QUESTION: How long after my new kitten’s vaccines can I safely expose her to my other cats, both who are a cat flu carrier?
“Hi, We are bringing home a new kitten soon and I want to make sure she is protected from catching cat flu. My other two cats are both carriers of cat flu. I do realize there is no real guarantee by having her vaccinated. However, just wondering if two weeks after getting her first vaccination is a long enough time? Or do I make sure she has the full course of three vaccinations before she is exposed to my other cats? Do I understand it correctly that it will take at least two weeks for her antibodies to be stimulated and able to protect her. Thanks” Katie in Austin.
Hello Katie, congratulations on your new kitten, I hope she will have a wonderfully long and happy life with you. Regarding the vaccination question … if you have a read of my vaccinations for cats posts here on my website, you will see that my own opinion on vaccinations is that they don’t work and are very harmful in the long-term. Vaccine damage is a very real health problem. Even the experts agree that you can’t vaccinate against “viruses”, and Cat Flu is a virus. I never vaccinate my cats. In fact I often say that I would crawl 100 miles on broken glass to prevent them getting any vaccines.
Firstly, please understand and remember that I am not any sort of professional, and all information here on my website is my own personal opinion. No-one should take it as being factual prior to doing some research for themselves.
I have gone into a bit of depth elsewhere on my site regarding vaccines, but here is a couple more points that may help you in your vaccinating decision, in my simple lay-woman’s words:
Until your new kitten is around 16 weeks old, there are still maternal anti-bodies circulating in her system. She gets these antibodies from her mother’s milk. The problem with vaccinating young kittens is that the vaccine has to fight against the natural anti-bodies. Whether there is a positive reaction (in vaccine manufactureres eyes) and uptake of the vaccine is dependent on the individual kittens immune system, and the strength of these maternal antibodies. This is the reason that there is a course of THREE vaccines for kittens – it’s like throwing mud at a wall and just hoping that some of it will stick.
When a vaccine is administered, there are chemical additives in it that actually “switch off” the immune system. This has to be included so the vaccine is able to get into the system, otherwise the body would fight it off. According to Dr Jean Dodds (one of the world’s leading vaccine researchers and experts), the length of time the immune system remains “switched off” depends, again, on the individual. It can range from as short as only ten days – to as long as three or four months.
So you need to understand that in the period following a vaccine, your new kitten is vulnerable. And not just to the cat flu, but to everything.
It is for this reason that I suggest to people who will not consider the non-vaccinating approach, that they are better to wait until their kitten is at least 16 weeks old before her first vaccination. And also, if you wait that long, then only one shot is needed, because there should be no maternal anti-bodies still present to hinder the vaccines uptake.
Secondly … It is highly likely that your new kitten has already been exposed to Cat Flu. It is believed that somewhere around 80-90 percent of any cat population are cat flu carriers. If you have a browse around the internet, you will see how widespread Cat Flu problems are. It doesn’t matter where you get your new kitten from, because the odds are high she has been exposed to the cat flu virus already by her mother and other housemates in her very early days.
My best suggestion for anyone dealing with cat flu, is to treat the symptoms with supportive care and ensure you are feeding an optimal raw and fresh diet, to keep your kitten in the best possible health.
Anyway, check out my other articles on vaccinations here on Kitty Health website, and please follow some of the links to where you can find scientific and anecdotal information to help you in your decision.