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I'm probably opening a can of worms(or a bag of low quality dry food... Sorry, bad pun lol) but what is your take on yearly vaccinations?

I have been talking to a lot of people and doing research on it. What I found was that vaccinations do more harm than good, especially considering that all three of mine are Indoor cats. They all had their basic kitten shots so I don't plan on vaccinating them again. I haven't had a vaccination since I was a toddler so why should my animals? I believe the whole thing is a money making scam.

My cats aren't registered so I will not be giving them a rabies shot either. Yes it's law here but it's not worth jepordizing their health and getting stressed out for nothing. I just got my dogs 1 year shots and I now regret it. I will continue with her rabies vacs but that's because we take her to a lot of places. No more vaccines though.
 

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I don't vaccinate indoor cats. The risk that they will be exposed to anything is almost nil, so the risk from the vaccinations (esp. rabies and FeLV) is far greater than the risk of disease.

Both the FeLV and rabies vaccines have been shown to cause VAS (vaccine-associated sarcoma, which can be fatal). The reason those vaccines are now given in the leg (instead of between the shoulder blades, where they used to be given) is b/c the leg is amputatable if cancer develops.

The new Purevax rabies vaccine by Merial does not have an adjuvant--it is the adjuvant that was causing the VAS. BUT it's a 1-year vaccine only so then you get back into the whole over-vaccinating thing. Studies have shown that the rabies vaccines are actually probably good for 7-10 years at least but good luck getting a vet to read those studies!

The only real reason to vaccinate an indoor cat against rabies is b/c you're worried about what might happen if the cat bites someone. The worst thing that will happen to an OWNED cat who does that is quarantine until it has been proven that the cat does not have rabies. That's not that big a deal, and that would only be a worry if the cat bit someone who would actually report the bite (Hint: Keep kitties who bite away from all but very good friends!).

Cats who spend ANY amout of time outside definitely should be vaccinated, as for them the risks of the Real World are far greater than the risks of the vaccines.

But for indoor kitties, there is no good reason to do it IMO. Be sure to never let a new cat in your home, however, without FeLV/FIV testing and a decent quarantine period. :)
 

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I don't think adult indoor cats need to be vaccinated.

My question for those of you who do not do rabies vaccine is can your vet report you or something? I mean it's against the law not to vaccinate for rabies, so couldn't the vet take some sort of action if you refuse it?
 

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I don't think adult indoor cats need to be vaccinated.

My question for those of you who do not do rabies vaccine is can your vet report you or something? I mean it's against the law not to vaccinate for rabies, so couldn't the vet take some sort of action if you refuse it?
Nope. No decent vet would do that. And if they did, animal control would never bother--they have actual real work to do, and hunting down responsible owners of unvaccinated house cats isn't really in their job description. ;)

No one will know unless the cat bites someone and, again, that would have to be someone who would report the bite, so that's unlikely as well. :)
 

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I don't think that the vet would be the one to report non-vaccination, more likely if there was a biting incident that would be when you would get in trouble. Also, there would be an issue if you tried to travel with your kitty on any airline.

We just re-vaccinated Gracie since we do plan to travel with her while we visit Jamie in college - to our horror, she had a bad reaction (which I posted about a little while ago) so her vet made a note in her file that she will be exempt from any further vaccinations. I am under the impression that this will be sufficient if we ever do plan to fly with her.

Fran
 

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Are their any other yearly vaccines aside from rabies? I thought (rabies aside) after the kitten shots and the 1-year boosters they were good to go. At least, that was what our vet seemed to imply once she knew our cat's situation (indoor-only, with owners who promised to come in for annual wellness checks.)

It's not law here to give the rabies shot, so we're not bothering with Io (she's never had it). Since we're moving overseas in a few years, we'll have to get her an initial rabies shot, I'm planning about 6 mos before she flies (rabies vac. for import to nz must be within 1 year of travel, but I don't want to do it too close since she'll already be stressed out with the move and the flight.)
 

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I don't think adult indoor cats need to be vaccinated.

My question for those of you who do not do rabies vaccine is can your vet report you or something? I mean it's against the law not to vaccinate for rabies, so couldn't the vet take some sort of action if you refuse it?
Some vets refuse to take care of animals who are not vaccinated for rabies. I myself think that is wise.
 

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Are their any other yearly vaccines aside from rabies? I thought (rabies aside) after the kitten shots and the 1-year boosters they were good to go. At least, that was what our vet seemed to imply once she knew our cat's situation (indoor-only, with owners who promised to come in for annual wellness checks.)
The current recommendation by the AVMA and AAFVP is 3 years for the combo shot (panleuk, etc), but many (I venture MOST) vets still push it annually for $$ reasons. Every 3 years is bad enough (and unecessary for indoor cats in a closed society) but annually is really bad.

Since we're moving overseas in a few years, we'll have to get her an initial rabies shot, I'm planning about 6 mos before she flies (rabies vac. for import to nz must be within 1 year of travel, but I don't want to do it too close since she'll already be stressed out with the move and the flight.)
Be sure to get the 1-year rabies w/out the adjuvant (Merial Purvax).
 

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What is the recommendation for former strays when you don't know their vaccination history?
It's up to you. If you choose not to vaccinate, why would you be more likely to vaccinate a former stray than a cat you've known his whole life? No difference there.

If you DO vaccinate (b/c your cats go outside, etc.), the current AVMA/AAFVP recommendation is annual rabies (Merial Purevax ONLY), every 3 years on the combo shot.
 

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No one will know unless the cat bites someone and, again, that would have to be someone who would report the bite, so that's unlikely as well. :)
If the bite needs medical attention, the doctor is obligated to report it. So it doesn't really matter if it's someone you just met or your mother...control can be taken out of their hands.
 

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We just re-vaccinated Gracie since we do plan to travel with her while we visit Jamie in college - to our horror, she had a bad reaction (which I posted about a little while ago) so her vet made a note in her file that she will be exempt from any further vaccinations. I am under the impression that this will be sufficient if we ever do plan to fly with her.
I think that's a big assumption that you might want to check out well in advance of any travel. It's highly doubtful that the airline can make an exception just on your vet's say so, the destination state may have to provide paperwork indicating they approve (which would be both the state you're traveling to and your home state for the return trip). I base this on what a friend goes through to register her dog...she has an undersized liver and vaccines send her into multiple organ failure. The state vet must issue a waiver before the town will license the dog. The time needed for this process can be extensive.
 

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My son was at a friends house a couple of months ago and was bitten and scratcged on the back of his leg by her cat. It was unprovoked. His leg was swollen the next morning and wound was puss filled Had to take him to the dr, The dr had to report it. Her cat was upto date on shots so he didnt have to be impounded thank goodness.
 

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We've had three bats found locally that tested positive for rabies in the last few months. One was found inside someone's house. It had come in through the chimney and her cat killed it. Thankfully the cat was vaccinated.

Just saying that an indoor only cat is not always safe.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for the responses... I was just making sure I was doing the right thing. I read too many times about the over vaccinations of animals... the whole thing is a cash cow... unless of course, as one of you mentioned, the cat is a stray/you don't know the history.

As for their vet... they don't really have a vet right now. We moved and we were going to take them to the vet we just took our dog to but I don't like them because he would not let go in saying that she needs every vaccination under the sun, extra boosters, etc. That's why I am worried to take my cats to the vet now unless they are ill... their old vet gave them shots/medicines without telling me what it was/asking me and charged me. I was outraged.

If one of them gets sick and I need to take them to a vet then they will have to give them a rabies vac by law, I'll insist on purevax and if they refuse I will walk. Like I said though, I only will give it to them if they absolutely need to see a vet.
 

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I beleive that initial vaccinations are important, but the revaccinations are definately over-done. I foster cats and volunteer at a shelter so panleuk is important even though my cats never go outside, since i could transmit it to them. And like MowMow said, its not unusual to find a bat inside. And bats are a big carrier of rabies. As far as bites are concerned, it depends on your local laws. My cat bit me after i brought her inside, but she had not had her vaccines yet and she was a stray. The health department sent me a letter and said that i needed to keep her quaranteened for 10 days, and as long as she displayed no rabies symptoms she was fine. She also bit me after she was vaccinated, and it was the same process. So it differs, but in my county they treat all bites the same whether thay are vaccinated or not.
 

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If one of them gets sick and I need to take them to a vet then they will have to give them a rabies vac by law, I'll insist on purevax and if they refuse I will walk. Like I said though, I only will give it to them if they absolutely need to see a vet.
The last thing in the world you should do is vaccinate a sick cat.

No one has mentioned titering...If you want to ensure your cat is protected, but not over vaccinated, then get a titer done on a yearly basis. It will tell you if a booster is required.
 

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i vacinate both cats yearly , including the vacinations and rabies....here in phoenix, if my cat bites someone without the rabies vacination, you will have your animal taken away by the pet police....when the weather is cool,, i take my cats ourside daily....i will not keep my cats indoors all the time, they want to go out, and i let them...they are hunters.
 

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My cat gets PureVax Rabies yearly and PureVax Feline 3 (FVRCP) every 3 years. There is actually a PureVax Feline 3 + Rabies combo vaccine so she only needs 1 vaccine per year even when it's the FVRCP year.

I don't see a need for the other vaccines as she's indoors only and doesn't come into contact with other cats.

My vet specially orders the PureVax vaccines for me as they don't carry them usually. These are non-adjuvanted vaccines which is why I'm comfortable with her getting rabies once a year. The vaccines cost a bit more than what they carry but they don't charge me the difference for some reason.

I was possibly exposed to rabies last year when handling a cat that I tried to rescue and had to get post-exposure treatment myself. With that being said, I have no issue with suggesting that people need to get their cat vaccinated for rabies at least every 3 years. That's assuming the vaccine they use is licensed for 3 years. PureVax Rabies is licensed for 1 year only but it's considered safer to vaccinate yearly with it vs a 3 year adjuvanted vaccine.
 
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