I have a question about vaccine schedules.

I spay and neuter all my kittens before they leave my cattery and this is approximately at the age of 11 to 12 weeks old. The kittens get their first vaccinations at this time too - is it harmful in any way to have them fixed before their immune system has fully developed? Is it better to give them their first vaccinations at six weeks?

Question submitted by:

Judy F.

Judy’s Cuties Cattery

This is an excellent question Judy! Let’s start with their immune system which is fully capable of responding to the vaccinations during the ages you specify. The only qualifier would be that early vaccination (6-8 weeks) has the chance of being blocked by the maternal antibodies received from the queen.  That is one reason vaccines are boostered. Vaccination schedules should be developed with your veterinarian so all risks to the kittens taken into account. If your cattery is a closed cattery with proper cattery management than the vaccines surely could be started at eight weeks of age. If the risk of disease is higher then an earlier start to vaccination would be in order.  Spaying and neutering them at three months of age would not affect their ability to respond to a vaccine. However, vaccinating the same day is not advisable because of the effects of general anesthesia and surgery on the immune system.