View Full Version : Annual Vaccinations

18-11-2011, 03:26 PM
(The following article was not written by a vet or scientist and therefore its content should be used to broaden your curiosity and lead you to question and investigate annual vaccinations before making an informative decision of your own .)

I do not advocate not taking your cat for her initial vaccinations . Your cats first vaccinations are crucial and the most important preventative measure you can take to protect the longterm health of your pet . Currently cats can be vaccinated against several diseases which if caught can prove fatal -
leukemia,FIP,Panleukopenia,Calicivirus,Chlamydia,F eline rhinotracheitis and Rabies .......
Like in humans these vaccinations pose a risk of side effects and in more recent years the risks involved have become more apparent .In particular some cats develop vaccine induced tumors . Some cats also suffer life threatening allergic reactions which have been known to be fatal. But the risks posed by initial vaccinations "Do not outweigh the consequences" of failing to vaccinate. First vaccinations are the reason pets are now living healthier lives and also prevent the spread of disease into the cat population as a whole .
A good Veterinarian always acts in the best interests of the animals they treat . Vaccinating pets is an important part a vet plays in preventing sickness and death in their patients and also they have a role to play in preventing the spread of infectious diseases . In the 1990s it was common place to recieve your reminder every year that your cat was due her annual shots and you knowing your vet had your pets best interests at heart complied . What you did not question is how decision to annually vaccinate your pet had been made , you were not made aware that your vets decision was based on reccomendations made by the manufacturer of the drugs administered and at that time little study had been made into how long the vaccines were effective for. A recent number released on the profit made by vets and manufacturers was calculated as 36 million pounds a year !
Since the 1990s growing evidence and increasing studies have showed that these vaccinations last longer than first suspected. In addition to this an increasing number of pets have started to suffer from the effects of being over vaccinated resulting in a number of diseases such as skin ailments ,IBS, blood disorders , joint problems and problems with the nervous system as in some cases the vaccines are stimulating the immune systems of your pets to attack her own tissues. Many owners would argue that I am irresponsible not to annually vaccinate my pets yet I am increasingly seeing the risks of doing so are just to terrible to ignore. A recent conversation with a vet confirmed my suspicions when she revealed annual vaccinations were a way of ensuring owners visited for their annual check ups which also increased profits . In her own words "we are sitting on a ticking time bomb of sick pets ".
A growing number of practitioners are now reccomending a reduced frequency of vaccinations although tailoring the procedure to specific situations . It is not good enough anymore to treat each pet the same they must be treated according to their individual needs . For example a pet who regularly stays in the kennels may need to be vaccinated against bordetella as regularly as every 6 months . Rabies vaccinations may be required by law . There is still controversy over how long vaccinations last but studys show that core vaccinations may well last a lifetime and evidence exists they last 3 years upwards as such increasing reccomendation is vaccinations should be administered every 3 years and not annually as first believed and in older pets the need for vaccinations decrease further as they will already have obtained a lifetime immunity although where their immune system has been compromised by such diseases as cancer it needs to be considered. Some practitioners and manufacturers refuse to change tradition especially as their profits would be compromised by such changes but I personally feel most pet owners need to read about the risks and make a more informative choice and prehaps even seek a second opinion . Your pets health is important and being led blindly should not be an option.
So I made the decision not to annually vaccinate my pets and it has so far proven to be the right choice . Non of them are ill all have been checked for aids etc and I dont have to deal with the same complaints as many of digestive problems ,skin complaints behavioural problems , and various other problems I associate to over vaccination.
Does this mean I dont take my cats to the vet ? No check ups are crucial only a vet can best detect the early signs of disease best including heart disease,diabetes,cancers , Kidney and liver problems etc . A cats lifespan is such that taking them to the vets once a year is the equivelent of taking them once every 5 years , I would be a irresponsible owner if I put that down to every 3 years (15years) !
So what problems have I come accross from not vaccinating my pet annually ? Well so far health wise non but it can be difficult to find a kennels that will accept a cat without its annual vaccinations and a petsitter is my option .Also in the case of insurers some refuse to accept a unvaccinated cat whilst most will but will not pay towards a illness contracted due to my failure to vaccinate annually which doesnt concern me as I remain sure this will not occur and Im already saving money by not having pets who suffer from ill health due to annual vaccinations .I also had to change vets to one who was aware and agreed in the changing reccomendations and in my view has my pets best interests at heart .

Thanks for reading :)

31-01-2012, 10:29 PM
I won't get my 2 vaccinated any more Catzmother, not had their vaccs for 10 years and IMO they aren't at huge risk, and I won't put my cats in catteries anyway.

My current two have lived the longest out of all my cats. I religiously took my cats in every year for their vaccinations. Not now. I lost most of them at not a great age to leukaemia, 2 to cancer, one to FIV, and the other to some unknown flu/virus 3 months after a vaccination. He always used to be laid up and sniffly after a vaccination, I had no idea he would later develop cancer. Did the vaccinations help, or compromise his immune system? I can't say. I do believe with some cats the vaccinations in their system just are unable to 'work' as they should...Next time anyone gets a vaccination done ask your vet to take home and read the contraindications in the leaflet that comes out of the packet, you have a right to know. The last one I read stated that before being vaccinated the cat should be healthy, not elderly and with no underlying disease.

While I understand many owners will always 'need' to get their cats vaccinated for showing due to strict regulations catteries, breeding, and insurance I do feel that vaccinations are a massive business which is being 'sold' /mis-sold based on owner's fear-factor, and as an insurance against illness, when there is no guarantee that they will not get that illness/disease anyway.

Catzmother thanks for the posting.

14-10-2012, 10:12 AM
When I was twenty I acquired a little kitten whom I called Gray, who had a long & happy life & died at the grand old age of 20 due to a brain tumour.
Nothing unusual about that I know, but apart from being neutered, having dental work at 14 & steroid injections for arthritis from 17 onwards, Gray had had no vaccinations whatsoever.
She lived for 13yrs with up to 4 other cats who, because of insurance demands, were vaccinated.
I think it is pot luck. A cat that has been vaccinated for leukaemia can still contract the illness, as a cat with the cat flu vaccine, can still contract cat flu(as unfortunately I have just been reading on another section).
When Madison & Minstrel reached 15, I took the decision to stop taking them for the boosters( my view was that if they would have built up a natural immunity by then) I encountered an argumentative vet, who told me I was irresponsible & basically, didnt care about my pets.
I, in return told them that they had just become a greedy, money making company instead of the small caring practice I had joined 17yrs ago.(there were other issues that factor as well) & I changed to a small family run vet.
when I explained my reasons for discontinuing the vaccines, my new vet had no problems with it, & since then we have a good relationship whereas she discusses my cats treatment we come to conclusions in unison.
Unfortunately, a lot of these large vetinary practices just seem to be in it for the money, & seem to have forgotten what they trained for in the first place.

01-12-2012, 03:44 PM
I only booster the cats I show or breed from. I have no choice with regards to showing as that is a rule and I have to provide a current up to date vaccination card at vetting in. I obviously vaccinate my breeding cats to protect the newborn kittens however my oldies, of which there are quite a few, do not have annual vaccination and I am lucky that I don't have a greedy vet and she doesn't push it.

Can I just say that there is NO vaccine for FIP as stated in your article.

02-12-2012, 04:35 AM
Like so many others, I am involved with Rescue so I booster my animals yearly in accordance with the vets advice. I trust my Vet to do what is right for my animals.

18-09-2013, 12:12 PM
Have not vaccinated for decades; I live far away in the boonies and meet few cats. With a new feral around I am limiting contact now... my current pair came infected with enteritis anyway.. extraordinary how that vet says we have a ticking time bomb if we do not take the cats in for an annual check... I think most cat owners know when there is trouble afoot with our cats.

18-09-2013, 01:14 PM
I must say that I do have mine done annually (Pip is due to go this very afternoon). More a peace of mind thing .... and, luckily, my cats don't seem to have any adverse reaction - it's just my bank account that does!

18-09-2013, 03:54 PM
Given how poorly my Harris has been and his immune system being lower than normal, I wouldn't hesitate in getting mine their annual boosters. Harris is late for his because the get advised against them as they were due at his poorly period. He's going on Monday to get his updated.

07-10-2014, 03:03 PM
So far I know, when the body is in contact with "germs", the body/immuunsystem makes antibodies.
Indoor cats have a weaker immuunsystem, they don't get in touch with "germs" as often as outdoor cats do (so they don't make antibodies). That's why in my opinion indoor cats should still be vaccinated annually (and outside cats too).

My Hiro needs to get a special vaccinated, cause he's allergic for the regular ones.

07-10-2014, 03:06 PM
What I wanted to add is: You're basically vaccinating to keep your cats immune system up and working.

fecto's mum
07-10-2014, 08:22 PM
Out of our 5 cats, 3 are vaccinated, 2 are not. I think I will get Huggins vacced though as I don't think his immune system will be too good after his start in life.

30-11-2014, 10:57 PM
I feel that not vaccinating pets is nearly as irresponsible as not vaccinating children. It decreases their risk of illness - and it's hard enough to explain to a child that they're ill and all the injections and blood samples and nasty medicines will make them better, let alone explain it to a pet. And it creates herd immunity - if the vast majority of the cats in an area are vaccinated, those illnesses can't get a hold in that area and all the cats are safer for it.

01-12-2014, 08:45 PM
i think the more we learn the harder it is to keep pets. In the past we believed everything the vets told us without question and indeed doctors too.
As we become better informed we are able to research and question.
I have read reports that say vaccines can last for three years and some say for the life time of the animal.
We have had the dogs vaccinated and then a booster,after which we haven't had anymore as i am concerned about damage from over vaccinating.
I did contact the school of veterinary medicine to ask about this a few years ago but they said they couldn't comment. Hopefully one day things will be clearer as we all want the best for out pets

08-07-2015, 09:32 AM
Another good read for anyone that's interested is the world small animal veterinary association (wsava) guideline on vacations... This is a piece of literature written by vets and it does not advocate yearly boosters, but talks a lot about the memory of the immune system... It would seem as well that vets in this country are unfortunalty tied into the recondmendations due to product labeling...

26-10-2015, 10:07 PM
In 2012/13 I fostered two wonderful cats who both have Feline Leukaemia Virus. Suzi had been used as a breeding machine to churn out kittens to sell for extra beer money and dumped on my friend's charity when her final litter didn't sell (her five kittens were all dead from FeLV before they were a year old) and George was dumped in a box in a vet nurses' garden. Blood tests confirmed his FeLV and he was given to the charity and came to us as a long-term foster. Suzi was with us for 9 months before succcumbing to kidney failure in the space of three days :cry: I cried buckets for a LOT longer!!! George was with us 13 months before the FeLV kicked in and started to affect his appetite. From being a lad who loved his food it became a struggle to get him to eat more than a mouthful, no matter how tempting :( It was heartbreaking and frustrating to see him getting thinner yet he still had that 'spark' which had me thinking it wasn't quite time to make that Dreaded Call to the vet. When it did happen - he became very lethargic late one evening and just wanted to cuddle up to me on my bed - I knew instantly it was time to let him go and we both took him to the vet as soon as they opened the next morning and within minutes he had passed to Rainbow Bridge in my arms :cry: I wasn't just upset at losing two wonderful and young cats, both less than 3 years of age, but angry too at the waste of it all. I said then no more cats.....and lasted less than a month! :lol: That's when we got Chilli and Lily and they are both vaccinated, spayed and insured. No way will I go through losing a cat because I haven't vaccinated :? Both go outside too so that's another reason I insist on it being done :)

14-11-2015, 10:11 PM
i think the more we learn the harder it is to keep pets. In the past we believed everything the vets told us without question and indeed doctors too.
As we become better informed we are able to research and question.
I have read reports that say vaccines can last for three years and some say for the life time of the animal.
We have had the dogs vaccinated and then a booster,after which we haven't had anymore as i am concerned about damage from over vaccinating.
I did contact the school of veterinary medicine to ask about this a few years ago but they said they couldn't comment. Hopefully one day things will be clearer as we all want the best for out pets

Vets can't give a definitive answer because all animals are individuals and therefore react differently to vaccines.
Some will need vaccinating every year, some less so.
The titre test works for some infections but not all, so it depends on the illness as to whether it's accurate.

Personally, I would rather vaccinate than risk the alternative, you have to assume your pet was fully fit and healthy at vaccine time, and even if the vet check was ok, they may well have been harbouring an illness which would affect the vaccine.
Its not worth the risk.