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 Post subject: Vaccinating Indoor Cats
PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2016 4:27 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Mon May 06, 2013 5:25 am
Posts: 328
Hi Everyone!

I used to be on post on here regularly, but in the last couple of years, I have been a regular lurker! My Diablo is now 4 years old and I am thinking of getting him an older playmate, another Bengal, of course! Several people I have contacted, have stated they only had vaccinations done when the kitties were babies, and since they are indoor cats, they have not bothered to continue. Diablo is always up to date with his, including rabies, and he is an indoor baby as well.

What say you? (Of course, I would have the newest member of our family brought to the vet asap.) I do not want to expose Diablo to any potential harm. Although I feel he is protected, I feel that the previous owners should not only be looking for a great home for their kitty, but shouldn't they want to be sure he/she is healthy??

Thanks in advance!


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2016 7:54 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
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Welcome back! There are pros and cons regarding vaccinations for pets. In many areas, the rabies vaccine is mandated by local law. I always had my indoor kitty vaccinated for everything. She did manage to escape to the outside a few times. Now I have a bengal who was not previously vaccinated regularly and got into many, many cat fights. Since I got him, he goes annually to the vet and gets his shots. He does get to go on walks daily and I was told that if he goes near shrubs (which he does -- to rub up against and mark), there could be something from the saliva from another cat that he could contract FeLV (feline leukemia). I'd rather be safe than sorry. I did have a stray cat that was FIV positive.

On the other hand, many vets (when it comes to elderly cats) don't feel vaccinations are necessary. I had a older diabetic cat that went into renal failure and the vet said he didn't feel comfortable vaccinating her -- even for rabies. I have a dear friend with an 18 year old cat and the vet will not vaccinate him.

You can read articles online where sarcomas have developed at the site of the injection. There are discussions where the cat suffered a reaction to the vaccine. It's really a personal decision and what you are comfortable with. Indoor cats can get outdoors. The chance may be extremely slim that they come in contact with an infected cat -- but still there is that possibility.

You definitely want to have the new kitty tested for FeLV and FIV. Then, it is up to you whether you want to go the vaccine route.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2016 8:07 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Mon May 06, 2013 5:25 am
Posts: 328
Hi Sherry!

Thank-you for your informative answer. I have been researching this all morning.

For me, there was never a question of NOT vaccinating any of my kitties, including rabies, although they were all indoor. I always went with "what if"...and that happened over the summer. I was staying with a friend in the country, and Diablo got out. He managed to open the downstairs door himself. Luckily he is also micro-chipped, and their advice helped me get him back. I had only left his food outside, but they said I should leave his litterbox out too. I searched all night for him, then cried myself to sleep. When I woke up, he was right by my bedroom door, and jumped all over me when he saw me.

I guess most people do not realize that it is important to see the vet on a yearly basis. I am quite surprised at how many think their pets are safe from disease because they stay inside.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2016 8:33 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2016 4:30 pm
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I was told to not vaccinate for FIP or FELV , and it would void my health contract if I did vaccinate with these two.
Rabies and the combo shot are ok. This is coming from the breeder I went with as well as many breeders I have visited or spoke with.

I am on the fence, as all the Vets I have seen do a "kitten package" where they include the FIP and FELV shots in the series and recommenced it every year.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2016 10:18 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
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I do not believe there is a vaccine for FIP and the FIV vaccine is not 100% effective and a cat will test positive for the virus. Basically, most cats receive rabies, feline leukemia, and the FVRCP vaccine. FVRCP fights three feline viruses: rhinotracheitis, calicivirus and panleukopenia. The vaccination is named after the viruses: "FVR" for feline viral rhinotracheitis; "C" for calicivirus infection and "P" for panleukopenia (distemper). You can get a 3-year vaccine for rabies and FVRCP. Raiden gets the three-year FVRCP, but I usually opt for the annual rabies. You don't save that much money going with the longer and it ensures that I do take him at least yearly for his wellness exam.

I'm not sure why a breeder would insist on not vaccinating a pet, especially when there are owners who do allow their bengals to roam the outdoors. I've had a cat contract FeLV and it was a fast, swift downhill battle, ending with euthanasia. It was heartbreaking and my cats have been vaccinated for it ever since.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2016 4:44 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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I spoke to my vet this afternoon, as hehappens to be a good friend. He said that as long as the kitty is up to date on his kitten shots and is an indoor cat, the new school of thinking is that that is fine. People are concerned with pets being over-vaccinated.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2016 5:26 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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I agree with the over-vaccinating and reports claim the rabies vaccine is good for a longer period of time. I just took the outdoor cat this morning for his three vaccines! He has to have them as he tangles with other outdoor cats. A cat that is not permitted outdoors under any circumstances probably doesn't need the vaccines.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2016 5:48 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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Posts: 328
I agree, Sherry. But I always consider "what if"....and that is why Diablo is vaccinated and has regular check-ups. There is always the possibility, although slight, that being the escape artist he is, he can get out. So I would rather be safe than sorry. Which happened last summer. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2016 8:54 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2016 6:21 pm
Posts: 105
Sherry wrote:
I'm not sure why a breeder would insist on not vaccinating a pet, especially when there are owners who do allow their bengals to roam the outdoors.


It's hard to know exactly the specifics; however what was mentioned is that if you vaccinated for FIP or FELV it would void their health contract. I can only speculate a little on this; but, the most likely reason is that if the breeder had a health guarantee with includes FELV and FIP (which a lot of breeders do) and you then vaccinate for FELV or FIP; the cats will now test positive for the disease purely due to the vaccine. So void the health contract in order to avoid people suing after them due to the vaccine making them test positive.

Pet contracts are really awkward and very hard to enforce unless written properly. I'm not sure how many people are aware that cats are considered to be chattel in the eyes of the law (in most countries - definitely US, Canada and the UK) and have very different rights. One thing that is frequently gotten wrong is that (again depending on where you live) you can't ever be forced to return a pet to the breeder - it's completely unenforceable. You also can't be forced to neuter your cat or not declaw them (please don't declaw your cat!). It is possible for the breeder to "penalize" you if you break their contract (e.g. a fine of $1,000 for breeding a cat that was supposed to be spayed); but only if that was explicitly written in the contract. But I digress!

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2016 3:47 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
The only time mine get vaccinated is when they have to go to the cattery, and it's mandatory to be up to date with vaccinations. Which reminds me, I need to get them done before January.

There is a growing school of thought that yearly vaccinations are unnecessary and that they could be pushed out to 2-3 yearly. However, as with anything, change is slow.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2016 4:14 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
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Fenstar brought up a good point. Boarding a pet usually requires proof of vaccinations. Truthfully, the odds of your pet coming in contact with an infected cat if it gets outside are really slim. Most breeders insist their cats not be allowed outdoors unsupervised (it was in Raiden's contract). However, Raiden's previous owner allowed him to roam free -- unvaccinated -- for six years! The only time Raiden got his shots was after he was in a cat fight, with an abscess and had to go to the vet. He's had many tests for FIV that have come back negative, thank goodness. Since I've had him, he sees the vet usually twice a year as we have something come up during the year (usually a parasite). He gets his vaccines and is fine. He is an escape artist and has run through my legs as I open the back door. Usually he stops and looks around and I can grab him, but you never know. My husband once left the cat enclosure door open and I went looking for Raiden not knowing HOW LONG it had been left open. I'm running all over the backyard calling for him and return to grab my phone, so I can walk the streets and there he is on the other part of the deck walking around. You just never know when pets can manage to escape. An open door or window is an invitation and you know how curious a bengal can be.

If you feel the benefits outweigh the cons of vaccinating, then do it.


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