Key Facts Every First Time Feline Owner Should Know When Determining Which Immunizations Their New Indoor Kitten Needs

27 July 2017
 Categories: , Blog

As the first-time owner of a new, indoor kitten, arranging for its medical care is crucial. However, one common mistake that new pet parents often make is assuming that their indoor cat does not need any immunizations. Alternatively, another error often seen is the belief that solitary, indoor kittens will need the same shots that groups of cats or those that live or spend extended periods of time outside will need. The truth is that only some kitten vaccinations are absolutely essential, while others may only be recommended in certain situations. If your new kitten is your only cat and never comes into contact with other felines, he or she is much less likely to come into contact with an infected cat and therefore might not need all of the non-core immunizations. Therefore, it's best to consider the following information about core immunizations so that your new furry family member's future health can be protected.  

There Are Two Classifications Of Immunizations, But Only One Group Is Recommended For Virtually Every Kitten 

It is sometimes surprising to learn that there are two different groups of immunizations for kittens and cats. One is known as core vaccines and they are the minimum protection that every kitten needs to stay healthy. The other group is known as non-core immunizations and are either required only in some areas or on a case-by-case basis after evaluating your kitten's health, ancestry, etc. 

That means that in order for your new kitty to have the best chance for a long and healthy life, you need to make sure that he or she gets the core immunizations as directed. The non-core immunizations should be discussed with your veterinarian and together, you can devise an appropriate plan for the necessary protection. The section below will allow you to have a better understanding of core immunizations and what they protect against.  

Understanding Core Immunizations

Core immunizations provide protection against many of the most common and life-threatening illnesses that a cat might come in contact with.  Some shots medicate for more than one illness, while others, such as the rabies vaccine are administered singly. 

Examples Of Core Vaccines for felines Include:

  • Panleukopenia

  • Herpesvirus 

  • Calicivirus 

  • Rabies

The panleukopenia shot protects against distemper, which can spread quickly from one cat to another. It presents with vomiting and diarrhea, which then results in death for many cats who develop it. The herpesvirus vaccine, as you might guess by its name, protect against herpes. However, the herpes virus for cats manifests with symptoms similar to the flu and is a leading cause of upper respiratory infections. Sadly, since some cats are prone to breathing problems in the first place, even a mild case of herpes can lead to significant health problems or even death. 

The protection provided by the calicivirus vaccine is also designed to prevent upper respiratory infections. It is important to note there is no cure for it and it can only be managed. The rabies vaccine is self-explanatory, but it is often surprising to discover that cats who contract that dreaded disease can take months to become symptomatic.  

In conclusion, the provision of immunizations for a kitten who will live exclusively inside your home as an only cat is not as cut-and-dried of a decision as you might think. As a result, it's important to be aware of the above facts when determining how and when the appropriate vaccinations will be given to your new kitten. If you're interested in finding out more, visit a site such as