When it comes to vaccinations for indoor cats, it’s important to be smart about it. Does your cat need vaccines? Have you been told ‘it’s time’ simply because it’s protocol? Does your vet explain any risks?
You shouldn’t vaccinate your cat if you don’t fully know and understand why you’re doing it. And the truth is, most indoor cats have little to no risk of contracting the diseases that the majority of vaccinations are trying to prevent.
Does your cat need vaccines?
Cats need vaccines, in our opinion, when they are at risk of catching or carrying disease. If you’re bringing new kittens into your home, there are safe and effective vaccine protocols that you can follow to ensure your kitties are protected from disease. Minimal vaccines are what we recommend. For example, there’s no need to vaccinate for feline leukemia if your other cats don’t carry it and your indoor kitten isn’t at risk. The FeLV vaccine is proven to be so ineffective that we wouldn’t recommend it anyway. But I digress…
When veterinarians begin working in their field, it is required that they receive vaccinations against rabies, since they’ll be working with animals. However, veterinarians are not required to continue to receive vaccines. Instead, vets are titer tested to be sure that they’re still immune to this disease. Why? Because vaccinating an already immune mammal carries a high risk of side effects. Unfortunately, many vets do not consider these same risks for their clients.
So why aren’t we titer testing our cats before re-vaccinating them? Titer testing is an option, but many veterinarians don’t advocate for this. And what we’re finding is that, if you ask for this test, many veterinarians will charge WAY more than necessary. This only encourages cat parents to go forward with vaccinating their kitties instead.
As cat parents, it’s our responsibility – not our vets – to ensure our cats stay happy and healthy. More vaccinations does not mean a healthier cat. Please take caution when making vaccine decisions for your feline and do what’s best for your kitties.