Newborn kittens get necessary antibodies from the healthy mother's milk, which protects them until they are about 6 to 8 weeks old, explains WebMD. The veterinarian determines when to administer the series of core vaccines, including vaccines to protect against several respiratory viruses, feline herpes type 1 and rabies.
The veterinarian also determines which non-core vaccines the kittens need and when to administer them, based on their lifestyle, notes WebMD. Some of these include vaccines to protect against feline leukemia virus, Bordetella, Chylamydophilia felis and feline immunodeficiency virus.
Most cats handle receiving vaccines well, but owners should monitor kittens for signs of distress, including fever, vomiting, swelling, lameness or loss of appetite, cautions WebMD. Owners should contact a veterinarian immediately if signs of adverse reactions appear.