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Readers Respond: How do you handle the cat vaccine question? Share your experience here.

Responses: 29


Due to fears about VAS (Vaccine-Associated Sarcoma), some cat owners are fearful of giving any vaccinations to their cats. What has been your experience? Have you and your veterinarian worked together to devise a plan for your cats' vaccinations? Share your opinion and your reasons with other readers.


—Guest windye pilgrim

cats with vars

I has 13 cats all rescues. 3 of the cats developed this cancer and passed away. 2 of the cats were sisters and their other sibling lives next door and has never been to a vet yet is alive while my girls are gone because I took them for shots every 3 yrs. I no longer allow my cats to get this shot and neither do I allow them access to outside. I still feel guilt.
—Guest Cat Lewis

Totosh my sweet kitti

Monday 20.02.2012 we finally got our little kitten, a small 2 moths and a week old Scottish fold. The next Saturday we took him to the vet for a check up. He insisted on giving him the trivalent vaccine. We agreed and put our trust in that vet. Before during the day he was very playful running all through the house but Sunday he slept almost the hole day and late into the night he vomited and he was struggling to stand on his feet. Next day my wife took him to another vet, he gave him some IV, vitamins, fluid and he got a little better and more active. But Monday evening he got worse, my spouse took him to the vet and gave him some recuperation solutions but shortly after they got home he died. It was our first kitten and we had it only for a week because a MONEY HUNGRY vet killed him with the vaccine. The second vet told us that the vaccine was to strong for the 750 grams little angel. He was with us for just a week but he got into our hearts from first day. We'll miss him very much.
—Guest Fivetd

Rabies vaccine has immunidty over 7 year

The studies are showing one rabies vaccine has a durration of immunity over 7 years. We do not need yearly or every 3 yr shots. We are killing our own pets with vaccines that last way longer then the manuafacture wants us to belive. When was your last vaccine? as a kid- that is becuase the immunidty is lifelong just like with pet vaccines.
—Guest connie

First shots in 6 month old

Just had a kitty show up on doorstep fell completely in love with her so decided to take her to the vet where she got a series of vaccines yesterday but now today she doesn't hardly want to drink anything and won't eat and is acting like she wants to vomit is this normal for her to seem so sick after shots
—Guest Newcatowner

Initial shots, then rabies only

My cats are indoor only. They get their initial kitten series and then only rabies. Legally you have to give rabies. Unfortunately if your cat ever bites someone and you can't show rabies vaccination, it's up to them to decide if they want to trust you that your cat *can't* have rabies, go through the shots themself, or have your cat tested...No matter how small a risk, that is a risk I'm not willing to take
—Guest guest

"PureVax" Rabies Booster Killed my Cat!

My 5y.o. female died on 10/12/11 5 days after receiving her yearly law mandated PureVax shot. Before the shot she was healthy, active beautiful cat. Within about 24 hours she became lithargic, spacey, no interest in food or water. She would eat or drink nothing till she died. She received iv fluids and then 3 days later was urinating dark blood like urine. When at the vet two days after the shot they thought she would recover but they did not tests, just routine exam and iv. Finally after the dark urine we took her to another vet who did a blood test and found IMHA-a severe immune reaction that was destroying her red blood cells and organs. Crisis intervention followed but too late. My sweet girl died late that night. I have never felt so sad. I'm the one that took her to get the shot and then was slow to deal with her sickness. Odd really I have been antivax and had refused all other vaccinations for her. She was very healthy Read up on IMHA if you animal shows any reaction to a vax.
—Guest Don

distemper given 1 year to soon

I just brought my 4 year old cat to the vet for rabbies distemper and exam. When I got home I discovered she was not due for distemper until next year 10/2012
—Guest kringle


It scares me to get the rabies shot for my kitten but within the past two weeks we have had 5 bats get into the house and i feel like i need to to keep her protected and to have no chance of getting rabies. If she would just leave them alone when they got into the house i wouldnt worry about it but she likes to jump and catch them and im scared there gunna bite her one of these times.
—Guest Alexandria

Tired of doctors not being honest

I just had two of my cats vaccinated today; one is a 6-yr old male and the other is 9-week old male. They've both been sick and lethargic most of the day. I'm so worried and upset now. The oldest cat threw-up within 20 minutes. They have both since eaten a little bit, but not now are just laying around and not acting like themself at all. I called an emergncy clinic and they said if they have hives or difficulty breathing is when we should be worried and bring them in then. I think I'm finished with the vaccines; I think they are more harm than good. I have a 9-year old female that got her vaccines a few months ago and since then she's been sick with a severe upper respiratory infection. I think that vaccines are being given too frequently just so doctors can make more money. Why do these doctors have to lie so often? Both animal doctors and human doctors -for the most part- are just worried about the all-mighty dollar and not really caring for their patients! I'm done with it!!!
—Guest Angy13

I would take my chances rather than loss

I had a 7 year old orange creme, male, Himalayan cat. He was Mr. Personality. In 2008, roughly 2 weeks after his yearly vaccinations (that he yearly had reactions to) he passed away. I am positive it was due to an overdose of vaccinations and the emergency vet (not my normal vet) I took him to agreed. He was completely indoor, he only left the house in a carrier to be groomed. It was sad to watch and it was assumed that he had a tumor in his brain or a blood clot but he kept having seizures and I spent a lot of money to try to fix what I feel I did to him. The guilt is heavy, it was painful for him. He had reactions every year, when I would get him home after spending a whole day at the vet for evaluation he would start having symptoms and that time I couldn't stop them. I still have his sister, a blue creme and she no longer gets any shots. My cats are like my children, if she were to contract rabbies I would put her down but I will not continue to vaccinate her and kill her slowly.
—Guest Becca

Titers first

My cats are 2 1/2 years old. By law they were vaccinated for rabies when they were kittens before they could pass state lines. We live in Michigan where there is no requirement for cats to be vaccinated. The vet does nag me some, but I've made up my mind not to take a chance on rabies or anything else but distemper-and that only after a titer to see if they have immunity. My cats never go out, and I want to have them around a long time. I take good care of them, and this includes protecting them from overzealous vets. My Embrace cat insurance hasn't said anything about it. For more information on all vaccinations,, look at WELLVETS.COM.

Genetic predisposition to VAS

Our dear cat died of VAS at 5 yrs. old. He was a beautiful Japanese Bobtail - the picture of health with a robust and engaging personality and was a true companion for my husband and I. Here is how his illness progressed: June 2009- got diagnosis July - surgery to remove lump Oct - lump returned larger Nov. - painful decision to remove his leg Dec. - after surgery was told no cancer markers in surrounding tissue Apr. 2010- surprise: cancer spread to his lungs May 2010- our friend died at home. July 2011 - still upset about his untimely death and painful experience. Is there anything in the works to identify cats with a genetic predisposition to VAS?? Would like to help the cause against VAS somehow! S
—Guest susan

Vaccinations to do or not to do.

I have two indoor only cats. In thirty years at this location I have never seen a bat. Now I am told that I must get my cats vaccinated for rabies because a rabid bat could fly into my home and bite my cat or cats. The possibility of this happening is so remote as to be statistically insignificant. In any event the humans in my home would present a much larger and much more lucrative target for the bats. The cats would most likely be overlooked by the hungry bats. On the other hand, the possibility of my cats being harmed by the vaccination is not so insignificant. I firmly believe that many of the vaccinations that we are being marketed by the veterinarians are unnecessary. In my case, the rabies shot is right at the top of the list. If the cat is bitten by a rabid bat, what is the guarantee that the vaccine will even work? There is none. I prefer to take my chances with the local bat population and not vaccinate.
—Guest num1tailhooker

Never again will I get shots for my cat.

Long story short bought a kitten I got him took him to my vet he got his 1st set of shots and died 3 days later! Bought another cat from a different litter went to a different doctor she got her 1st set of shots died 4 days later! I rest my case......
—Guest Dawn

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