or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Health › What Vaccinations Are Really Necessary?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

What Vaccinations Are Really Necessary?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Does anyone know what vaccinations you really need to have for indoor cats? I had been getting every vaccination there is, but I've been hearing lately that not only are they all not necessary, but some are actually harmful! Someone told me that the leukemia vaccine can cause cancerous tumors! Does anyone know how I can find out about this? You know the vets always want you to get every shot. My two cats have never been outside and not only are these shots very expensive, but I don't want to expose them to something harmful that they don't really need. Any advice would help. Thanks.
post #2 of 17
Dear Midnightbride,

I also have indoor cats, 7 of them. I always make sure they have their rabies and distemper shots. In Connecticut it is a law that they be vaccinated against rabies and the shots be up to date. As far as the Feline Leukemia and Feline Aids shots, they all tested negative for both. Since they do not go out, I don't vaccinate them against it. I hope this helps.

post #3 of 17
Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP)=Spreads with inhaling or ingesting the virus in saliva & feces; either by direct contact with infected cat or virus contaminated surfaces such as bed, toys, bowls.

Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)= Primary route for tranmission is cat-cat bites. Transmission by sexual contact, in utero or by milk from the mother, although possible in theory, is very rare.

Feline leukemia virus (FLV)=Can spread by nose-nose contact, bites, mutual grooming, shared bowls, blood transfusions.

Panleukopenia (distemper)=Spreads by feces & urine of the infected cat & from mother to kitten in utero.

As being more social creatures than our indoor cats, how many of you have tetanus, tuberculosis, hepatitis B, meningitis etc. shots regularly ?? So why do strictly indoor cats would need all of these shots ? Yes, the vets are trying to get you all the shots they have. For exp. my vet was about to give the new giardia shot to our both cats. What has giardia got any business with my strictly indoor cats who drink the same water as we do (we even filter the tap water with purr) ?? She also offered the heartworm vaccine !!?? They always want to scare you by telling what would happen if the cat somehow caught the disease ! Yes although small, possibility is a possibility. But vaccines contain adjuvants, preservatives such as thimerosal (mercury), aluminium etc. which are very dangerous in high doses. These chemicals may accumulate in the body & can cause damages in kidneys, nervous system and immune system. So this second fact seems more possible to me than the 1'st one... That's what I think

By the way, FLV & rabies shots pose the danger of "vaccine induced sarcomas", which is I think what you are talking about. Although the possibility is relatively small, it increases when the shots are done at the same time & at the same location.
post #4 of 17
I've had this concern alot with my cats since they never go out. I'd just like them to have the rabies vaccine since it's required by law, but it seems all the vets require that the cats have all vaccines to get spayed or neutered. It's frustrating.

Also, I moved this to the Health & Nutrition forum since I think you'll get some more informed responses here. Hope that's ok.
post #5 of 17
My Vet has told me that since my cats do not go outside and it is not the law in PA for cats not to have the rabies shot. However my vet told me to have the Feline Aids shot but I have been told some very bad things about it so I did not have it done. As for Feline Leukemia I have been told it is a good idea in multi cat households. I gues it is your choice. Any other shot my cats have had. I have gotten 2 of my cats the Feline Leukemia shot.
post #6 of 17
I agree with dodo...vets have a tendency to scare the snots out of you by telling you what COULD happen if they don't have any particular vaccination. The only time I would worry is if I had to board my cats (which I will never have to because I have plenty of people who would gladly come in and care for them, should something happen) and they were exposed to other cats. Vets are always trying to make a quick buck (look at how many vets declaw cats and don't go into great detail about the procedure for fear their clients will back out - too bad for the cats).

I only have my cats vaccinated for rabies and distemper. PERIOD. I have never had any problems with any of them, except for an occasional cold or urinary tract infection.
I believe that pumping your cats full of vaccinations that aren't really necessary is looking for trouble. Vaccinations are versions of
the disease itself to supposedly to help build up their immune systems against it. I say "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the responses. Actually, I realized after I sent it that I posted it in the wrong place, but I figured someone would respond anyway. I believe it is the law in New York to have the Rabies shots, and the Feline Leukemia does seem the most contagious. We did have two cats many years ago that contracted it before the vaccine was available so I'm always afraid of that. It just seems silly to get rabies shots for indoor cats, but I guess you never know if a rabid animal could find it's way inside some day. I guess I'll have to be firm about it. By the way, does anyone know of a way to get a recommendation for a vet in your area, like a website or something? Since I moved about 2 years ago, I've wanted to try a new vet closer to my home, but I've heard some horror stories about vets and don't want to try just anyone. Also, I feel funny about asking my regular vet since our family has been using him for about 30 years and it's not like he's an hour away.
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
I have a cat that I believe has asthma. He would sometimes start choking, coughing, and wheezing - kind of like when they have a hairball, and it was getting more frequent and more severe over time. But it's definitely not hairballs. Besides he's an Abyssinian and has very little hair. It took a while to figure it out since my vet had said they don't make any noise when they have an asthma attack. Then I read up on it, and they described asthma in cats as choking, coughing, sneezing, wheezing, etc. My cat had been prescribed Prednisone for his gum disease and the attacks have stopped for the most part. When I mentioned this to him, he kind of agreed that it could be asthma because they do treat it with steroid drugs. Obviously, he isn't familiar with asthma in cats! If anyone has a cat with asthma, please let me know your experience with this. I don't know if I should get a second opinion (and where do I go?) or get some kind of test to have it confirmed. I'm almost positive that's what it is. It started when he was about 6-8 months old - he's almost 4 now. Thanks.
post #9 of 17

I have two indoor cats, (kittens, they had all their baby shots) but I also have a dog, who of course goes outside, what shots do you suggest in that case?

post #10 of 17

My 7 year old tortie Mollie Rose was diagnosed with Asthma. She has bouts of wheezing which sound like it's coming from the tip of her tail. The vet said there isn't much you can do about it. I find that it's worse in the summer because of all the stuff flying around. I am going to steam clean my carpeting once I have enough time which might cut down on her wheezing.

Robin, I'm not sure what shots to tell you to get. You might want to ask your vet. I don't think that dogs and cats can pass diseases back and forth to each other, except for rabies, but don't quote me on it.

Michelerad, any advice since you have dogs and cats that go outside??

post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 

That's strange that your vet said there's nothing he can do. My cat just happened to be on the steroid drug for his gum disease which developed when he was only 2 years old. I had read they treat asthma with similar drugs, but I also read the steroid drugs can cause diabetes after long-term use, which my vet never told me! But my cat's asthma was getting worse and worse and I couldn't stand to see him like that. I guess each vet has their own opinion on this. (My name is actually Donna, too).
post #12 of 17
What a great question!

I thought I was going to read the same answers the vet always gives. What a nice surprise. I should have known better from reading so many posts at Cat Site.

I think this is so important because I think many people don't get cats because of all the expense of vacinations. It would be better for kitties to have a home without shots than no home at all. Now I read that they may actually be better off without all of the vacines.

Thanks for such great questions and answers!!
post #13 of 17

Great name Donna! Steroids can also effect a cat's live function which I worry about. Mollie Rose has only had wheezing in the summer. And it's only occasionally. I don't want to start her on any steroids now because she's 7 years old.

I have another cat, Marina Mar, who will be treated with steroids because of of penthagis, a immune deficiency that attacks new skin cells. Her ears are a mess and it took a biopsy to figure out it wasn't a food allergy, earmites or ringworm. Marina is only 3 years old and I'm hoping that we can boost her immune system to fight off this thing she has going on. I'm also going to have her tested again for Feline Leukemia. She tested positive when she was 9 weeks old but negative when they did the IFA (ImmunoFlourescentAntibody) test. I'm praying it's negative.

post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
I think I'm going to try another vet anyway for their shots this year. I'll see what their opinion is on all this. But I know my cat gets very bad without the steroids. It's just a shame that he was started on them so young - when he was about 2. I never heard of the IFA test. You know that's funny you mention that. About 8 years ago I was going to take a stray kitten someone had found and I had him tested for Leukemia and it came back positive (he was only 7 weeks old). I couldn't take him home because we had other cats and I was heartbroken. The people that found him had him put to sleep because they couldn't get rid of him. I was such a horrible experience. Right after that, I adopted one of my cats from a local animal shelter, and they told me that the Leukemia test at that age is not accurate!! They said they should not be tested before 9 or 10 weeks old. So now I'll never know if that poor kitten had it or not. My vet never told me it was too early to test, so I don't know what to believe. My vet also told me someone's cat was tested as a kitten and tested negative and then tested positive several years later. It's just such a horrible disease. We lost 2 cats to it many years ago, and one was a purebred Siamese!
post #15 of 17
I'm having problems right now with my Turkish Angora wannabe. She tested positive for Feline Leukemia at 9 weeks old. They did an IFA test the following week and it was negative. I've been told you need to wait 4-6 weeks before re-testing. Now she's suffering from an immune deficiency which is killing her cells that make new skin. Her ears are covered with scabs and crusty stuff. It's called Phenagis. I now have to have her tested again (the IFA, which is most accurate) to make sure she's negative before I put her on steroids to get rid of this phenagis. If it's positive, well, I don't know what I'll do. I have 6 other cats at home. But, one thing at a time, I guess. She'll be tested on Monday and have her stitches taken out.

Please say a prayer for her. I've had her since she was a kitten and she had problems right from the start.

post #16 of 17
When I went to take Scooter in, my vet told me that as long as all of my cats are indoors, they don't need the FEL+V/FIV vaccines. So, Scooter didn't get that one, he just got the one that prevents upper respiratory infections.
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Tigger, thanks for the response. I don't think I'm going to get ALL the vaccines this time, no matter what they say! Just the basics.

Donna: I'm so sorry to hear about your cat. I hope she tests negative. Please let us know. Also, if that's the case, then I'll really wonder about that kitten I had tested so young.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Health
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Health › What Vaccinations Are Really Necessary?