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Are Vac shots necessary for indoor cats?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I have two Bengal boys about 3 years old. I was real good about all the shots the first couple years. I skipped this last year for all their shots.

Due to a lack of time, I am not going to be showing either of the boys in any contests in which they will not need any shots for a show requirement.

Both boys are casterated and stay indoors all the time with the exception of me leash walking them occasionally. They never come in contact with any other animals.

I've read many articles debating both sides regarding the pro's and con's of vacination shots / rabie shots.

My logic is because the boys are indoor and have no other animal contact that it might be healither to skip all shots from now on.

Whats are your opinions?

Thanks in advance for your answer.
post #2 of 17
Personally, I would check your local laws and regulations on whether or not cats are required by law to be vaccinated against rabies.

Beyond that, what I do is have blood titers done on my pets and vaccinate according to risk factors.
post #3 of 17
I asked my vet the same thing, they don't go out why do it. Well her response was even if they don't go out and they never escape out side what about the chance of rabbid mice, bats, rats, ect, that will find away in your home I live where that is very possible. We have lots of those little criters that can find their way into any place and could give my cats a disiese if they bite them.
post #4 of 17
The decision to vaccinate your cats should be based on a thorough understanding of the benefits -- and the risks -- of the procedure. For this reason, it is extremely important that you discuss the procedure with your veterinarian. He or she will be more than willing to answer any questions you may have, and will help you make the right vaccine choices for your cat.

Also check on your states law regarding Rabbies Vaccinations - they vary from state to state.
post #5 of 17
If you take them out on a leash they can pick up bacteria, fleas, etc. in the grass. You also can bring disease, bacteria, infections, fleas, ticks in on your clothing.

What if, heaven forbid, they got out without you noticing for a couple hours!

We are required to have rabies shots in our area and we opt for the other vaccinations to ensure our cats stay healthy. Ultimately the choice is yours, but my personal preference is to protect ours as much as possible.
post #6 of 17
After the first round of shots for kittens, including the rabies, I don't get vaccines for my cats. If they are going in for teeth cleaning or are sick, we will get the rabbis shot, but none of the other shots because they never go out. There is a study that shows cancer develops at repeated vaccine sites on the animals. My three cats are new guys, are all up to date on all the shots, but won't be going for anymore anytime soon. My recently deceased geriatric females lived to be 14 and 17 without any vaccines other than the ones they recieved in their first year of life.
post #7 of 17
If you're considering skipping the vaccines but are uncertain, you may want to ask you vet about titer tests. They can show how much immunity a cat has to a specific disease. Even if your cats don't normally interact with other cats, they will encounter airborne microorganisms at the vet's office.

Vaccinating is a choice that each pet owner must make. I was very glad that I kept Willow's vaccinations up-to-date. About a week after she had her shots, I found Spot. He was half starved and drinking water from a puddle, so he had to come home with me. Even though I kept them separated until I could get him to the vet in the morning, I was relieved that Willow would be at a vastly lesser risk of getting any diseases Spot could have had.
post #8 of 17
There is a very reasonable debate about whether to vaccinate for rabies for indoor only cats because of the cancer risk. You can lower the risk by getting a non-adjuvanted version of the rabies vaccine.

The one vaccine for which i think there is little or no debate on is the FVRCP (Distemper + upper respiratory's). Distemper (actually called feline Panleukopenia) is very contagious and can be transmitted from human to cat by casual contact. The bacteria is very hardy in the environment and can be picked up simply by a human going outside and bringing it back into the home. This and the fact that it has no association with cancer makes it a required vaccine.

However the American Assoc. of Feline Practitioners recommends the FVRCP vaccine be repeated once, one year after the initial vaccination and then boosters once every three years after that (http://www.vas-awareness.org/vaxreccs.htm).
post #9 of 17
Ok, it's really you choice...but from my experience:
My cat growing up was "indoors only" and my parents had her declawed and got her vaccinated. Thank God she was vaccinated. Because 1 time she escaped out the door and into the woods at 90mph and it took us 2 days to get her back. She came back limping and severly beat up. She was blind in her one eye and her spirits were completely broken. Thank God she had her rabies, cause God knows what attacked her... it could've been a raccoon, opposum, gound hogs, or another cat. And although she lost her vision in one eye, at least she didn't have to be put down. Also, reason # 999 not to get your cat declawed!
post #10 of 17
Hi,

I am very interested in this topic too. I have a now 2 year old cat.
He was first vaccinated at the breeder. Then, there has been a mix up with the 1st booster set (we missed the boosters, or maybe not, it is very unclear from the records). When he was 10 months, vets et all thought that he got panleukopenia. I caught it very early - after a night of vomiting, high fever, diarrhea, the next day he was in the hospital in intensive care for 4 - 5 days, and then home on antibiotics for 2 weeks. The hospital docs never proved that it was indeed panleukopenia, despite detailed tests, etc. While his white cell count was low and fever moderately high all the time, his symptoms subsided in the hospital. Certainly everything was very severe, but only for a day. It is possible that he responded immediately to the intensive care, or that it was something else. However, his regular doctor took the hospital stay, low white cell count and other symphoms (and lack of other diagnosis) as proof of him having panleukopenia. So, after he came back home, the vet recommended that he not be vaccinated immediately - because he was too weak, because he must have developed antibodies to the virus, because he is a single cat, indoors and isolated, and not last because the vaccines are known to have disputable effectiveness. Time passed, he put on a pound. Now the remnders are in for his year vaccines.

I am not sure what to do now. A year after, I am still trying to fatten him (with a combination of wet foods and very high protein foods - wysong archetype and prairie) with little success. Maybe fatten is not the objective, but strengthen him, and that has not happened. He is 8.4 on a small frame but I can easily feel bones. I do not want to expose him to the risk of contracting any of the diseases that vaccines supposedly prevent, nor to the risk of the vaccines. Status quo (not current on vaccines) seems to work. If he had panleukopenia, the vaccine would be useless, and if he did not, will the vaccine protect him indeed? Did it do it in the first place?! Moreover, there is no source for rabies so the rabies vaccine is out of the question. I put tight window screens so no flies can come in. No contact with other animals. Titer tests seem to be a good idea - certainly worth reading more.

I think the answer should come from assessing risks vs. benefits - for each disease.

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post #11 of 17
I just had the first of my kitties yearly checkups last week, and asked then about vaccinations. I've had all my girls since they were young, and I'm coming upto a year of having each of them. The vet said since they got their shots when they were young, she recommends having boosters now of rabies and FVRCP (ie. 1 year after their first lot), then because of the associated risks of over-vaccinating and because they're indoors and we're really not fostering anymore, to keep getting them the yearly rabies shot (since we'll be heading back to rabies-free Australia in the next couple of years), and to get the 3-in-1 only every 3 years (or just before we head back to Australia.

So that's what we'll do.
post #12 of 17
My girls are indoor only and i asked my vet once if they still needed their shots?. She said they do need the flu/enteritis because we can bring in germs, be it on our hands or shoes etc..., and they can pick them up that way.

Leukemia i don't give because the chances of them being bitten by a cat who already has it are slim with them being inside. Yes they could get out the house, but i like to think i'm careful when i go outside even for a couple of seconds.
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosiemac View Post
My girls are indoor only and i asked my vet once if they still needed their shots?. She said they do need the flu/enteritis because we can bring in germs, be it on our hands or shoes etc..., and they can pick them up that way.

Leukemia i don't give because the chances of them being bitten by a cat who already has it are slim with them being inside. Yes they could get out the house, but i like to think i'm careful when i go outside even for a couple of seconds.


It's also worth thinking about whether you might need to board them anwhere at any time. I use a cattery regularly so mine need annual shots, but I also had an emergency last year when my flat was flooded and I had to get Jaffa out of there quickly. Fortunately the cattery could take him at short notice but there wouldn't have been time to get vaccinations.
post #14 of 17
A cons of all that excessive vaccination outweigh any pro's for my inside kitty. She had her last shots at 6 months.
Boosters are not needed for immunity, in fact, the vet schools are updating their requirements and researching more about this topic. Rabies in my area is now 3 years.
When you think about it, why would immunity in a healthy immune system only last a year? Do humans get rounds of all sorts of shots every single year? No.
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by gailuvscats View Post
My recently deceased geriatric females lived to be 14 and 17 without any vaccines other than the ones they recieved in their first year of life.
When I was younger no pets got more than the first year of vaccinations (if they got any at all) and they lived in their teens and had good lives. We also lived on a lot of land, some of them killed critters regularly without issues.
post #16 of 17
I third the check your local laws ....

I would say do the legal requirements ...
post #17 of 17
I'm not going to get into the whole rabies shot thing, but I do think all cats should have the distemper shot. My RB cat JC was from the shelter and she didn't have a distemper shot. She died of distemper 11 days after we got her. After that we have had all our cats have that vaccination. I don't want to lose my cats to something that horrible ever again.
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