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cat vaccines

Is Your Cat Getting Too Many Vaccines?

cat-vaccines
Photo: by Niamwhan for Depositphotos.com

In California, there’s a huge debate going on about the right to choose whether or not your kids get vaccines, but did you ever consider the same issue for your cat? I recently came across a petition on change.org, posted by Truth 4 Pets, about vaccines for cats and dogs.

While no one is recommending that you not vaccinate your pet, Truth 4 Pets brought up some interesting points concerning whether your cat really needs as many vaccines as they’re given. Apparently, some vaccines give lifelong immunity and booster shots may not be necessary. As well, given the age and risk of your cat, other shots may not be best for them.

In order to reduce adverse reactions and minimize the “vaccine load” for you cat, many top vet schools and major veterinary associations have actually changed their vaccination recommendations. However, many vet clinics are still following the older recommendations and thus, may be recommending more vaccines than your cat may need. Excessive vaccinations can increase the risk of adverse health conditions in you pet, including the risk for cancer.

According to Pets 4 Life’s website:

Top veterinary organizations (AVMA, WSAVA, AAHA, AAFP and AHVMA) and many top veterinary schools divide vaccines into “core” (with which all pets should be vaccinated) and “noncore” (which should be given only when a specific risk exists, if then).

Core vaccines for cats include panleukopenia, calicivirus, rhinotracheitis, and rabies. Per WSAVA (p. 14): “All kittens should receive the core vaccines. [For panleukopenia] a minimum of three doses is recommended: one at 8–9 weeks of age, a second 3–4 weeks later and a final dose at 14–16 weeks of age or older should be administered. Cats that respond to MLV core vaccines maintain immunity for many years in the absence of any repeat vaccination.” According to vaccine researcher Dr. Ron Schultz, if your cat is already 16 weeks of age or older at the time of its first vaccine, only a single dose is needed to provide solid, long-lasting immunity. No booster vaccines are needed for most adult cats, except rabies as required by law.

The article on their website includes a detailed list of answers to FAQs as well as questions to consider when vaccinating your pets. If you’d like to know:

  • Which vaccines are required by law
  • An alternative to vaccination to test your cat’s immunity to a disease
  • How to be informed of all the risks associated with a vaccine

Then, check out the article Questions to Ask before vaccinating your cat.