In general if your cat is an indoor cat there is absolutely NO reason to get shots of any kind. If your vet says "DO IT", then we suggest you find another vet. They are just out to make money. If your cat does go outdoors, we recommend you do extensive research before getting your cat vaccinated. YOU make the decisions - not your vet!
Feline vaccine related Fibrosarcoma is a type of terminal cancer related in inflammation caused by rabies & leukemia vaccines . This cancer is thought to affect 1 in 10,000 cats vaccinated. Vaccines with aluminum adjuvant, an ingredient included to stimulate the immune system, have been implicated as a higher risk. We now recommend a non-adjuvanted rabies vaccine for cats . Testing by Dr. Macy, Colorado State, has shown this vaccine to have the lowest tissue reaction and although there is no guarantee that a vaccine induced sarcoma will not develop, the risk will be much lower than with other vaccines.
Program injectable 6 mo flea prevention for cats has been shown to be very tissue reactive & therefore has the potential of inducing an injection site fiborsarcoma. If your cat develops a lump at the site of a vaccination, we recommend that it be removed ASAP, within 3-12 weeks.
Feline Leukemia Virus Vaccine
This virus is the leading viral killer of cats. The individuals most at risk of infection are young outdoor cats, indoor/outdoor cats and cats exposed to such individuals. Indoor only cats with no exposure to potentially infected cats are unlikely to become infected. All cats should be tested prior to vaccination. Cats over one year of age are naturally immune to Fel.V whether they are vaccinated or not, so annual vaccination of adult cats is NOT necessary. The incubation period of Feline leukemia can be over 3 years, so if your cat is in the incubation state of the disease prior to vaccination, the vaccine will not prevent the disease.
Feline Panleukopenia Virus Vaccine
Also called feline distemper is a highly contagious and deadly viral disease of kittens. It's extremely hardy and is resistant to extremes in temperature and to most available disinfectants.Although an effective treatment protocol is available, it is expensive to treat because of the serious nature of the disease and the continued presence of virus in the environment, vaccination is highly recommended for all kittens . Cats vaccinated at 6 month or older with either killed or MLV vaccine will produce an immunity good for life. Adult cats do NOT need this vaccine.
Feline Calicivirus/Herpesvirus Vaccine
Responsible for 80-90% of infectious feline upper respiratory tract diseases. The currently available injectable vaccines will minimize the severity of upper respiratory infections, although none will prevent disease in all situations. Intranasal vaccines are more effective at preventing the disease entirely. Don't worry about normal sneezing for a couple of days. Because intranasal vaccines produce an immunity of shorter durations, annual vaccination is recommended.
VACCINES NOT RECOMMENDED
Chlamydia or pneumonitis.
The vaccine produces on a short (2 month) duration of immunity and accounts for less than 5% of upper respiratory infections in cats. The risks outweigh the benefits.
Feline Infectious Peritonitis
A controversial vaccine. Most kittens that contract FIP become infected during the first 3 months of life. The vaccine is labeled for use at 16 weeks. All 27 vet schools do not recommend the vaccine.
A new vaccine for feline bordetella has been introduced. Dr. Wolfe of Texas A&M says that bordetella is a normal flora and does not cause disease in adult cats. Dr. Lappin of Colorado State says that a review of the Colorado State medical records reveals not one case diagnosed in 10 years.
Giardia is the most common intestinal parasite of humans in North America, 30% or more of all dogs & cats are infected with giardia. It has now been demonstrated that humans can transmit giardia to dogs & cats & vice versa.
THE VIEW FROM THE TRENCHES; BUSINESS ASPECTS
Most vets recommend annual boosters and most kennel operators require them. For years the pricing structure of vets has misled clients into thinking that the inherent value of an annual office visit was in the "shots" they failed to emphasize the importance of a physical exam for early detection of treatable diseases. It is my hope that you will continue to require rabies & Kennel cough and emphasize the importance of a recent vet exam. I also hope you will accept the new protocols and honor these pets as currently vaccinated. Those in the boarding business who will honor the new vaccine protocols can gain new customers who were turned away from vet owned boarding facilities reluctant to change.
Dogs & cats no longer need to be vaccinated against distemper, parvo, & feline leukemia every year . Once the initial series of puppy or kitten vaccinations and first annual vaccinations are completed, immunity from MLV vaccines persists for life. It has been shown that cats over 1 year of age are immune to Feline Leukemia whether they have been vaccinated or not. Imagine the money you will save, not to mention fewer risks from side effects. PCR rabies vaccine, because it is not adjuvanted, will mean less risk of mediated hemolytic anemia and allergic reactions are reduced by less frequent use of vaccines as well as by avoiding unnecessary vaccines such as K-9 Corona virus and chlamydia for cats, as well as ineffective vaccines such as Leptospirosis and FIP. Intranasal vaccine for Rhiotracheitis and Calici virus, two upper respiratory viruses of cats provide more complete protection than injectable vaccines with less risk of serious reactions.