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How important is shots?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone! I just found this forum. I'm happy I did.

Okay, So for the last year i've been taking care of about 20 "feral" cats. Since october I've had 4 feral cats move into my house. (They are the only cats living in my house, I have 2 dogs and a bird and ferrets and a bunch of other animals though haha.) Since December I've been getting the feral cats in my neighborhood spayed/neutered with the help of a low cost spay and neutering program. The cats in my house are fixed, also. But my question is tomorrow I have an appointment to get the 4 cats that are living in my house their shots. I'm wondering how necessary it is? I hate to sound cheap but I seriously don't have any money. I have 210 bucks to my name and all of that would go towards my cats shots. Do they really need their shots? They don't go outside anymore and they don't really have any contact with other cats. Sometimes I bring the cats from outside in, but only for one night, when they have an appointment to be fixed the following day...but even then they're not really around my indoor cats. So how necessary is it to get my cats their shots? My indoor cats have already been around the outside cats their whole life...so even if I did ebring them in..it's not like they are going to contract some kind of disease from cats they've been around their whole life, right? I don't know. I just really need to save money because it already cost me around 100 bucks a month to feed 20 cats, and then on top of toys and neutering and yada yada i'm trying to cut corners. UNLESS IT'S NECESSARY BECAUSE I REALLY LOVE MY CATS AND WANT THE BEST FOR THEM.

Thanks for reading this.

P.S. what can my cats have? Feline aids/leukemia? Do a lot of ferals have that? Tomorrow if I want to get my cats the leukemia/aids shots will the vet do a test to see if they already have it and how much does that typically cost?
post #2 of 16
Sorry for changing the subject but how important are shots/getting spayed or neutered for indoor cats only? My kitten is about 12-14 weeks now and I am wondering how much everything would cost total and if I really need them? I don't want to sound cheap but I am not in a position to be spending a lot of cash.
post #3 of 16
Definitely get all of them spayed and neutered, indoor or not. Also rabies shot for everyone as it is the law. FeLV testing would be great for all cats, especially the males. But a FeLV vaccine for the outdoor cats would be a good idea.

Vaccines (FVRCP) are kind of a controversial topic. I would say one time as an adult and one time only personally. That is after the kitten series of shots of course. Indoor cats I don't vaccinate every year. Since you deal with strays, I would do the indoor cats every three years. I don't think it makes sense to vaccinate any living thing every year, cat or dog or you yourself. Do you get shots every year for the same thing? That doesn't even make sense to me let alone sound healthy.
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by dN-WaKE View Post
Sorry for changing the subject but how important are shots/getting spayed or neutered for indoor cats only? My kitten is about 12-14 weeks now and I am wondering how much everything would cost total and if I really need them? I don't want to sound cheap but I am not in a position to be spending a lot of cash.
Absolutely spay and neuter. It can be done at 8 weeks or 2lbs at many vets. Remember cats can possibly begin to reproduce as young as 4-5 months....

If not spayed and they aren't part of a responsible breeding program, males and females can get cancers and females can get a really nasty disease called Pyometra...DEADLY...

Also rabies is a law in many places....
post #5 of 16
You will get better responses on your feral colony in the forum for strays and ferals. But, where do you live? There are often many resources available for stray and feral cats to be spayed/neutered and vaccinated at discounted costs or even free. IMO, it is very important to have the colony tested for FeLV and FIP, as well as to have them fixed and vaccinated. You are doing a good thing by feeding them, and even better by inquiring about veterinary care, so hopefully someone can point you in the right direction to find an affordable vet or program in which to have them speutered and vaccinated.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen View Post
FeLV testing would be great for all cats, especially the males.
Why do you advise "especially" the males? That is very misleading/inaccurate information. Any cat, male or female, potentially exposed to FeLV should be tested. Both sexes pose a risk for spreading the disease, as well as becoming ill and dying from infection.
post #6 of 16
I volunteer for the local shelter. I've had the honor of holding babies as they die of distemper, and taking in their mother holding her while she's euthanized. The owners cut out on distemper shots....not bothering to get mom spayed. As a result, 9 week old kittens died as well as their 2 year old mother (who had her initial distemper shot, booster at 1 year).

I say shots every 1-3 years, depending on the vet.
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteforest View Post
Why do you advise only the males? That is very misleading/inaccurate information.
actually, she didn't say ONLY the males, but ESPECIALLY the males. i'd hazard a guess it's because they have more of a tendency to fight?
my vet said that FeLV was a 'friendly cat' virus - it's spread thru friendly contact [according to the vet, not me].
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteforest View Post
You will get better responses on your feral colony in the forum for strays and ferals. But, where do you live? There are often many resources available for stray and feral cats to be spayed/neutered and vaccinated at discounted costs or even free. IMO, it is very important to have the colony tested for FeLV and FIP, as well as to have them fixed and vaccinated. You are doing a good thing by feeding them, and even better by inquiring about veterinary care, so hopefully someone can point you in the right direction to find an affordable vet or program in which to have them speutered and vaccinated.





Why do you advise "especially" the males? That is very misleading/inaccurate information. Any cat, male or female, potentially exposed to FeLV should be tested. Both sexes pose a risk for spreading the disease, as well as becoming ill and dying from infection.
Oops I meant especially the males for FIV. But really everyone should be tested ideally. That is correct laureen, FeLV is spread very easily through grooming, sharing food bowls, boxes, as well as fighting. FIV is the one not spread nearly as easily. I believe the easiest way to spread FIV is through very deep puncture (fighting) wounds so that is why I said intact males. Unless there is evidence of fighting with a female that you have, then test her too.
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
I volunteer for the local shelter. I've had the honor of holding babies as they die of distemper, and taking in their mother holding her while she's euthanized. The owners cut out on distemper shots....not bothering to get mom spayed. As a result, 9 week old kittens died as well as their 2 year old mother (who had her initial distemper shot, booster at 1 year).

I say shots every 1-3 years, depending on the vet.

I worked at a shelter for a few years, and vaccinations are important. My cats get their distemper shots every 3 yrs, and Rabies vaccinations annually (I use the Merial Purevax for their Rabies vaccination, it's non-adjuvented and less likely to cause cancer). Once it's approved for 3 yr use we will do that.
post #10 of 16
To me, the vaccinations are just as important as they were for my children. There are controversies about some of the vaccinations. But statiscally, your cat will live longer and healthier if they are vaccinated.
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by dN-WaKE View Post
Sorry for changing the subject but how important are shots/getting spayed or neutered for indoor cats only? My kitten is about 12-14 weeks now and I am wondering how much everything would cost total and if I really need them? I don't want to sound cheap but I am not in a position to be spending a lot of cash.
Absolutely spay/neuter. That shouldn't even be negotiable. There are many low cost spay/neuter clinics that are going to be a good way to go if $ is an issue. Contact your local humane society for recommendations on where to spay/neuter for not much $, or go through http://www.spayusa.org/, OR do a simple google search for "spay neuter clinic" with your hometown added to the search. Your kitten is already old enough for the surgery. A male is going to be slightly less expensive than a female. Where I used to live, they would have neuter days for males and it was only $28. Sometimes your local animal control office will have coupons for spay/neuter surgery, that's also worth looking for.

It's important for males to be done as early as possible to prevent them from spraying/marking (a.k.a. peeing all over your home). Females can go into heat as early as 4 months (maybe earlier) and you certainly can't risk it. I don't know if you've ever heard a female cat in heat, but the constant meowing is VERY annoying! That's reason enough to spay Even if the kitten is indoor-only, cats have a way of escaping (especially while in heat). Obviously the #1 reason to spay/neuter is to prevent more kittens from entering a world where there just aren't enough homes for them, let alone room in shelters.

Also, there are numerous health benefits to spaying/neutering. It reduces your kittens' chance for many health problems later down the road.

There are many ways to save $ when it comes to owning a cat - spending less on food (although this also is not a great place to skimp), buying super cheap litter or wood stove pellets, not buying thousands of treats or toys, etc. Spaying/neutering is not something that can be passed on.
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by mzjazz2u View Post
To me, the vaccinations are just as important as they were for my children. There are controversies about some of the vaccinations. But statiscally, your cat will live longer and healthier if they are vaccinated.
I agree vaccines are important as kittens into adult hood. But it is revaccinating every single year that just blows my mind. I am curious, do parents vaccinate their children every year? I didn't think so but I could be wrong...
post #13 of 16
Is rabies also required in California?
post #14 of 16
My indoor only kittens (litter mates) had shots FVHP, something like that, not Rabies because they would NOT ever be allowed outside. Now because the mamma cat of the 4 was a fearel Dr. wants to run FeLV on one, he is tring to save me cash, he says the virius will go through the Mammas milk to the kids, so if one is pos. all will prolly be. Your outside cats will have fleas, that too = worms, and that will go to your other animals, and to you too.
And just for fun, some of the kid vaccines are re-done every 5 to 10 years, just like you should have a TB test every couple years, and a Tetnus shot every 10 years. They are also recomending MMR for young adults who were only given the shot once in their life.

K.
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by wingss2fly View Post
And just for fun, some of the kid vaccines are re-done every 5 to 10 years, just like you should have a TB test every couple years, and a Tetnus shot every 10 years. They are also recomending MMR for young adults who were only given the shot once in their life.

K.
Good to know. I didn't think human beings were vaccinated against anything every single year. I just can't believe people are so quick to do it to their pets. It makes absolutely no sense to me at all.
post #16 of 16
Our vet shoots the kids every 3 years.

K.
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