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Question in the title.. I haven't got around to getting anything done really. We took in our first cat, the mom cat as a pregnant stray last spring, she gave birth to 1 kitty and that's who we have now. We never took our old cat to the vet, and we haven't taken this one yet.


How critical is it I get all that done and what are the absolute musts first? I have him as a strictly indoor cat so how prone to illness is he? As opposed to street strays without the vet shots/check ups?

Also, can anyone give me an idea on what the vet bill is going to look like? Thanks in advance.
 

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There is a lot of evidence that cats tend to be over-vaccinated, but you will have to decide that for yourself.
Vaccinations themselves can be risky - i.e., injection-site sarcomas.

If I owned just one cat that was strictly an indoor cat, I wouldn't get any vaccinations at all.
 

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I really, really must suggest that you get him his kitten vaccinations as he is way behind. He should've been getting them around 2 months old to start with. And there are several shots he'll have to receive, sort of like human babies.

While he is less likely to get bitten or catch something being a strictly indoor cat, you never know what may happen. Some cats are notorious for being escape artists. If your cat accidentally got outside, anything could happen to him. That's why the vaccinations are so important. You have to worry about things like feline Leukemia Virus, feline Chlamydiosis, distemper, rabies and a few other illnesses that he could get from coming in contact with outside animals.

Some people don't get their pets rabies shots every year like they should and for some people who have strictly indoor animals, that seems like a safe choice, but its risky. At the very least, you need to get him his first few sets of vaccinations.

When I got my first cat and the budget was tight, I Googled a local pet clinic nearby. It was the Animal Protective Association of Missouri and they had a small animal clinic that you could bring your pets into and they would do general checkups and basic things like vaccinations and micro-chipping for a realllllllllly reasonable price. I absolutely loved the doctor there too. All my dogs went to a vet office nearby and that always cost a lot more. Probably $60 for the visit alone then maybe $50 for the shots. It just depends where you go to get the shots done. I think your best bet is to look around, keep your eyes open. I would even call local vet offices or clinics to ask about their pricing. But you definitely need to get it done and soon! Best of luck!

- As far as cats being over-vaccinated, I guess I feel like I'd rather be safe than sorry. I would hate to have my cat catch something really serious and kick myself for not getting them vaccinated before.
 

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Be aware that some feline diseases are airborne, which means that you can potentially bring them into your home on your clothes or person if you somehow come into contact with the infective organisms outside of your home. The only way to protect your cat against such possible infections is to vaccinate.

As far as expense is concerned, it's easy enough to call around to your area vets and ask their prices. You'll likely find a range of prices.

BTW, an intact male is susceptible to developing testicular cancer later in life, not to mention all sorts of unpleasant behaviors as he becomes increasingly sexually frustrated. He would be a much happier cat if you had him neutered.

Laurie
 

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The basic FvrCP vaccine poses virtually no risk (the modified live ones which are now in use have not been connected with vaccine associated sarcoma) so it would be a great thing for your cats to get it. There is a possibility that this vaccine plays a role in the development of chronic renal failure in older cats, so some holistic vets don't recommend them after the initial kitten shots - however, pretty much everyone agrees that these shots are not optional. After the first year booster vaccine you can later switch them to the bivalent nasal vaccine they would get every three years - it doesn't contain the substance linked to kidney disease.

As for leukemia vaccine, cats older than two years are pretty immune to the disease, and considering they're indoor only the risks would be truly minimal, however that vaccine is strongly recommended for kittens. This vaccine as well as the rabies one was linked to vaccine associated sarcoma, however recently their non-adjuvanted variety has been introduced by Merial (they are called PureVax vaccines), so they shouldn't pose a risk for VAS. In my opinion, if you can locate a clinic that uses PureVax brand, you can have your cats receive these shots, in any other case just be extra careful they don't get out and/or scratch or bite any guests. But I would definitely strongly recommend they get their FvrCP shots and FvrC nasal vaccines later - as it's been suggested, these are highly contagious viruses and it is possible that even indoor cats get them.
 

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def kitty,

Could you please tell us what the abbreviations in your post stand for?

(FvrCP and FvrC). I'm really bad with those things.

Thanks.
 

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There is some very good advice here. For the sake of your cat, perhaps you could at least give him his first round of shots. There is much evidence that the immunization provided by some shots lasts a long time, even a cat's lifetime.

All of my cats have had their first shots - all seven housecats and every feral that I've ever had. But I had one vaccine-related sarcoma, and have been wary ever since.
 

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FvrCP stands for feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus and paneleukopenia (panleukopenia is a deadly disease, but it is likely that after the initial kitten shots cats will be immune for a lifetime). FvrC vaccines (rhinotracheitis and calicivirus only) are available as nasal sprays, and can safely be given every three years after the initial kitten shots. Here's why it's better to give FvrC than FvrCP vaccine to adult cats. Always make sure these vaccines are modified live vaccines (mlv) - killed vaccines were linked to vaccine associated sarcoma.

Rabies and leukemia vaccines are killed vaccines and therefore are more dangerous, so for these I would use only the PureVax brand or skip them altogether.
 
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