It is important to vaccinate your cat against disease. If you own a kitten, ask your vet which shots he needs and when. In general, kittens receive their first series of inoculations when they are approximately eight weeks old. The vet will schedule booster shots three to four weeks after the first series of vaccinations. As the kitten grows, he will need booster shots every year (or every three years, depending on the vaccination and the vet's recommendation).
Talk to your vet about the vaccination process, and ask her to explain each vaccination in detail. Be sure you understand what each type is for and why your kitten needs or does not need it. Always ask questions if you are confused about any aspect of your cat's health care needs.
It is always a good idea to get a medical history from your cat's former owner. This allows you to know all about his previous medical care. You will know when he received his last physical and which vaccinations (if any) he has already had. However, if you adopt a stray and have no medical history for him, tell the vet that your cat needs a complete checkup and all necessary vaccinations. Do not assume that your adopted stray is healthy and disease free.
Based on your cat's lifestyle, if he is an indoor only cat or a single cat, the vet may recommend that you skip some vaccinations because he will not have had any exposure to disease. If you have a multiple cat household, make sure that each one is vaccinated. One sick animal could make your healthy pets seriously ill.
Occasionally, kittens and adults have mild reactions to vaccinations. The symptoms include sneezing, fever, lethargy and loss of appetite. Whenever your cat gets a vaccination, observe him after you bring him home from the vet's office and be alert for signs of a reaction. If he has a reaction or serious side effects such as vomiting or trouble breathing, take him back to the vet at once.