick, stop eating or are generally not themselves, it’s often an emotional time for owners.

FAQ | Is my dog allergic to chicken?

Booking an appointment at a veterinary hospital or clinic can be stressful, with owners quick to jump to a ‘worst case’ diagnoses.

FAQ | Can I give my dog a bagel as a treat?

To help ease the stress of the waiting room at your nearest vet, The South African website has enlisted the expert opinion of veterinarian Nyahoda Bertha Faustina to help answer your questions regarding what might be ailing your beloved pet.

DID YOU KNOW | Why you should never let your dog play with tennis balls

Do you have a question regarding your pet’s health that you’d like an answer to?

If so, let us know by clicking on the comment tab below this article or by emailing or sending a WhatsApp to 060 011 021 1

Question: Is it necessary to vaccinate my kitten?

Vaccination helps animals or individuals build an immune system so that when challenged with that disease, they can fight with mild or no development of the disease. Vaccination protects your fur baby from severe disease and also prevents them from passing it to another animal/ human.

Cat vaccines are mainly classified into 2, the core vaccines and the no-core. These depend on your location and the diseases that are prevalent in that area. The core vaccines are herpes virus, calicivirus (main causes of cat flue), panleukopenia (extremely serious/ fatal and endemic everywhere) and rabies. The non-core are feline leukaemia, Chlamydophila and bordetella (in most cases, the vet will test the cat for these diseases before vaccination). All cats indoor or free-roaming cats need to be vaccinated.

Vaccination usually starts at eight weeks old and is repeated every four weeks until 16 weeks old; from there, it will become an annual vaccination. Besides the advantage of building immunity, the other advantages are that at the vaccination appointment, your kitten gets a full health check by the veterinarian and also gets dewormed and something for tick, fleas and mites prevention. As the cat parents, you get to ask questions about your baby, e.g. the food to feed and how much, when to sterilise the pet or any other concerns one might have. 

Yes, there are disadvantages associated with vaccination, including stress to the pet baby, but in most cases, the veterinary staff can control and ease the stress. Sometimes, vaccines have side effects; they can be mild to severe, but they are not very common, and they are rare. These include tenderness at the injection site, vomiting, and diarrhoea being the common ones. Always consult your veterinarian if the pet is unwell after vaccination. 

Vaccination protocols differ from location to location; always consult your vet and discuss the best vaccination protocol for your fur baby. If you want to opt for fewer vaccines, always discuss with your attending vet and run antibody titer for specific diseases e.g. rabies 

DISCLAIMER: Always seek the advice of your nearest veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.