The immunity a mother gives to her kittens decreases over time. Kittens, from an average age of eight to twelve weeks, run the risk of becoming infected with all kinds of pathogens. The importance of timely and complete vaccination can, therefore, not be emphasized enough. If the mother cat is vaccinated against cat disease in time, her kittens can, for the most part, take up antibodies against these diseases through breast milk. The intestines of kittens are especially susceptible to these antibodies on the very first day of life. That’s why it’s so crucial that kittens start drinking properly immediately after birth. The antibodies provide optimal protection for an average of eight weeks. After that, the mother’s immunity begins to decrease slowly. At the age of about twelve weeks, the kittens are very susceptible to infections. Therefore, kittens that have not yet been fully vaccinated should be kept away from foreign cats and their feces.
The final vaccination schedule is determined by the environment in which the kittens grow up. The more likely they are to be infected there, the more extensive the vaccination schedule should be. Only the veterinarian, who is well aware of the circumstances, can judge and advise this. Even in a private flat at ten high, cat disease virus can be introduced, for example, under shoes. This virus is insensitive to dehydration and disinfectants outside the body. It can survive for up to a year in the outside world.
Unfortunately, several infectious diseases are known to have a severe course, against which vaccines do not yet exist. FIV and FIP are regularly found in cats (see also Infectious and immune disorders). Although there is a vaccination against FIP on the market, it is very controversial. The vaccination gives no guarantee of protection, but on the contrary, an increased risk of infection!
For many diseases, however, cats can be vaccinated for sufficient protection.