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

Responses: 51


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. Share Your Experiences

Cat vaccine is killing my dearest cat

My beautiful three-year old tabby, a perfect cat in every way, had her annual rabies shot in January. She has since stopped eating and has seizures. Thousands of dollars and endless heartbreak. Can't we do something about this for other cats in the future? How many have to die before we stop this? They have stolen the love of our life. She was so healthy before her shot.
—Guest Lisa


I took my cat to the vet for his yearly rabies vaccine and exactly 2 weeks later he can’t walk Sleeping a lot more than usual and don’t want to play because his in a lot of pain he can’t Tolerate been touch where the vaccine was injected my question : is this have something to do with the vaccine ? Can the vet do something for him? Any suggestions out there? Is this normal is going to get well again?


My cat was murdered by vaccines given in 2000, they said it was probably the feLv. It was never mentioned that there could be any side effects let alone fibrosarcoma from them. They said it is 'very rare'. You're told by the vets it keeps your cats healthy. Until something like this then they're like 'oh, that can happen too, and its always fatal' - the shots are a big money maker and indoor cats really aren't at any risk. One of the vets there didn't even want us to get her surgery since it was fatal. She had two surgeries and a few appointments to get fluid drained, where she was held down crying. The fluid would leak from the tumor in large amounts. She lived about 8 months but I had to watch her chest and shoulders literally split open towards the end (no way to really bandage it due to location) and this was my best friend, the kitty I was growing up with - it completely changed me and never did recover.
—Guest cat

Vaccine was not worth her personality

I adopted the most amazing kitten when she was 4 months old. She was the most amazing cat I had ever seen. She played like a puppy, watched TV like a bird ( on my shoulder), and loved like a small child. I took her to the vet and they told me that she needed all of her vaccines and stressed how important it was they she got them. She was my first kitten so I was scared and only wanted to the best for her. It has been three weeks now and she has not played once. All she does is sleep and she moves like she is in pain. She eats very little and drinks even less. She used to sleep at my head and now she wont even come in the room and all she does is hide. I am so scared that I am going to wake up one morning and find her dead. My heart is broken and I miss her even though she is here. Has anyone known a kitten to bounce back from the curse of the vaccines? Please help I will do anything.
—Guest Shavon

Felv vaccine MURDERED my cat

I found out my cat had kidney failure and I had to put her down which was really traumatic I then decided to get a kitten and adopted one off kijiji and found out she tested positive for feline leukaemia which devastated me. I freaked out and took my other cat to the vet and he testes negative but an hour after giving him the vaccine he had a seizure and died in my arms. I rushed back to the vet and they said he probably had heart conditions and the vaccine triggered it and could of also been stress from the blood be taken and the loss of his best friend and a new kitten in the house and said its very rare.
—Guest Leah

Vaccinations for Cats

I'll be honest: My male is nearly 7 and he's had vaccines with no problems at all. However, my young cat, 1 1/2 years always has a negative reaction when she gets vaccines. Since they are both inside cats and never go outside, I think I'm done with shots. To my kitty, I'm the bad guy who took her to the bad place where all those people gave her the bad shots to make her feel bad. My entire weekend was ruined because she started to itch in her ears first and they both turned red. Then she vomited all the contents of her stomach. Then she became very withdrawn and lethargic. Then she started to limp...looked as if something was wrong with her front leg. Now she's not talking to me and runs away from me whenever I try to go near to her. I'm done with shots for my cats. This is not supposed to happen to the little creatures. It's not worth it. Sorry.

Vets Money

It has been mentioned on this forum that Vets are only after your money. I'm not doubting that this is true in 'SOME' cases. But the Vets (& Vet Technicians) I know work their butts off for often as long as 12hrs a day & they not only have to help their patient, weather it be a dog, cat, rabbit, etc. but deal with sometimes very rude owners that think they know more than the doctors. 99.9% of Vets went through 8 long years of School to get where they are today, they do it because they LOVE animals & want to help them. And it does not stop after 8yrs, they are required to go to continuing education that may often taken them across the whole United States. Yes, everyone should do their own research, but what do we always tell people ~ "Don't believe EVERYTHING you read on the Net" ! If you are not satisfied with your current Vet, then find one you like better. Ours is GREAT & has 4 other Vets all working in his Practice, which are all GREAT too!!
—Guest MommyCrazyCatLady

Vaccines and Vets.

I have 5 cats at present, all indoor cats, & they always get all their vaccines. I have never had a problem with any, (but our oldest from the time he was a little kitten, got a reaction of a little bump) so now he gets a shot of Benedryl before they inject him. I'm not saying it is not possible for any cat to get a reaction, BUT you can REFUSE any vaccination(s) you do not want your kittens/cats to have. Our cats also get (in-home, meaning at the Vets Office) Labs yearly, then if they see a problem, they will send it out to a larger Lab. If you have a good Vet, he will understand your concern in getting some or all of the vaccines ! I know when I was growing up as a young child (back in the early 60's) my parents rarely got our cat vaccinated either,but they were strictly indoor cats also. It's harder to be a Vet, than an MD - a Vet treats more than one species, plus their patients can't tell them what is really bothering them. Please still get cats examined once yearly!

What I didn't know....

I have read several entries with sadness. I. too was ignorant of problems with vaccinations and now I am losing my dear cat. He is only five years old and I rescued him from a high kill shelter in Georgia. I, too trusted my vet and she has let me down. He was vacinated on his back and now has fibroid sarcome. They are very aggressive tumors and very few cats survive. He has had surgery and radiation but it will probably return but the finances won't be there to help him. Wish I had done my homework,

Cat very sick after vaccine

My 6 year old playful cat has been lethargic and in pain since vaccination for rabies, and distemper vaccine. It's been over 2 weeks and no change. Her joints hurt and she will barely eat or drink. I've taken the cat to two diff vets. They say give her 2 more weeks and see if she improves. I want my funny little active cat back.
—Guest TC


Since my cat doesn't go outdoors nor is she exposed to other cats, I don't have her vacccinated against feline leukemia. She does get her distemper and rabies shots.
—Guest Caroln Powell

Distemper vaccine

I just found out my cat could have a vaccine induced sarcoma. It was from her last distemper vaccine, which was last October. When I first felt the lump (about a month ago) I thought it was the same thing another cat of mine had.....which was not cancer, and never grew. When the lump started getting larger I took concern. Because she is an indoor cat I didn't want to have her get the distemper vaccine. My vet insisted she get it, so I gave in. My vet never said there were any risks. I wish I had done research prior to this, as I now know there is a great, fatal risk. She is scheduled for surgery tomorrow and they may have to take out some ribs. All vets should inform their clients of any risk involved. I probably wouldn't have gotten it if I had known. :(


I know my parents are people and not cats but they were never vaccinated and were always healthy. Then in 2002, they were given two tetanus injections a week apart. My parents got ill after that. Dad died and mum is still suffering the effects of rash and exhaustion and poor sight, hearing,memory and comprehension. To make things worse, the doctor who forcibly administered the second injection was still laughing about it ten years later. He actually wanted to induce dementia on my parents just because one of their four children is a "spastic". The same is happening to our cats. Both human doctors and animal doctors are only interested in making money. At least that is how it is here in australia. Thats been my observations and experience anyway
—Guest sheila1977


We just went to the bet yesterday and our one and a half year old cat won't eat his wet food he's normally the first to come and get it we don't know what's wrong and he keeps hiding
—Guest John

What a mess

We were given a cat, she is about 7, never had any shots that we know of. 100% indoor cat. We needed to get a rabies shot as it is the law, the vet talked us into a distemper. Oddly they brought her out of the room for the shots. The first day or so she seemed fine. Then 4 days in a row she has vomited and not eating? We are almost on a week with limited food and water. Vet suggested we bring her in, what is the vet going to do? The cat is 100% the same except for the vomit and lack of food and water. Cat Guide's Note: No one here can tell you what the vet is going to do. Please take her to the vet then come back and tell us.
—Guest Chris

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