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Saturday, November 21, 2015

Vaccinations - do I really need to be jabbed with a needle every year?

Dear George, 
I completely dislike going to the vet. I know sometimes is absolutely necessary but most of the time our humans are taking us to the vet excessively. My mommy takes me there sometimes for grooming (which I don’t mind so much) but now she is planning to take me to get vaccinated. Vaccination it’s such a hot topic right now in both human and animal realm, very controversial indeed and I’d like to hear your opinion about it.
I was vaccinated when I was a kitten (about 8 weeks old) then I was given a booster a month later. The vet recommended annual vaccination! I personally think this is just money grab! How come that humans kittens are vaccinated once and that vaccine is good for life? Are we different when it comes to the immune system? I think we are stronger.
Also, I’m an indoor cat and I don’t come in contact with other cats or creatures!
I heard of other cats being vaccinated every five years. Is there a rule?
Any suggestions?
Yours truly,
Sophie

Dear Sophie, 
I hate those annual jabs (and I hate the vet). But these protect you against disease.  So, yes, you do need to be vaccinated. But how often and how many will vary from country to country.
Here in the UK I am vaccinated yearly with a combination vaccine (just one jab) against feline enteritis and cat 'flu. This means I can go into a cattery if there is an emergency at home. When I was younger, because I am a cat who goes outside, I had three years of vaccinations against feline leukaemia. If I had lived indoors I wouldn't have needed that.
Lifestyle matters a lot. If I lived abroad, a rabies vaccination might well be important or even a legal requirement. If I lived in a multicat household or a breeding colony then vaccinations against chlamydia and bordatella (called kennel cough in dogs) might also be worth having. Vaccinations for FIV and FIP are available outside Europe but their efficacy is not proven to European standards.
How often should you get a jab? Well here in the UK most authorities recommend annual vaccinations. You could opt for longer intervals between jabs with yearly blood tests for immunity  - but this will mean more jabs with a needle to take blood and more expense for your human. If you have a bad reaction to a vaccine (a few cats do), try a different sort of vaccine.
I agree that if you are an indoor only cat, an annual vaccine seems like a waste of money  - but what if there was an emergency, such as your humans being in an accident? You wouldn't be welcome in a good cattery. Can your humans be absolutely sure there is always someone to feed you? And what if you escape into the outside world?
Tricky, isn't it?  If in doubt, however, get vaccinated. It might save your life or the life of any cat with whom you come into contact.  And you can get the vet, while she is vaccinating you,  to check your eyes, ears and teeth, at no extra cost! Oh, and by the way, just for fun, you can always bite her afterwards! I do.
Yours
George.
PS. My human, Celia, has an annual vaccination against 'flu just like I do. The scientific evidence about feline vaccines, from a UK point of view, can be found here.

4 comments:

  1. We are lucky in the US, well, at least in my state of Massachusetts it is only an every 3 year law which makes more sense.

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  2. I think every 5 years is reasonable :-) Too bad our humans take us for annual check-ups!
    But, I do agree that Celia should get all the vaccines since she ....lives among us!
    Or better said....she lives for us and with us :-)
    Diego

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  3. CAT VictoriaNovember 22, 2015

    Ugh! Vets and vaccines! Yes, I get them annually as I travel internationally! Such a hassle.
    CAT Victoria

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  4. We have to go to our vet once a year for check ups and stabbings!! As we go out we also get spot on to safeguard against worms and fleas but only 4 times a year as we are mostly on the fence nosing at our neighbours so it's not too horrific! We would hate to be house bound.
    Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx

    ReplyDelete

Help for cats whose humans show behaviour problems.

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