If you have recently adopted a kitten, you likely cannot wait to get your new little household member home and settled. However, while all you may want to do is snuggle with your kitten, you will also need to take steps to ensure that they stay as healthy as possible. One of these steps that you can take to protect and care for your new kitten is to get them vaccinated. However, if you have never had a kitten before, you may not know much about pet vaccinations. Get to know some of the facts that you should know about vaccinating your kitten. Then, you can be sure your tiny purring friend gets the best care possible.
Most Vaccines Are Optional
When it comes to vaccinating your cat, most of the vaccines are considered optional. The major exception to this rule is the rabies vaccine, which most states require for domestic cats. Other states may also require additional vaccines. As such, it is important to discuss which vaccines are required and which you can pick and choose from for your kitten.
Kittens Are More Susceptible to Certain Diseases
Some of the conditions that cats are vaccinated for are more of an issue for kittens rather than adult cats. Kittens have a less-developed immune system than adult cats, and, as a result, are far more likely to become ill if they come into contact with bacteria or viruses.
One of the conditions that hits kittens the hardest is known as feline panleukopenia (feline distemper). It is a viral infection that causes the body to have low levels of white blood cells, which in turn makes it difficult for a feline to fight off infections. Because kittens already have a weaker immune system, this condition is often fatal if contracted.
Keeping Your Kitten Indoors Can Help
Whether you decide to get all of the required and optional vaccinations for your kitten or not, you will want to take further steps to protect your kitten from coming into contact with these diseases. Vaccines against feline distemper, feline leukemia, and feline rhinotracheitis are all highly effective, but there is always a chance (however slight) that an infection could still occur.
The best way to further protect your kitten is to keep them as an indoor cat rather than an indoor/outdoor cat. Keeping your kitten indoors will prevent them from coming into direct contact with cats that might be infected, as well as objects contaminated by infected bodily fluids.
Now that you know some of the important facts about vaccinating your kitten, you can be sure you get them to the veterinarian for vaccinations as soon as possible.