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can someone give me a reason why I should vaccinate my kitten?

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,
So we all know times are tough right now and I got a kitten who is eight weeks old. I set up an appointment for tomorrow to get him to get his first shots. I am having thoughts though. He is going to be 100% an indoor cat and I have no other animals nor do I come into contact with other animals....So I am thinking: is there any point to vaccinating him? He doesn't have worms, I am sure of that now ..and he is so healthy. I don't want to waste any money, and he will need at least 4 vet visits to complete the vaccinations, which will be about $300. And I am also a little worried about him getting some kind of allergic reaction or even catching some germs in the waiting room....Can someone more knowledgeable please tell me what reasons there are for vaccinating an indoor cat????
post #2 of 34
It likely is the law to at least get rabies .... if someone is bitten in some areas they WILL EUTHANIZE an unvaccinated cat without you having recourse ...

Kitten shots IMHO are very important as you can bring in on your person many of these dieseases from outside without knowing it and without direct contact with an animal ... others are airborn and could come in with the breeze ..

I have two vets who make house calls, this elimates most of the clinic risk... which is very very small except for something like a URI (very treatable) ...

Call around for prices ... call the local shelter, often they have low cost shots or will know who does.
post #3 of 34
Where did you get the kitten? You may want to look up the new protocol for vaccinations from the American Veterinary Medical Association. I do not believe in vaccinations routinely but the kitten shots for distemper (it is usually 3 or 4 in one) is important. The shots are usually given every 2-3 weeks and if the 3rd shot is given 16 weeks or later you won't need the fourth, according to my vets. My cats are totally indoor but sometimes I need to take them to the vets, where there a lot of sick animals and some of the diseases are airborne. The other shots you should research and make your own decision.
post #4 of 34
I have a new kitten and the vet tech tried to force us to get the leukemia shot and we refused.
She has all her other shots.
It was in the breeders contract never to get that shot.
My other cats do not get that shot either.
They get the distemper shots.
Find out what shots he is going to give.
I do not do rabies with coco and Meeko to many problems.
Cleo has her Rabies shot and the distemper.
Coco dosent get shots anymore because of her age and problems.
post #5 of 34
Thread Starter 
What's wrong with the leukemia shot? I found a place that charges $50 for first set of vaccines and I am taking him there tomorrow but they didn't tell me anything about which vaccines he will get..I'm just going to trust the vet's judgement...I might call shelters for the next round of shots ..
twokatz that's what i'm worried about when you said they come in contact w/ sick animals at the vet's office- tomorrow will be his first time out of my house and he might be exposed to some germs before he gets the shots
I read distemper spreads from other kittens, and Jake hasn't been in contant with other kittens in the past three weeks. I also read that distemper can be deadly in a young kitten and that they vomit and have a lot of diarrhea, I haven't noticed any of that with Jake for the past three weeks...
post #6 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by ut0pia View Post
What's wrong with the leukemia shot? I found a place that charges $50 for first set of vaccines and I am taking him there tomorrow but they didn't tell me anything about which vaccines he will get..I'm just going to trust the vet's judgement...I might call shelters for the next round of shots ..
twokatz that's what i'm worried about when you said they come in contact w/ sick animals at the vet's office- tomorrow will be his first time out of my house and he might be exposed to some germs before he gets the shots
I read distemper spreads from other kittens, and Jake hasn't been in contant with other kittens in the past three weeks. I also read that distemper can be deadly in a young kitten and that they vomit and have a lot of diarrhea, I haven't noticed any of that with Jake for the past three weeks...


FYI my vet is holistic / conventional meaning she goes natural as much as possible then uses traditional methods...

The only shots my vet recommends is a 3 in 1 or a 4 in 1 and rabies series for kittens ... then a booster ... You need to research how often and what shots to give after kitten
post #7 of 34
In our city you have to have proof of rabies vaccination in order to get licensed. If you decide not to license and they find out it is a HUGE fine.
post #8 of 34
Thread Starter 
At the Atlanta humane society they do something called FVRCP and that costs $25, they do it three times and then once rabies- the third time..It seems like the prices are not bad I think I will take him there for the second and third round...It is $45 for second round and $65 for third...so my total will be about $150..
kara_leigh what's a license? I've never heard of it lol I might be in trouble!
post #9 of 34
What shots are they giving that require a series of four? For kittens my vet does the initial vaccinations, then two boosters about 3 weeks apart. Goldy was older when I got her, but still under a year. She got only the initial shots plus one booster. They won't have to have any more for a year.

Ask specifically what the $50 covers. It should include an examination fee. Maybe I'm just lucky, but I don't pay nearly that much for shots.
post #10 of 34
Don't get the FeLV and FIV vaccinations confused. After an FIV vaccination is given, the cat will test positive for the disease afterwards. The FeLV vaccination is far more effective than 20%, and probably more like 60-75%. I refuse the FIV vaccination but do the FeLV vaccinations.

I vaccinate for FeLV because I used to bring in new cats and kittens, and 2 of my cats are indoor/outdoor. One of the kittens brought FeLV into my house and of the 11 cats that lived with me at the time, only 1 caught the disease, and all were vaccinated. Had I not done the vaccinations, roughly 4-5 of them would have gotten it.

If your kitten ever goes outside the house at all (whether it be to the vets, or an emergency happens), or if you ever plan to adopt another cat while he is alive, vaccinate while they are young to build up their immunity to diseases.
post #11 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
Don't get the FeLV and FIV vaccinations confused. After an FIV vaccination is given, the cat will test positive for the disease afterwards. The FeLV vaccination is far more effective than 20%, and probably more like 60-75%. I refuse the FIV vaccination but do the FeLV vaccinations.

I vaccinate for FeLV because I used to bring in new cats and kittens, and 2 of my cats are indoor/outdoor. One of the kittens brought FeLV into my house and of the 11 cats that lived with me at the time, only 1 caught the disease, and all were vaccinated. Had I not done the vaccinations, roughly 4-5 of them would have gotten it.

If your kitten ever goes outside the house at all (whether it be to the vets, or an emergency happens), or if you ever plan to adopt another cat while he is alive, vaccinate while they are young to build up their immunity to diseases.
Thank you...

I just had several get shots and the vet said not to give the FELV vaccine , upon googling I am thinking it was the tumor risk and my cats overall risk... THIS is a good reason to talk with your vet ....

here is a basic chart with shots available and what they are
http://www.peteducation.com/article....1+1385&aid=951
post #12 of 34
Definitely get your cat the recommended shots. You want to protect the cat's health... can you guarantee that the cat won't escape outside a single time in its whole life? You don't want to risk that, or that your cat might bite someone and be put to sleep. Also, germs can be passed through window screens and on infected rodents, etc.

I wouldn't worry about the cat picking up germs at the vet's office. Your kitten will be in its own carrier most of the time, and the exam table will be sterile. At my vet's office they have a lovely mascot cat who lives there and is fawned over by all the staff. I was surprised by this, and asked, but they said he never gets sick from being around all the sick animals (of course, he's vaccinated).
post #13 of 34
Thread Starter 
I really hope that the $50 covers the exam...The other two vet offices I called said the entire vet visit plus shots will be around $100-$120..
post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
Don't get the FeLV and FIV vaccinations confused. After an FIV vaccination is given, the cat will test positive for the disease afterwards. The FeLV vaccination is far more effective than 20%, and probably more like 60-75%. I refuse the FIV vaccination but do the FeLV vaccinations.

I vaccinate for FeLV because I used to bring in new cats and kittens, and 2 of my cats are indoor/outdoor. One of the kittens brought FeLV into my house and of the 11 cats that lived with me at the time, only 1 caught the disease, and all were vaccinated. Had I not done the vaccinations, roughly 4-5 of them would have gotten it.

If your kitten ever goes outside the house at all (whether it be to the vets, or an emergency happens), or if you ever plan to adopt another cat while he is alive, vaccinate while they are young to build up their immunity to diseases.
Thanks for the clarification. I was getting a little worried since all my cats have had the FeLV shot. Looking at their records, the FIV box is blank. Apparently my vet doesn't even offer it, which is a good thing since I was totally ignorant about cat care when I got my first kitten.
post #15 of 34
If you're going to go to various places to get shots (as many do), please make sure you keep an up-to-date file on your kitty's medical background in a handy place - so that in case you ever have a medical emergency, you can bring in his complete history with you. I can't even remember my own last visit to the internist, and I know in a panic I'd never remember exactly which shots my babies had.

Also, and this is just me, I like to maintain a relationship with a practice (vet or human) - so that I'm a regular client if I need to get in super quickly or ask any other 'favor'. Also, I tend to be in the camp that preventive care, including regular exams, keeps the costs down in the long run. I know it can be hard to dig up that extra cash - my babies have nice clean teeth and regular exams, and I haven't gotten new dress office shoes for 8 months!
post #16 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by ut0pia View Post
At the Atlanta humane society they do something called FVRCP and that costs $25, they do it three times and then once rabies- the third time..It seems like the prices are not bad I think I will take him there for the second and third round...It is $45 for second round and $65 for third...so my total will be about $150..
kara_leigh what's a license? I've never heard of it lol I might be in trouble!
Here we have to get our pets licensed if we live in city limits, or within 3 miles of the city limits. In order to get them licensed you have to have them vaccinated for rabies, otherwise they refuse to license your pet. If you don't license and they find out, it is a hefty fine. It is also much cheaper to license them if they are fixed. Such as cats...an intact cat costs $50 to license, a fixed cat only costs $12. (Other counties are only $15/$5 )
post #17 of 34
My favourite saying is "Owning a cat is a privilege, not a right".

I do not believe that people who cannot afford pets should have them. I would never consider for two seconds whether to get the shots or not for my pet. Here in New Zealand they only need two. One at 9/10 weeks and the booster 2 weeks later. We don't have vaccines for rabies, distemper etc, but we do refuse the chlamydia vaccine for our cats.

Our vet is honest with us and tells us it is unneccessary to get shots when they are adults so we choose not to. I've recently read threads on TCS about the credit crunch and people downgrading the quality of their cats food, that makes me sad, I would rather eat cornflakes then have my cat eat something dyed yellow and green.

I've never been out of Australasia so I can't say whether or not you should get your cat shots, our vet also says it is OK to skip one generation if the parents are vaccinated but if you don't know the parentage that's probably too risky.

You have to have licenses for cats??? We can have as many cats as we like where we live but I think there's a limit on dogs.
post #18 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by WellingtonCats View Post
My favourite saying is "Owning a cat is a privilege, not a right".
agreed 100%

Quote:

I do not believe that people who cannot afford pets should have them. I would never consider for two seconds whether to get the shots or not for my pet. Here in New Zealand they only need two. One at 9/10 weeks and the booster 2 weeks later. We don't have vaccines for rabies, distemper etc, but we do refuse the chlamydia vaccine for our cats.

Our vet is honest with us and tells us it is unneccessary to get shots when they are adults so we choose not to. I've recently read threads on TCS about the credit crunch and people downgrading the quality of their cats food, that makes me sad, I would rather eat cornflakes then have my cat eat something dyed yellow and green.
agreed again, somewhat, but just wanted to point out that 'some' people who own pets, got their pets when they could afford them. We're in a recession now, and alot of people are losing jobs, etc. The animal shelters are full, and most vets won't let you run a tab. I would much rather see someone trying their best to take care of their pet, then throwing it out in a shelter that will euthanize, or letting it out on the street.

"Downgrading" foods is something people feeling the "money crunch" can do easily. Especially if they were feeding a very expensive brand. There are cheaper, just as good brands out there. Again, I would rather see that, then the person putting the cat outside or in a shelter (if they can find a shelter).

The above is ONLY regarding people who know the responsibilities of owning a pet, and were willing, but life has hit them hard lately.

I have no tolerance for those who take on an animal, without thinking about its costs, or take on an animal for the wrong reason.


DEFINATELY get your cat vaccinated, there's been some helpful links and advice in this thread that will help you know which vaccines to get, and which not to get.

It is something I have to do once Kizzy is feeling better too. I do not know which vaccines are offered here, but I most certainly am going to ask.
post #19 of 34
Ok - So: Rabies once /yr due to licensing.
What about FeLV? How often?
post #20 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinalima View Post
Ok - So: Rabies once /yr due to licensing.
What about FeLV? How often?
Rabies should be good for 3 years. My vet does FeLV once a year. I haven't done any research, but I trust my vet. Somebody else my know more about it than I do.
post #21 of 34
I cannot advise on whether or not to get your kitten his shots, I always have gotten mine done.

Since you live in Atlanta though, I can help there. I also live in the area. Registration/licensing is done by county - some require it, and some don't. Usually the vet tells you when you take them in.

I don't know what part of the city you are in, but I have an amazing vet in Norcross. He is an older guy who really believes in pets - he doesn't charge an office fee, though his office hours are sometimes a little strange. I will PM you his information.

Edit: I just called and my vet does the initial kitten exam, fecal and shots for $30, or $35 if he has worms and needs to be treated. That is repeated for a total of 3 rounds of shots 2 weeks apart and then they charge $20 for the rabies at the last visit - so total $110 (or $115 if he has worms) over a 6week period. That does not include the FeLV shot though, they only do that if he is going to be an outside cat or you insist on it.
post #22 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinalima View Post
Ok - So: Rabies once /yr due to licensing.
What about FeLV? How often?
FeLV is done twice as a kitten (the second is a booster) and then yearly after that. I view the FeLV vaccine as optional, and would only do it if I knew I would bring in additional cats in the future, I was purposefully mating a cat, I was at high risk for the cat getting outside, if I had indoor/outdoor cats, or I did any type of fostering/rescue. FeLV is not picked up casually, and needs either extended casual contact or extreme short term contact thru fighting or mating. I stop the vaccination once they hit about 8 years old. I would never, ever get the FIV vaccination.
post #23 of 34
As someone who has recently lost 15 cats/kittens due to FeLV and feline distemper. I urge all of you to scrape up every last cent you can and keep your kittens vaccinated. The only vaccine that is 100% effective is the distemper vaccine, the others are preventatives only. You don't want this virus in your home as it takes no prisoners. It splits cells and wrecks havoc, dehydrates your kitten in half a second and he or she dies from shock. It is not pleasant to deal with and it lives outside the host for 2 years.

Even if you have indoor cats you can still bring this virus home without meaning too. Also, it can lay dormant in a kitten who has survived distemper making her a carrier and she can pass it on to others without her even being symptomatic. It is a dreadful, heartbreaking disease.
post #24 of 34
They just had a outbreak of Distemper in at the pound in Sacramento and they lost most the cats.
The worse part is some people had adopted the sick cats and their cats got Distemper.
Its been all over the news here.
post #25 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by hissy View Post
The only vaccine that is 100% effective is the distemper vaccine.
I agree at least get the distemper. That is a deadly sickness. Rabies if it is required in your area by law. Herpes and Calici are only 50-60% effective and do not cover all strains. You will need at least 2 distempers with one being after the kitten is 16 weeks old.

Any others like Leukemia and chlamydia are not protocol for indoor only cats.

Here is a link for the AAFP vaccine guidelines

http://www.catvets.com/professionals...ations/?Id=176

I recommend taking the time and reading the entire 37 pages to fully understand vaccinations to make your own personal educated decision in what your kitten needs.
post #26 of 34
Thread Starter 
Ok, so the first set of shots got done today. They did give him one for chlamydia and one for distempter, they checked his stool for worms - it was negative. The vet was really really nice, he actually took the time to have a conversation with us about what is best for the kitten and I'm really pleased that I decided to vaccinate him. It's not that I couldn't afford it, it's just that I didn't want to be wasting money, and I was worried he might have an allergic reaction or catch a disease in the process of going. I have had a lot of sick animals in the past which makes me very worried and sometimes paranoid about my pets' health. Jake is extremely healthy now which makes me so happy and I am just afraid to do anything to compromise that, as little chance as there is. He definitely didn't take this visit lightly- he was scared the whole time and now he has been sleeping and sort of sluggish. It should be normal for a day, I hope he is at his best tomorrow. CruiserMaiden gave me an awesome tip with her vet's address which is going to help a lot, it will cut the cost with $20, so that's pretty awesome as well...
post #27 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by mews2much View Post
They just had a outbreak of Distemper in at the pound in Sacramento and they lost most the cats.
The worse part is some people had adopted the sick cats and their cats got Distemper.
Its been all over the news here.
I live up in Redding and I am worried about a kitten that I have that is about (maybe)3.5-4 mo. old. I am TRYING to get enough to get him in to be fixed and get his shots in Jan.

BUT like all of us, money is BAD.. I live on SSI and THAT was cut back in Jan. It is tough to live now. I am a disabled Respiratory Therapist (UCDavis Med Center alum) But, after getting hurt while doing CPR, my life has been hard.

I don't want my kitten to have any problems if I have to wait another month to get him in.

I don't know if the vet will just do the rabies since Sac if very close to us!!

Thanks, Melissa
post #28 of 34
My brother in law lives in Cottonwood.
I was scared because I had to get Cleo at the Sacramento Airport.
She had all her shots before she got on the plane except the leukemia shot which she will not be getting.
I hope you feel better.
Where did you get your kitten from?
post #29 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snake_Lady View Post
agreed 100%



agreed again, somewhat, but just wanted to point out that 'some' people who own pets, got their pets when they could afford them. We're in a recession now, and alot of people are losing jobs, etc. The animal shelters are full, and most vets won't let you run a tab. I would much rather see someone trying their best to take care of their pet, then throwing it out in a shelter that will euthanize, or letting it out on the street.

"Downgrading" foods is something people feeling the "money crunch" can do easily. Especially if they were feeding a very expensive brand. There are cheaper, just as good brands out there. Again, I would rather see that, then the person putting the cat outside or in a shelter (if they can find a shelter).

The above is ONLY regarding people who know the responsibilities of owning a pet, and were willing, but life has hit them hard lately.

I have no tolerance for those who take on an animal, without thinking about its costs, or take on an animal for the wrong reason.


DEFINATELY get your cat vaccinated, there's been some helpful links and advice in this thread that will help you know which vaccines to get, and which not to get.

It is something I have to do once Kizzy is feeling better too. I do not know which vaccines are offered here, but I most certainly am going to ask.
Snake lady, I agree with you I'd much rather see them do their best
post #30 of 34
Thread Starter 
Jake has not been feeling well. He slept the entire time, and usually at this time of day he is awake and playing like crazy....today- he is sleeping He walks kind of hunched, I am guessing it might be from the stool sample they took from him, it may have hurt him while they were taking it..He is a little bit better now, and if I try really hard he will play with me but he doesn't really try to initiate play ...I got him a little excited with his catnip mice and I really hope he perks up!! He has been eating and drinking but maybe a little bit less than usual. He meows that complaining sort of meow when I try to take him in my hands, and I'm pretty sure that's because the place where he got his shot is sore...When I remember the last time I myself had a tetanus shot- I was in bed with a fever for two days afterwards....So I guess I shouldn't be surprised that my baby is not his usual self...
WellingtonCats and Snake Lady, by the way all of Jake's brothers and sisters went to a shelter today It's really sad and I wish I could take them all so badly Unfortunately they were conceived on accident and my friends' family cannot take care of any of them...So, I think someone trying to take care of them while loving them even with a shortage of cash, would be much better than the shelter where they are likely to be euthanized anyway because shelters are all full... Can you imagine, little two month old kittens in perfect health being euthanized? it makes me sick
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