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Are the shots really necessary?

October 21st, 2003, 01:59 PM
Within the next few weeks I need to bring my cat, Tommy, to get neutered.
Everywhere I have called has told me that I have to get him his shots in order for them to do the surgery.
Both of my cats are indoor only cats who have absolutely no chance of ever getting out!
Bobby used to be an outdoor cat, but when he was he got his shots.
If I never left my house I wouldn't fing it necessary to be vaccinated either!
What is the deal?
Tom will only be at the vet for a few hours - why won't they do the surgery for me without vaccinating him?
He is my cat - why should I have to vaccinate him if I don't want to?

October 21st, 2003, 02:33 PM
Vaccination protocols are a fairly hotly debated topic these days - many vets (on advice and studies coming from major vet schools) are titering instead, giving fewer vaccines, and spacing them out.

Personally - I would not go to a vet who demanded that my animals had to be vaccinated (I'm assuming that's what you're talking about) without good reason. I'd take my business elsewhere.

FWIW - I do vaccinate my dogs & cat, but very minimally, with the blessing of my wonderful vet. I'm going to start titering them before giving any more vacinations, save for the three year rabies vaccine required in my state.

Lucky Rescue
October 21st, 2003, 07:19 PM
The only vaccinations I ever gave to my cats were rabies shots for cats who went out

For strictly indoor cats, I personally see no need to vaccinate.

October 21st, 2003, 10:04 PM
Here's a very good two part article on vaccinations:

A professor at Texas A&M University vet school published an article on the need to rethink annual vaccinations - it was picked up by AP and widely disseminated in newspapers last year. (Wish I had a copy of it.) The veterinary school in Fort Collins, CO is now recommending vaccinating only every three years. A leading vet and researcher, Jean Dodds, has lectured widely on the subject of the potential dangers of annual vaccinations. There is a ton of literature and research out there on the subject, if you look for it!

Unfortunately, I do believe many vets insist on annual vaccinations because it's a huge source of income. I personally think recommending an annual wellness check and blood panel would be better, and would cost no more.

October 23rd, 2003, 08:44 AM
First of all, I would like to thank all of you for replying to my post, all of your input was very helpful. Secondly, after reading the article suggested by Carnia I was wondering - Should he get his shots the first time only, or is it okay to not get them at all?

October 24th, 2003, 05:49 AM
Well - Colorado State recommends kitten vaccines (not the all-in-one shot, but seperate shots) and then vaccines every three years. I'm not even sure that would be necessary for a strictly indoor cat. I wouldn't bother, personally. The all in one shots carry a risk of some sort of vaccine-related cancer at the shot of the site, it's apparently not rare; I saw a cat with a huge cancerous growth on his shoulders at an adoption event at a local pet store. The shelter had brought him in to demonstrate the potential dangers.

I googled "cat vaccine protocol" and also found several warnings against vaccinating an animal at the same time as any other procedure.

My present vet, and my last on in Colorado, spread out the kitten & puppy shots, recommend three year vaccinations, and when my elderly dog got to be about 8 or 9, didn't think I should bother giving her any vaccinations. Interestingly, I brought in a dog who had kennel cough - my other two dogs got it, but my old dog who hadn't been vaccinated for a blessed thing in 5 years at that point, did not.

BTW, neither of my vets are holistic or "alternative" vets. I do bring my dogs in annually for heartworm tests (I give the monthly HW pill) and get a blood panel drawn at the same time, it's only $30.00. Our cat hasn't been to the vet in four years. :)