Kitten vaccinations are an essential step that every owner should take to protect their feline pet from common and potentially deadly illnesses and diseases such as Leukaemia, Calicivirus, Herpes and Enteritis.
Vaccines should be administered by a trained vet and should be given within a set timeframe to ensure the maximum amount of immunity.
On this page, we’ll explain the options you have, the average cost of kitten vaccinations and provide a schedule for the initial treatment and follow up “booster” injections.
What These Vaccines Protect Against
Below is a list of the critical illnesses and diseases that vaccines will protect your pet from:
Cat Flu (AKA Calicivirus and Herpes)
Cat flu is a particularly aggressive illness that leads to Herpes and Calicivirus which can affect the cat in several ways:
- Eye and nasal discharge.
- Coughing and wheezing.
- Weight loss.
- Fever and general lethargy.
This infection is spread by fluid discharge from the eye, nasal and wheezing. Cats that are infected also become carriers, helping to spread the illness to other unvaccinated cats.
This disease can lead to other serious illnesses, the most worrying being the destruction of the cat’s immune system.
Cancer, infertility and neurological problems are also known side effects of Feline Leukaemia.
There is currently no known treatment for this illness, only palliative care and anti-viral tablets. The average life expectancy of a cat diagnosed with Leukaemia is 3-4 years.
Feline Enteritis (also knows as Feline Parvovirus)
Enteritis is one of the most contagious feline diseases in the UK and is also known as Parvovirus. This also causes similar problems in dogs as well:
- Growth deformities.
- Weight loss.
- Blood infections leading to a drop in the white cell count.
What Does a Primary Vaccination Schedule Look Like?
The schedule for kitten and cat vaccinations is very similar to that required for dogs and puppies.
The first treatment is given by injection between 8-9 weeks of age.
Your pet should be kept indoors as the first treatment doesn’t provide complete immunisation.
The second vaccination is again provided by injection and is usually administered 2-4 weeks after the first.
How Soon After The Second Vaccine Can a Kitten Go Outside?
Immunity is usually achieved one week after the second vaccine.
Your pets should stay indoors until then and also be kept away from unvaccinated animals.
What Are Boosters?
Booster vaccinations ensure your pet cat remains immune throughout its life.
These “top-up” vaccinations are usually administered every year and are slightly cheaper than a first “core” vaccine.
If you miss a booster vaccine, you may need to pay for a core vaccine again.
Booster vaccines are especially important if you already have cats and wish to purchase another one.
What Do I Need to Travel Abroad With My Pet?
Update 2021: Pet Passports issued in the UK are longer accepted in the EU so to take your cat to the continent, you’ll need:
- Rabies vaccination.
- An animal health certificate from your vet unless you have a Pet Passport issue from Northern Ireland or an EU country.
If you’re taking your cat to a non-EU country, you’ll need an export health certificate.
Cost to Vaccinate a Kitten
We contacted 12 vets in the UK as part of our research in 2021; we asked them for dog and cat immunisation prices (see puppy immunisation costs here). Below you’ll find the results of our findings for kittens:
|1st and 2nd Vaccination||£53|
|Cat Annual Booster||£41|
|Pet Health Check (recommended for newly homed puppies and kittens)||£26|
|Pet Passport (inc microchip, rabies jab and document)||£128|
The prices above are an average of the 12 quotes we received.
As our 12 vets were chosen from various locations from the UK, there was some variation in the price, and you may pay a different amount.
Are You Struggling Financially?
The RSPCA may offer limited financial help to those who are finding it challenging to afford cat immunisation and boosters.
Go and check out the Veterinary Financial Assistance page on their website if you need more information about this service.
We feel these websites are a great resource and worth exploring:
A case arguing why we’re over-vaccinating cats (it’s always good to get an opposite viewpoint)