Do indoor cats really need vaccines?

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emilymaywilcha

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Sadly, the rabies vaccine is one of the vaccinations most associated with development of cancer.
Are you mad many states require it? I certainly would be if any of my cats got skin cancer that way! But I always thought people were crazy to think it is not necessary because my assumption was if that was true, it would not be required by law in a lot of places.
 

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Did you read the subject title of this thread? I specifically asked if INDOOR-ONLY cats need vaccines. Meaning cats who never go outside.
Well, it's a natural extension of the discussion. And as Willowy points out...


Once the immune system is trained, what does it matter if the cat is inside or outside? In fact, immunity from vaccines probably lasts longer in outside cats, because their immune systems get frequent "reminders".

When was the last time you had an MMR vaccine? Even though you go outside? Vaccines work the same in cats as in humans.
Really, the discussion and information isn't dependent on whether cats are indoor-only.
 
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emilymaywilcha

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The only reason I asked about the importance of vaccines in the first place was I never did and never will have an indoor-outdoor cat. The keyword in my question is indoor.

Willowy's point made me wonder why people need to get the MMR vaccine more than once if the fact that we go outside helps keep our immune systems trained. My assumption is if cats who go outside do not need to be vaccinated again, neither do humans. So as long as people get the tetanus shot every 10 years instead of one for life, I will always give cats who go outside all vaccines on the market even if they are known to cause skin cancer.
 
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emilymaywilcha

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I never thought a website about changing the way you feed cats would have information completely unrelated to the feline diet before I clicked on raw food links.
 

pat

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But that's the heart of the issue in the discussion in this thread - the definition of "up to date" on "boosters." All of these links point to boosters being unnecessary. No, there's no paperwork on rescue kitties. But they can do titre testing. That would be the "proof" and determine whether or not they need a vaccination.
Good post, I agree!  I worked years ago at an animal hospital when one of the vets there shared information about perhaps cats didn't need yearly vaccines afterall, that every 3 years (at that time this was the thinking) would do.  It changed how I began approaching the vaccinations of my kitties. And now  I much prefer the idea of doing the titre testing.
 
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palikakitty

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My cat Midnight is dying from fibrosarcoma that developed after her shots in December.  She is 15 and we are just keeping her comfortable but the end will come soon as she is starting to eat less.  I am furious that my vet never told me of the risks.  I have 8 cats ages 13-17 and all have been vaccinated routinely.  Never again.
 
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emilymaywilcha

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My cat Midnight is dying from fibrosarcoma that developed after her shots in December. She is 15 and we are just keeping her comfortable but the end will come soon as she is starting to eat less. I am furious that my vet never told me of the risks. I have 8 cats ages 13-17 and all have been vaccinated routinely. Never again.
I think most people are not told of the risks unless they ask. Once I asked a vet what the risk is and he said fibrosarcomas are not common so it could be not all vets are aware of it. Of course, there is also a possibility they just want the money you pay for that, and the rabies vaccine is required in many states. But I can't say why your vet insisted on vaccinating cats every year.

Your first sentence makes me think the vet did not do enough to treat that fibrosarcoma because it is curable if treated early. I assume you do not want to see that vet anymore. I would demand answers and change vets if that happened to my cat.


I highly recommend discussing this in Crossing The Bridge.
 Try to remember how lucky Midnight was to have you.
 
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palikakitty

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Midnight is a feral cat who we lured into our houseabout 8 years ago in a snowstorm.  She previously lived on the porch of a neighbor.  She was a mom to one of my cats and we got her and all of her babies spayed and neutered.  The babies got adopted but she was just too skittish.  She won't let us touch her--once a year we trap her and take her to the vet.  She lives primarily in the basement and gets along well with the other cats.  She always came upstairs to eat and occasionally would come into the kitchen to drink water.  That's how we first noticed that something was wrong with her--there were a few pink streaks on the floor (since we don't handle her we didn't notice any growth).  We narrowed it down to her and immediately took her to the vet and he said he wouldn't discourage us if we put her down immediately.  He said he wouldn't operate.  We considered taking her to a specialist but after an experience with our Maltese last January (he had surgery for a mast cell tumor) and the grueling recovery we didn't think it was fair to her.  We thought the stress of a cone or an amputation without being able to carry her would just be too much.  I am out of town all week and it is killing me to hear reports "she didn't come upstairs but I put food down in front of her and she licked it a little."  The end is near.
 

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Poor Midnight.  That seems like a wise choice to not operate.  I had a feral get spayed and they put a cone on her(yes knowing she was feral).  She would start up and bang into cage and get stuck.  I took it off ASAP.

to your family.
 

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[quote name="EmilyMayWilcha" url="/t/245463/do-indoor-cats-really-need-vaccines/60#post_322458] So as long as people get the tetanus shot every 10 years instead of one for life, I will always give cats who go outside all vaccines on the market even if they are known to cause skin cancer.
[/quote]
Sure, but annually? Why do that? The vaccines should last for 10 years for cats, too :dk:.

The main reason humans need repeat vaccinations is because most of these diseases have been nearly eradicated in the U.S. so our immune systems DON'T get reminders.

And calling a fibrosarcoma "skin cancer" isn't really accurate.
 
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ldg

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Oh thanks. My cat never gets a vaccine for those.:D
No, no cats get vaccinated for those. Those are a human vaccine. The comparison was being made between vaccination in humans vs. vaccination in cats. My vets, for instance, are vaccinated against rabies. They take a booster shot every 7 years. So why, in cats, are rabies vaccinations recommended every year? In some places, the recommendation is every three years. It is the exact same vaccine that is administered.

In humans, we are vaccinated with MMR as children - and then never again. So when cats are vaccinated with their equivalent - the FVRCP in cats - why do so many vets recommend they be vaccinated every year? That was the comparison being made, I think. :)
 
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emilymaywilcha

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No, no cats get vaccinated for those. Those are a human vaccine. The comparison was being made between vaccination in humans vs. vaccination in cats. My vets, for instance, are vaccinated against rabies. They take a booster shot every 7 years. So why, in cats, are rabies vaccinations recommended every year? In some places, the recommendation is every three years. It is the exact same vaccine that is administered.
In humans, we are vaccinated with MMR as children - and then never again. So when cats are vaccinated with their equivalent - the FVRCP in cats - why do so many vets recommend they be vaccinated every year? That was the comparison being made, I think.
Obviously vets don't realize what works 7 years for them also works 7 years for their patients.

FVRCP is not the feline version of MMR. Totally different virus in them.
 
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