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Do You Vaccinate Your Indoor Cats?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

My cats are strictly indoor, and they have regularly received their vaccinations every year from the vet. But considering that most feline viruses are caused by contact with other infected cats, which my cats are not being exposed to, I'm really starting to wonder what's the point to vaccinate? And are vaccinations healthy for them in the long run?

 

I'm curious, why do/don't you vaccinate your indoor cat? 

 

Thanks. :-)

post #2 of 14

Once our cats hit about 15 yr, the vet said she was comfortable stopping vacs. 

 

I always vax because I was so worried they would get out of the house and get exposed to other cats.  Bats in the house occur once in a while too so I was worried about rabies.  (I can worry about the most remote possiblities)

post #3 of 14

I vacc for Rabies only b/c it's the law.  I don't do any others. 

post #4 of 14

Our two cats have each gotten one shot for rabies when they were fixed but I don't vaccinate them because they're strictly indoors and because I also don't get vaccinations myself.

post #5 of 14

The issue with the rabies vax legal issues that would actually affect you is this: in the case that you had a friend or the vet who was bitten by your pet and your rabies vax was expired, the pet would have to be quarantined and boarded at a vet for 10 days for observation.  This would be stressful and costly.  However, if you know your cat and the bite risk would be low (like it is with my three), then it would make sense to forgo it with an indoor cat.  The rabies vaccines are the ones that have been associated with sarcomas.

 

If your cat doesn't go outside, the risk of getting rabies is nonexistent. 

The distemper combo vaccine, however, can be a bit more useful.  We're only doing it at my vet (where I work) every 3 years.  If you take your cat out a lot-to the vet-or you move a lot or something- then your cat would have more exposure.  However, if your cat is exclusively indoors and rarely taken out, again, not crucial.  Or, you could do it once, when they are young, and then not repeat it.  That's what I'm doing.

Vaccines last longer than the expiration date.  They can cause reactions.  Same issues as with human vaccines.

I prefer to spend my money on regular physical exams and dental cleanings when necessary.  That is really the important piece of the vet visit.  Vaccines keep people coming in regularly, but the other stuff is what actually keeps your pet healthy.

post #6 of 14

I do not.I have read the inserts to the vaccines the cats would get,and the benefits does not outweigh the lengthy risk of adverse reactions that are listed.

post #7 of 14

My cats are escape artists.  I have one of the three who stays put when the door opens, the other two shoot out like their lives depend on it.  I have given up trying to keep them inside.  Once they get outside, they just sniff around the porch then jump on the window sill and whine to be let in.  But, occasionally they wander up the street. 

 

Though, even if they didn't like to dart out the door at the first chance, I would still vax them.

post #8 of 14

We do vaccinate our indoor cats, but only for rabies (required by law) and distemper. Our current kitty is 14 and has asthma. At this point, we only give her the distemper vacc every three years, and are careful to schedule the rabies vacc so that she only has to have that every three years as well. We don't give her both in the same year, to minimize the possibility of reactions.

post #9 of 14

My two cats are indoor only and have never been vaccinated.  However, one just got out today and was missing for several hours before we found her hiding under the neighbors truck. :( I'm not sure exactly when she got out or where she went.  They are a year old now and this is the first time something like this has happened.  They've been to the vet once for a check-up as kittens, and another time to be spayed.

 

I'm now thinking of microchipping them in case either of them gets out again.  To do this, they will need rabies vaccinations.  For those of you who do distemper, how did you come to that decision?  I hate to overdo it on unnecessary vaccines, and they may never get outside again.  But now I'm thinking some vaccines may be a precautionary measure if there is a chance they are exposed to other animals.

post #10 of 14

My cat received the rabies vaccine this year when I had her spayed.  The law in my area requires that they give the rabies vaccine but I have no plans to give her any other vaccines.  She hasn't been outside since she was a few weeks old and is now 2 1/2 years old.  I waited so long to have her spayed b/c I didn't want to pay an arm and leg to give her vaccines that I didn't think she needed.

post #11 of 14

Rabies only, because it's the law. And I don't know how the law works elsewhere, but in Rhode Island the three-year vaccine is only available if you get there before the last vaccine expires. So if my cat had a rabies vax on April15 last year and I brought him back on April 14 this year, he could get the three-year vax. But if I brought him in on April 16, they would give another one-year vax. So annoying!

 

 

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by firefrenzy View Post

My cat received the rabies vaccine this year when I had her spayed.  The law in my area requires that they give the rabies vaccine but I have no plans to give her any other vaccines.  She hasn't been outside since she was a few weeks old and is now 2 1/2 years old.  I waited so long to have her spayed b/c I didn't want to pay an arm and leg to give her vaccines that I didn't think she needed.



I don't understand. Why would she need extra vaccines when she was younger? I just had a cat neutered last year and all he got was a rabies vaccine, and he wasn't fully grown.

post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post





I don't understand. Why would she need extra vaccines when she was younger? I just had a cat neutered last year and all he got was a rabies vaccine, and he wasn't fully grown.


It's not that they need extra vaccines when they were younger but most of the places in my area would only spay her if she was given all the vaccines.  It just took me awhile to find one that would only require the rabies vaccine. 

 

post #14 of 14

I do.  I have 3 indoor cats, and one got out for an afternoon last summer and brought fleas into the house.  There are several stray cats in the area, and I don't want a cat to get out again and bring in something worse.

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