Do indoor kittens need to be vaccinated and do they still spray after being neutered?
Original Question: Is it necessary to vaccinate an indoor kitten and do all cats spray even after neutering? - Heather
All kittens, whether indoor or not, should receive a series of core vaccinations at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age for common diseases. This includes vaccination for feline herpesvirus, calicivirus and panleukpenia, often referred to as “FVRCP” for short. They should also receive a rabies vaccination at 12 or 16 weeks of age. Rabies vaccination of all dogs and cats is required by law in almost every municipality in Ontario under the Health Protection and Promotion Act. Your veterinarian can guide you further on how frequently to booster these vaccines once your cat is an adult.
There are additional vaccinations (such as leukemia virus) that may be recommended by your vet based on lifestyle/risk of exposure. Most veterinarians in North America follow vaccinations recommendations set by the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), which regularly publishes guidelines based on the most up-to-date scientific research.
Regarding spraying – this is a normal behaviour done by mature male cats in which they mark or “spray” urine on inanimate objects in order to mark territory or identify it as their own. This is heavily influenced by testosterone, which is a hormone primarily produced by the testes. While normal, it can be unpleasant if the cat is meant to be kept indoors as a companion animal. If we neuter a cat (remove the testes) before he develops this behaviour, then there is a good chance of preventing it from becoming a problem. If the behaviour has already started, then neutering can reduce its frequency, but this can never be guaranteed entirely. I encourage you to take a look at our article on the 5 ways to Stop Your Cat from Spraying for more information on this topic.
I hope this helps answer your questions!
Dr. Kim Hester
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