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Readers Respond: Do you vaccinate your own cats? Share your reasons and experiences?

Responses: 30


While I would hesitate to try to vaccinate my own cats at home, for a number of reasons shared in the accompanying article, some of my readers do it, with varying results. I'm interested in learning more about your experiences, both good and bad. If you have decided not to vaccinate your own cat, I'd like to know more about that decision also.

Note: This form is not for asking questions or replying to another user or to me. Think of it as your own mini-article on the About.com Cat site.

I do my own Vacs

I grew up with my mom breeding and rescuing dogs, so I learned to vaccinate early on. All of our cats are rescues, I vaccinate my cats and dogs (except rabies)because I have found it's easier, more cost effective and less stressful on the animals. Honestly I am comfortable doing it, but only because I have been doing it for at least 20 years ( I am 31), I wouldn't recommend doing it unless you know what your doing and are fully comfortable with it. My pets still get yearly checks with our vet, but it's a happy visit with no needle sticks unless it's rabies time(every 3 years). I have never had a problem with it, and when you are doing the first round of shots, not just the yearly, it can get really costly, and for some pet owners that may be why they don't vaccinate in the first place. Our cats are also strickly indoor only (we do have one who goes out on a leash, she is the only one who wants to) and our dogs are indoor as well, except for potty and playtime.
—Guest Kendratl

Owner vaccinating pets

I have 11 cats and if I did not give the vaccines myself I would not be able to afford the expense of taking each of them into a vet to be vaccinated. The first time I did give the shot to my cats I was surprised how tough the cat's skin was compared to human skin and it required a stronger push to get thru the skin. I am use to giving shots to myself because I am diabetic and it was logical step for me to start giving shots to my cats. I do use a combo vaccine so it is one shot. I do know there is always a chance of a bad reaction and I could lose my pet but I think it is better I give the shots then the cats not getting them at all.
—Guest imbennett

vaccinating cats

I have 31 cats currently. I take all cats to the vet to get their shots the first year and for spay/neuter. After that we don't vaccinate. Our cats never go outside and no new cats come in until they are tested and get their shots. I lost my best cat over a year ago to vaccination sarcoma. The vet sent the lump off to the lab for testing and they said it was the result of his vaccination shot. While this is not common, this broke my heart. I had raised this kitten from day one with a baby bottle after his mother rejected him. When we do get a new cat (and that happens more than you think), we always let the vet do the vaccination and the exam.

Foster mom vaccinates cats

When possible I bring my foster cats to the vet to be vaccinated because a vet can check their general health. Sometimes it's easier on the cat or kittens to be vaccinated at home.
—Guest katrina


Something else to consider is that a lot of communities especially in larger cities have free clinics for the purpose of vaccinations. These are a lot cheaper then going to a private Vet. They are also a good alternative.
—Guest Thomas

Vaccinations are straightforward!

When I was at university I couldn't afford an expensive vet bill. The Vetinarian explained what to do and sold me the vaccines for my two cats. I did them both twice as directed and I can tell you it is a doddle! Do not be afraid and the Vets will be keen to put you off, since at £30 a shot it's a lucrative business indeed. Remember your pets keep them in business, of course there can be adverse reactions. But if you stick to the simple protocols, Right drug, right dose, right method, right patient! You can't go wrong! Now get on with it and save the Vets for those bigger operations. Now that's one thing you won't be doing at home :-) And the Vet who won't accept your vaccinations is among the worst, business first types and you should avoid them completely. Many local surgeries are excellent and manned by understanding vets who will recognise your care for your animal.
—Guest Phillip


No vaccines, they kill and contain filth-do your own research!
—Guest suregood

Patricia Purr

I just got a new kitten. Her mother was a feral. Her brothers and her have all been adopted. I met the 2 people who I adopted her from a feral cat community, which I help care for. Most of the cats there have be neutered and up to date on shots. The one girl who cares for cats there gave my, now 3 month old kitten, deworming, 2 tests and 2 distemper shots and a rabies shot. Now I am having trouble getting a Vet to spay my cat because most vets don't accept a non Vet giving shots, especially rabies shots. I have all the stickers and the girl who did these shots did once work for a Vet. I do not want to get my cat more shots than she needs such as another Rabies shot, which would not be due for another year. But these Vets are requiring that, she get another before they will spay her. I wish I knew at the time, these shots would not be acceptable. I don't know what to do. It seems I might have to wait a whole year to get her spayed when she can get another Rabies shot.
—Guest Patricia Purr

vacinate own cat

I have vaccinated my own cat. I think it went well. I purchased the vaccine from a registered vet. I purchased the required needle. It appears it all went well. There does not seem to be any problems. I thoroughly investigated it before doing it.
—Guest Cyndi

me? vaccinate?

I am literally standing with vaccine one hand and cat in other. After reading this article I question the research I have done has been informative enough. As I couldn't answer any of the questions the Dr. asked, so for now i am putting away the vaccine and asking help from a vet tech. Franny's Note: The questions in the article were posed by me, not by a veterinarian. However, you have probably made the right decision by seeking professional help.
—Guest crazycatlady

At Home Vaccinatios

My fiance and I are considering at home vaccinations for our two cats. He is a scientist who works with animals, so I trust his ability in administering the shot adequately. My only concern is that we are now in the process of adopting a dog, and I am afraid that the humane society may reject an application from us for vaccinating our cats in home. I will continue to take the cats in for yearly check ups. We will not vaccinate our dog at home, but rather take him into the vet. I do believe that as a society we have become a little overboard with vaccinations in general.
—Guest aljomoe

Must Trust the Source of the Vaccines

I have been vaccinating my cats and dogs for many years now and had never had a problem. I have discovered the number one reason for failure is improper handling. Vaccinations must always stay cold. This can happen at the feed store or the vets office. When you buy your vaccinations you have to ask if you trust the people that is selling you the vaccines. Do they leave the pallet on the dock to get warm or did they store them right away? I have never had a problem with vaccine failure. I buy the same brand as the vet and keep just as many records like date of vaccination, the sticker from the bottle that has the expiration date and lot number and name of vaccine. I also take the stickers to the vet on a 3x5 card that is a permanent part of their records. The only one I do not do is the Rabies because here a licensed vet must do it. All my animals still get yearly checkups 6 months for my 3 senior cats all 13 years old. Vaccinating at home is a lot less stressful for my animals.

Home vaccination

I have always done my own vaccinations. I grew up with having dogs & always helped my dad do the vaccinations, shots & all. The cat vaccines cost less than $5 at the farm supply store. The only thing that I don't do myself is rabies. I cannot buy them at the farm supply store so I go to the shot clinic and get it for less than $10.
—Guest Kristina

Yes and No

I had a cat for 12 years, he was a rescue cat, i never had him vacinated and he never got ill apart from accidents.. I now have another two cats one is a kitten and i am having them vaccinated, mainly for insurance purposes and also because the kitten had cat flu when we got him and he was so ill that i thought he was going to die..Therefore having seen the effects of cat flu i would say yes i would opt for this now as the cost of the vets bill when he was ill was far greater than the vacination..

Yes we vaccinate at home

We do vaccinate our 2 cats since they were kittens with no problem...BUT, we have also have a wonderful vet who sees them on a yearly basis. If we did not have a vet, we would not vaccinate on our own. Having a licensed vet in your pets lives from day one is a must and essential. No cutting corners there.
—Guest Barb

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