Should FIV+ cat get annual "normal" vaccinations - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-23-2008, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Southern Tier of New York State
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Should FIV+ cat get annual "normal" vaccinations

A bit over a year ago, I posted about "White Kitty", who I took in after he was diagnosed as being FIV+. Thanks to the support given to me by this group, I decided to keep White Kitty, along with my other four indoor cats. All is well with all cats, as far as I know. I've not had the other cats tested for FIV. White Kitty has turned out to be one off the best cats I have ever owned. He is completely bonded to me, and we've become good buddies.

My question today is in regards to the normal annual vaccinations given to cats. I got to thinking that maybe White Kitty should not be given the annual vaccinations, as long as he's an indoor kitty. Doing so might compromise his immune system since he's FIV+.

I welcome your advice and comments.


Annie's Human
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-24-2008, 07:54 AM
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That's a tough call, and you'll probably get conflicting advice, even from vets. My cat Brrrruce had an immune system disorder (IMHA) and my vets recommended that he not be vaccinated against anything (even rabies).

I have a compromised immune system, and I keep getting mixed signals from medical people. I was advised against getting my Hepatitis B shot that I should have for work. When I told the clinic I was behind on my tetanus vaccination, the nurse said she didn't see why I couldn't get it, and so I did.

I think the main problem is that a vaccine may not be effective if the immune system doesn't react to it, so it would be a waste of time. On the other hand, I would steer clear of any vaccine that is live or modified live. There's a danger of contracting the disease from the vaccine if the immune system can't fight the vaccine.

I know I'm taking a chance, but my cats don't get vaccinated against anything but rabies anymore (except Brrrruce). I fear immune system disorders and vaccine-associated sarcomas more than the diseases themselves.

As for rabies, the only reason I get the cats their shots is because the public health system gets uppity about it. Fact is that there has never been a case of rabies reported in any animal that has had at least two rabies vaccines in its lifetime!

Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in his shoes. That way, when you criticize him, you're a mile away and you have his shoes.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-24-2008, 12:58 PM
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I'm going though pretty much the same with my FIV + kitty. His vacs are due soon.
Last year - as there was no record of his vacs - he had to start 'from scratch' and ended up reacting to the last injection.

If you do decide to go ahead, ask if the vet can give single rather than combined shots. As an indoor cat White Kitty wont need the FeLV vac but my vet strongly suggested the cat flu and i think parvoleukemia (does that sound right?) shots.

"FIV != PTS"
"SENIOR KITTIZENS ROCK! (between naps)"

Allie and Ridley

Toby - waiting at the rainbow bridge (2002-2011)
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-24-2008, 01:59 PM
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Many pet parents who are dealing with chronic "diseases"/conditions often get the best practical info/support from other caregivers dealing with the same issues. Examples are CRF, FeLV, Pancreatitis, FIP.

There are online practical support groups for each of those chronic conditions. People like yourself post their stories, their problems, their predicaments - like yours - and receive replies from people who have dealt with the same issues.

I joined one such group - just for the learning exprience - and I've been "blown away" by the wealth of knowledge and experience being shared AND by the positive results such sharing can bring. These groups are NOT intended to replace qualified and competent Veterinary care. Many times, however, I have seen instances where the shared experience surpasses the abilities of many Vets.......

There are at least two such groups dealing with FIV:

You have absolutely nothing to lose....who knows what you might learn?
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-24-2008, 02:33 PM
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"Annual" vaccinations are unnecessary for ANY cat. I certainly would not recommend them for an FIV cat. The ONLY vaccine an adult cat needs is rabies as required by law. ... accination

Here's some more about FIV: ... ingwithfiv

Jean Hofve, DVM
Boulder, Colorado
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