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Vaccinations - is annual necessary?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
My three cats are due for their annual vaccinations this month. But, I've read so many conflicting reports that "annual" may not be necessary? Any input would be greatly appreciated! If vaccines aren't really "necessary" this year, I'd like to save them the trauma of the whole experience. But, if they are needed, they're all going! History on my "babies": two brothers, one sister were born feral (April/May 2007 we think), but are now tame to me and a few family members (not tame to strangers - i.e. vet). Last year, each was neutered/spayed and received what the vet referred to as "the works" on vaccinations. They spend most of their time outdoors, and do occasionally come in contact with neighborhood cats (owners have said each are also current on shots, fixed, etc). I want them all safe and healthy, but what is the right thing to do?!
post #2 of 8
This answer should be easy but it is not ...

BIG factor : what is your state or county law about vaccinations... In many areas it is a 3yr protocal but others are still on the one yr plan... Since they are outdoors you may want to look into some of the "extra shots" outside the rabies and 3 in 1 or 4 in 1
post #3 of 8
I'm not a fan of vaccinations... however, with that said, I think that if your cats go outside and since they also associate with other cats, you do need to keep their vaccinations current.

Just be aware of what risks are associated with vaccines and what to watch for - reactions can occur afterwards, so you want someone to be able to be with your cats after they've had their vaccinations... watch for vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and anything out of the ordinary. Make sure you have a vet close to your home in case there is a reaction and try to schedule vaccinations early in the day so that you can take them back to the vet if they have problems.

There is also injection-site sarcoma risks. Just be aware of what to watch for.

Like I said, I'm not a fan at all and I have a completely different opinion for indoor-only cats. My cat, Seven, was indoor-only and I kept her vaccinations current. She died at 3 years old from anaphylactic shock from a rabies vaccine. I don't believe indoor-only cats should get many of the vaccinations... but that's a whole different story.

I think as a responsible pet owner, you are doing the right thing by keeping your cats up-to-date with vaccines since they go outdoors - just know what to watch for and take them to the vet ASAP if you see any strange symptoms.

The other option is to keep them indoor only.
post #4 of 8
My Lucy died from a shot and my cats do not get that shot.
post #5 of 8
Here is a link to the American Association of Feline Practitioners guidelines for vaccinations

post #6 of 8
I don't vaccinate my cats yearly - but I live in NZ and we don't have a rabies problem nor are we required to vaccinate by law.
post #7 of 8
Scroll down a little and read this piece.

Even the "etablishment" (in the US) has been forced to adjust the "party line" on "annual" vaccinations...the Vet society in the UK is allegedly reconsidering their stance.

Whatever you do, ensure that no adjuvanted vaccine is ever given to your cats!
post #8 of 8
I am interested in this but I cannot open the link that Blaise left, can anyone else? My kitty is coming up for his vaccinations soon and I would like to know a bit more about them after reading this. We don't have the rabies shot in the U.K either so he won't have that. Are the other ones okay though?
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