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too many shots?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I have heard from people that it is unnecessary to give yearly shots to your cat, and that you only need to do the initial ones... is this true? Dante has all of his first shots now, and has been neutured, should we keep bringing him to vet on a regular basis or only if we think there is a problem? The vet told me that he needs to get shots every year... so i'm just confused about this conflicting info.
post #2 of 14
I have heard every year is not good. Its like overloading the system when not needed. I have been told that the vaccines last years. The rabies shot though needs to be done every year or every 3 yrs depending on the location you live. When we got Ping I told the vet upfront that I only wanted him to have only the most nessaccary shots. He is an indoor cat that I will never willingly let out. So far our vet had abided by that and has not pushed the issue with me.

And while I say that I do want to make it clear that IMO they should go to the vet at least once a year for an annual check up to make sure all is well.

Hopefully someone with more cat experience can give more detailed info and advice.
post #3 of 14
I think the argument was that if they are indoor cats and not subjected to anything outside, you don't need them.

However, the only yearly shots my cats get are the upper respitory and the rabies. Rabies is a manditory thing in some cities so you need to find out.

Personally, I will continue to get their yearlies.

Both those shots exist in a 3 year dose which is what I plan to do. It costs a little more and this year 20$ was 20$.
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Dante is a strictly indoor cat, but we do travel a lot. He does come into contact occasionally with another outdoor cat, and a dog. Does this affect how many shots he needs?
post #5 of 14
Apparently the current thinking is that vaccination every three years will provide protection upper respiratory diseases and rabies. Here's a link to an article on the subject.

There are two vets at the clinic I use. One still believes in annual vaccinations (three of my cats see him) and the other has converted to the three year interval (four of my cats see her). When the three have their annual exams next year I plan to ask about changing to the three year interval for their vaccinations.

They only receive the upper respiratory vaccinations. Rabies vaccinations are not required in Hawaii due to strict vaccination and quarantine laws for animals entering the state.
post #6 of 14
Once a cat (or dog, horse, human, etc.) has become immune to a virus, the immunity usually lasts for life. That's why yearly shots are not needed as was originally thought. Most vets still recommend annual shots though, either because they aren't aware of the new studies, or because they think people won't bring their pets in at all if they don't "need" shots every year. Personally, I don't vaccinate my adult cats except for the required rabies, but I still take them to the vet for regular checkups. They always ask if I want the other shots, and I just politely refuse.
post #7 of 14
When we picked up Charlie, we were told that you should be doing shots every 3 yrs now - not yearly (just found that out). So Charlie's got his set of kitten shots and rabies. Because he will need the rabies shot as an adult, I'll take him in end of next year for all of them. Then do it every 3 yrs.
post #8 of 14
They do make three year vaccines, HOWEVER, many vets do not carry them because they have not been on the market long enough to show that there are no other problems with them. (does anyone remember the heartworm shot?) Also, they have already shown that cats who get these 3 year vaccines have an increased risk of having an allergic reaction or, worse still, developing a type of cancer at the injection site due to more adjuvants which are what help make the vaccine last longer.
I personally think the safest thing is to due is titers on your cat. They are more costly then the vaccine, but at least your not putting unneeded chemicals in your babies body. Most states that require rabies vaccines will accept having rabies titers done.
Finally, if your cat is being exposed to another cat who is outdoors and you do NOT know if the other cat is leukemia or AIDS positive I would either get you cat vaccinated for it or do not let them play together. Leukemia is transferred through saliva and all it takes is for the other cat to sneeze, hiss, or even drink out of the same water bowl as your cat to get it. AIDS is a little more difficult to contract, and mostly requires contact with the blood of the affected cat. (bites or scratches) Your cat can NOT get anything from the dog so I wouldn't worry about that one.
I do agree that you should have your pet examined at least once yearly if they are under the age of 8. If they are older it is best to take them for an exam twice a year and preform a full bloodwork panel (inculding T4 test) once yearly. Remember that your pets age MUCH faster then you. By the time there 8 in human years, in cat years, they're nearly 60's! When you're 60 are you going to wait 7 years in between your doctors visits? A LOT can change in one year for a cat so it's best to catch things early before they become a MAJOR problem.
Best wishes in deciding what to do.
post #9 of 14
Shorty - are you talking about the FELV/FIP vaccines or the 4 in 1 vaccine when you say about the 3 yr.

I honestly don't think Charlies breeder (who's husband IS a vet) would tell me to give him the 3 yr ones if it was not safe - they give it to their show cats.

They did tell me not to give the FELV one (which I won't anyway).
post #10 of 14
Actually the cancer at the shot site is from the yearly shots. This is caused by damaging that area over and over with the injections. If the vet rotates the injection site, the risk of cancer is greatly redused.

Cats can get fleas from both dogs and cats and this can lead to tape worms, as the flea is part of the tape worm life cycle.

I know that both dogs and cats can get rabies. Many of the Rabies shots are live culture so can theoretically be passed through a bite or nip that breaks the skin.

Kittens and puppies that get their shots can pass on illnesses as they shed the live virus from their shots. Never allow a kitten who has just had it's shots around kitten who has had no shots. They can be affected by the live virus from the shots.

Just my two cents worth.

post #11 of 14
3 year rabies and FeLV vaccines have a higher risk of causing a cat to develop a fibrosarcoma because of the increased amount of aluminum (one of the adjuvants) in the vaccine. It is safer, fibrosarcoma wise, to vaccinate your cat every year then to give your cat a 3 year rabies vaccine or a 3 year FeLV vaccine. They have still been doing more testing on the 3 year distemper vaccine since it is the newest of them all. They DID decrease the adjuvants in the distemper vaccine, but I personally wouldn't vaccinate my pet with it since it hasn't been out long enough to prove one way or the other. I work for 5 differant vets, none of which will give a cat a 3 year vaccine. They will however, vaccinate a dog with the three year vaccine because dogs do not develop fibrosarcomas from being vaccinated. The vets I work for use a vaccine called PUREVAX which has eliminated the adjuvants known to cause these fibrosacomas. Here are some sites with some more information:


The safest thing you can do for your pet is to preform titers which prove the vaccine is still active in your animal since a regular 1 years vaccine can last up to 3 years without the increased risk of fibrosarcoma.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Sorry if this is a stupid question.. what is titers?
post #13 of 14
Originally Posted by sweatereyes View Post
Sorry if this is a stupid question.. what is titers?
Not stupid... blood tests for antibody levals...

My vet said yes increased tumors on three yr rabies ( she does one yr or three yr at your discresion) but not for the 3 in1
post #14 of 14
A titer is a blood test that checks the amount of antibodies being produced by the body against a particular virus. For example, I had my pre-exposure Rabies vaccine series three years ago. I am due to have blood drawn for a Rabies Titer for myself. If the amount of antibodies is below a certain amount then I do not have adequate protection against the virus, and would need to be re-boostered. Luckily, I should be protected for many years to come!!!

I work at a feline exclusive veterinary clinic and our protocol is every 3 years for the FVRCP (Distemper) vaccine once the cat has gone through it's kitten series, and the Rabies vaccine is given annually. The Rabies vaccine that we use is the Purevax vaccination, which is much safer than the 3 year K9/fel vaccine. It is a feline only vacc and it is non-adjuvented. We only use the non-adjuvented vaccines (FVRCP, FeLV, and Rabies) and vaccines needed are based on the lifestyle of the cat/kitten. We DO NOT recommend the FIV, FIP vaccines.

Hope this helps!!!
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