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First Vaccinations

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I had a rather interesting debate with the vet nurse at the surgery the other day.

I mentioned that I was getting a 6 week old kitten. She said that it had to be immunised the second they were taken away from the mother cat. I didn't agree with this and questioned her statement because I thought that it would be too early as there would be the mother's antibodies in the kitten that could intefere with the vaccination.

Needless to say this discussion went nowhere after this point as the vet nurse became very huffy and kept muttering. So far, the now seven week old kitten has not had any vaccinations. He shows no signs of ill health and I have broken the golden rule and allowed him to interact with my two older cats before any shots have been administered.

My older two are up to date with their vaccinations and every kitty is an indoor kitty. I know the risks and have the funds to deal with a crisis if it does occur.
post #2 of 4
You were right under most conditions.

The first milk a kitten receives after birth contains colostrum and it’s rich in antibodies that protect the kitten until he’s about seven or eight weeks. If he gets his shots at six weeks, mom’s immunity can interfere with the vaccine attacking the part in the vaccine that causes the kitten to build up his own antibodies. It doesn’t hurt him, but he’s not protected by the vaccination either. Pretty much a waste of money.

Kittens For Dummies discusses recommendations made by The American Association of Feline Practioners and Academy of Feline Advisory Panel headed by James Richards of Cornell. They recommend first shots at eight weeks for a kitten with a mom and six weeks for an orphan because he hasn't benefited as much from mom's antibodies.

However, IMHO, if mom is a stray, you don't know if she has immunity. Under those circumstances it might be safer to waste one shot than risk waiting.

To provide the most consistent protection, they should receive additional shots three to four weeks apart until they reach 12 weeks.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
The mother of the kitten wasn't a stray. She happens to have some rather careless owners and hasn't been spayed. I'll be waiting one more week before taking him to be vaccinated. Thanks for your reply.
post #4 of 4
You said mom belonged to irresponsible people. If she hasn't been fixed she may not have her shots. An uninnoculated cat may not have immunity to pass on.
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