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Do you vaccinate your indoor cats?

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
I know there are issues with over-vaccinations. If your cats are kept 100% indoors, do you vaccinate?

My dog gets minimal vaccines because he has had issues with vaccine reactions. Rabies is required by law, and he also gets parvo/distemper because those are common in the area.

Of course a yearly exam is important. All of my cats (except lil Chloe) are at least 3 years old and have been vaccinated several times now.

I asked my "dog" vet, and he felt because I lived in a rural area there was still a risk of exposure (stray cats very rarely come into my yard)

I am planning to ask the "cat" vet for his opinion when I take Chloe back in for her kitten shots.

Curious to hear other people's opinions on whether or not to do yearly vaccines on indoor cats.
post #2 of 35
In some areas vets won't see a cat whose vaccinations are not up to date. I had to take Franny to the dentist vet and he required a statement from my regular vet.
post #3 of 35
I've slacked on Sho's vacs because he reacts badly. I've also slacked on getting MewMew (fully outdoor cat) in and she's a few months overdue - not that a rabies vac suddenly stops working on a specific date. I don't plan to get her vaccinated for anything else, the same with Boo her yard mate.

I need to get Siri in for her check up (~ a month overdue), it's just been a big mess with the kittens lately. (may take MewMew and Siri in together and hope they're too preoccupied to notice each other...)

I still don't know with the kittens. We'll see if the final diagnosis is chronic bronchitis on them and whether I want to fool around with risking immune issues when they could have an immune regulated disease.

Overall, I may just end up only bothering with rabies vacs on some of the cats. If the indoor cats do get to go outside it won't be free roaming. No Felv vacs for any of them.
post #4 of 35
Mine get the kitten series and the boosters... Zoey gets rabies as she does get outside... It appears I will have another getting a rabies as he want s to go outside ...
post #5 of 35
Old clinic vet made all get the shots day of spay/neuter.
Current vet is optional and none got shots.
One cat outside did get her initial series from old vet and a rabies last week.

So far I have seen if anything the unvacced are less sick. my cats in general are pretty strong.
post #6 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
Mine get the kitten series and the boosters...
All of mine have had that, except Siri. I found her as a spay adult cat - vets in this area prefer cats to be vaccinated before or day of altering. So I'm sure she had them. (I still think she belonged to the woman that went into nursing care not long after we moved in. Siri first made her appearance around then. Plus that estate auction had some cat stuff.)

The kittens may be the only ones I intentionally do not get boosters on, or maybe just Blann will be skipped.
post #7 of 35
Thread Starter 
Vets and s/n clinics in this area only require rabies to do spay/neuter.. as its required by law. S/N clinics also offer the rabies shot at the time of surgery for an additional $5 or so.


Boosters are optional.. but most vets here do push vaccines.
post #8 of 35
from what i have read it makes a cat even more sick because the reactions can be so bad, that is what scares me, even in the document that shows what your cat has been injected with it warns about reactions to the injections.
post #9 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by HUYI View Post
from what i have read it makes a cat even more sick because the reactions can be so bad, that is what scares me, even in the document that shows what your cat has been injected with it warns about reactions to the injections.
Everything has risks. And though I've had three react, and one reacted more than once, I don't think every cat is going to. The way to decrease the chances of that is to space out the vaccinations. The more given at once, the more likely something can happen. I also avoid Felv vac/boosters now - it seems that's always the problem one from my experience and from reading on here.
post #10 of 35
yeah that is what i am worried about, i will only give him the injection if it is really necessary.
post #11 of 35
My indoor girls get them if they happen to be at the vet at the right time but otherwise no. One is ancient and the other two pee and yowl the entire time during the cat carrier/car experience. They aren't even allowed on the screen porch so there is almost zero risk of exposure to anything.
post #12 of 35
Our kitties get at least annual vet visits. We do bloodwork each year to keep an eye on things. The only vaccinations we give our indoor-only kitties are the rabies, which we keep current. It's required by law, and none of ours have had a reaction. The old version requires a 3-year booster only; the new one that lowers the risk of sarcomas at the injection site is required annually.
post #13 of 35
My two get yearly checks at the vets and get the cat flu jab but thats it
post #14 of 35
Yup, Jake is all indoor and he gets annual boosters of distemper and rabies (purevax)
post #15 of 35
I am going back and forth on this issue. I've read several holistic cat books and from what I've been reading I don't know if I will be re-vaccinating. All of my cats are indoor only and have had their basic FVRCP and Rabies. Only the rabies shot is required by law. I am going to keep doing research and keep reading books and try to make an educated decision. I've personally experienced in the past that if you blindly do what the vet tells you to do, you can end up with a dead pet.

http://www.amazon.com/Holistic-Cat-C...5186177&sr=8-1
From the Holistic Cat by Jennifer A. Coscia:
Excerpt from a conventional veterinary textbook called Small Animal Practice (current Veterinary Therapy XI) by Robert W. Kirk.
Quote:
A practice that was started many years ago and lacks scientific validity or verifications is annual revaccinations. Almost without exception there is no immunologic requirement for annual revaccination. Immunity to viruses persists for years or the life of the animal. Successful vaccination to most bacterial pathogens produces an immunologic memory that remains for years, allowing an animal to develop a protective anamnestic (secondary) response when exposed to virulent organisms.
Furthermore, revaccinations with most viral vaccines fails to stimulate an anamnestic response as a result of interference by existing anti-body.
The practice of annual vaccinations in our opinion should be considered questionable efficacy unless it is used as a mechanism to provide annual physical examination or is required by law.
There is an entire chapter in the Holistic Cat devoted to vaccines and the immune system.
post #16 of 35
I have indoor-only kitties (ages 3, 5 and 6) and only vaccinate for Rabies, which is required by Florida law. My last vet encouraged vaccinations, so I vaccinated my previous cat, Samantha for everything. 5 years before Sam passed away, she developed a cancerous tumor on her hind leg, which kept recurring. At the age of 18 we finally had the leg amputated. I'll always wonder whether those shots caused that tumor in an otherwise perfectly healthy cat. My new vet is holistic and doesn't encourage vaccines unless absolutely necessary.
post #17 of 35
Genever is indoors only (though I took her outside with a harness this past Saturday). She was due for her shots in late August, and I discussed with the vet what she really needed. None are required by law for cats in Long Beach, though now they started to require cat licenses, which are free until January 2011, and they require proof of rabies vaccine. Just another way for the city to get money.. But anyway, since it's free for now, I signed up for one for Genever. But I digress..

I personally like the idea of her having a rabies shot, just in case something would ever happen that would require proof of rabies vaccination. Who knows if she'd ever bite someone for some reason, or if a bat/rat/whatever would get in the house, etc..

Since she is indoors, her risk of contacting strange, infected cats is next to none, so we didn't do the leukemia shot. Just the rabies.
post #18 of 35
There is no rabies law here so only Cleo and Polar get the rabies shot.
They get the Puvax only.
Wrinkles breeder does not want her to have the rabies shot so she never got one.
Meeko has not had shots since she was 5 and she is 10 now.
The other cats get the 3 in 1 distemper and it is purvax also.
I do not leukemia shots or fip shots.
The leukemia shot killed my lucy.



post #19 of 35
I do get vaccinations for my guys, even though they're indoor only, maninly because they're immune systems aren't great, so a minor thing couls become a major one in my house pretty quickly.

I don't do leukemia, though.
post #20 of 35
Vaccinations should only be done on healthy cats.

While we take our cats in when they need it and for an annual exam, we don't vaccinate regularly. Callie, my 14 yr old has renal problems and her system doesn't need to work harder to flush out the chemicals in the shots. This past July at her annual, she did get a feline distemper shot.

Hannah Grace has Feline Herpes which means she has a compromised immune system. She has been vaccinated in the past and last year had the 3-yr rabies vaccination. Under the advise of our vet, she will not be vaccinated again for rabies unless we move, decide to take her traveling with us, or there's a rabies outbreak. Under no circumstances can she have the FCVRP shot as it causes her to have an upper respiratory infection that takes months to get over.

Tumbles, our newest acquisition, has just completed his boosters and his rabies. He's perfectly healthy and again, under the advise of our vet, won't receive any other vacs unless there's a need.

My husband and I, along with our vet, agree that because our cats are indoor only, not exposed to ferals or fosters, and 2 of the 3 have chronic health problems, it's best to not vaccinate them. Our vet also believes that we over-vaccinate and that there's no scientific evidence to back up yearly vaccinations.
post #21 of 35
Ah, vaxes ... the vet I was using ( who left to be closer to her hubby) preferred the rabies one year- due to injection site sarcoma risk. Not required by law for cats here, but a good thing to do regardless.

Since my boys are indoor only - I debated getting them the RCVFP boosters, but opted to get them their shots. I didn't go back to get the second one - first because a vet tech friend of mine said at the cats' age - full fledged adults.. .they only need a shot every couple of years and the second one doesn't necessarily help. The distemper booster also makes my little Texie-poo very sick. So I am hesitant to do that to him very often or perhaps never again since they are all indoor-only.

NO to the Felv and FIP... they are not core vaxes, IMO.
post #22 of 35
Thread Starter 
Tabbi has feline herpes as well, and the past 2 years I noticed she gets a break out about January.. the first time it happened I wasnt sure what was going on, last year I noticed it happened right after she got vaccinated. Im not really sure if its weather related, or related to the vaccines. She does recover well with the l-lysine fortunantly.

I'm leaning towards NOT vaccinating my adult cats. (other than the required rabies).. everyone is indoors only, and I would think that having recieved several vaccines, they'd have an immunity.
post #23 of 35
Thread Starter 
I will add.. that no, you should not just blindly do what a vet tells you.

I had one vet that insisted that my dog should be vaccinated for lepto. He tried to claim that dry dog food can contain lepto! I insisted that he should NOT get the lepto vaccine.. I highly suspect that the vet went against my wishes and vaccinated for lepto anyways, as my dog had a reaction later.

I have since found a new vet for my dog that carries a vaccine that only has parvo and distemper... so I take the dog to that vet. He doesnt seem to know so much about cats, as he's the one I suggested vaccinating indoor cats because I live in a rural area. However, he did not know that rabies was legally required.

I have another vet that seems to be more familiar with cat-care, so slowly switching all my cats to that vet. Its been quite a hassle to find good vets in this little rural area!
post #24 of 35
The kitten series are OK and rabies but I don't do anything else.
Have you heard about titers?
post #25 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by nekkiddoglady View Post
Tabbi has feline herpes as well, and the past 2 years I noticed she gets a break out about January.. the first time it happened I wasnt sure what was going on, last year I noticed it happened right after she got vaccinated. Im not really sure if its weather related, or related to the vaccines. She does recover well with the l-lysine fortunantly.
The herpes flare up could also be from the vet visit stress. One test may be to get her check up then but skip the vaccinations for a couple months if you still choose to have her vaccinated. If it's the vaccination she'll likely flare up after them no matter what time they're given.
post #26 of 35
Thread Starter 
yes, I've heard of titers. Not many vets seem to offer it tho, and the few that do are very expensive.
post #27 of 35
I've been fortunate so far, to have cats that do not get side effects from the vaccinations. I keep them all updated because I've always felt that, god forbid an accident would happen to cause one to get outside for any length of time, at least they would be vaccinated.

Editing here to say I would be worried for them to be outside because of losing them for good, but also because of the stray cat problem around here, and the fact that the very first stray I helped in this neighborhood and would have kept--tested positive for feline leukemia (Lucky Lou, whom I mentioned in my introduction post). I just feel better knowing they are vaccinated, just in case.

I'm a huge worry wort about them sneaking out, and I constantly do head counts and know exactly where they are when I'm "open for business", because I have many visitors due to my job. Luckily most people know I have cats and a dog, and know to be careful when coming in and out.

However, I would definitely rethink this if I had cats who didn't do well with the vaccinations.
post #28 of 35
This year I gave a 3yr rabies to Bugsy and Lucky, and the 3-in-one shot on their annual. Bugsy got a VERY bad reaction, and had to take an anti-inflammatory shot, another one that I am not sure what it was and a pain shot all to counter interact the side-effects of the vaccine. Since he is three, the plan now is to not vaccinate him at all, and when he is 5 years old run a Titer test to see if he has enough antibodies; if he has, he is set for life... The vet will then just send that to the city and they accept that instead of yearly shots. Since there isthis option, I am considering giving Hope the 3yr shot next year and doing the titer test three years later as well...

As far as the 3 or 4in one, my vet said there is really no need for it at all since they are inside only, but I am considering doing the distemper regardless as that is a very frightening disease... One thing is for Sure - Bugsy for now on only takes Purevax vaccines... He never had a reaction to them before, this was the very first time he had a vaccine reaction, and it was very scary.
post #29 of 35
No rabies here, my 'normal' cats (non breeding/show cats) don't get anything after the two kitten vax and a one year old booster, no further shots after that just yearly checkups.

I will never vaccinate with anything higher than 3 in 1, would never do 4 or 5 in 1 shots.
post #30 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by nekkiddoglady View Post
Tabbi has feline herpes as well, and the past 2 years I noticed she gets a break out about January.. the first time it happened I wasnt sure what was going on, last year I noticed it happened right after she got vaccinated. Im not really sure if its weather related, or related to the vaccines. She does recover well with the l-lysine fortunantly.

I'm leaning towards NOT vaccinating my adult cats. (other than the required rabies).. everyone is indoors only, and I would think that having recieved several vaccines, they'd have an immunity.
That's exactly what would happen with Hannah! The combination of the stress of going to the vet plus whatever is in the shot would cause a massive upper respiratory infection that would take 4-6 weeks to totally kick. I finally connected the dots and she's not gotten another of the FCVRP shots since. Our new vet said that if we ever wanted to vaccinate her against the other things in the shot, she'd be happy to order the individual vacs, we just had to give them time to get them ordered.
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