Kitten vaccinations should be considered a crucial aspect of good pet ownership, as kittens are susceptible to catching a range of preventable, but potentially devastating illnesses. Some pet owners may assume that their pet will have already had all their kitten vaccinations by the time they are ready to be collected from the breeder. After all, many kittens are advertised for sale as “vaccinated”. But this will often mean they’ve only received their first vaccinations (generally given when a kitten is 6-8 weeks old).
Why are kitten vaccinations started at such a young age? Because while a kitten is born with some maternal antibodies (offering a certain amount of protection for their young immune systems), these antibodies will start to fade as the kitten gets older. Therefore, it’s important to start vaccinations early (before all the maternal antibodies fade) to make sure your kitten isn’t left defenceless in the face of a contagious infection. Kitten vaccinations will then need to continue at 3-4 week intervals, usually until the kitten is around 16 weeks old.