Recently, information has emerged that has caused some cat owners to have doubts about the safety of vaccinating their animal. News reports indicate that many owners have seen their pets experience a number of adverse reactions after vaccinations. These range from itching and discomfort to cancers developing at the site of injection.
With these worries circulating out there in the media and among pet owners, should you think twice before getting your cat vaccinated?
Be Careful About Vaccinations
Even though the veterinary community has conducted several large studies concerning vaccinations, only now has evidence emerged that they can be harmful to your cat. As a result, owners have grown more concerned. Veterinarians concerned about both animal safety and liability have also started rethinking their approach to vaccinations.
Commonly, cats receive updated vaccinations on a yearly basis. Lacking better information, veterinarians saw this as the best way to ward off diseases and parasites. Unfortunately, experts previously made these decisions based upon incomplete knowledge about immunity in cats.
We now know that immunity from different cat vaccinations can last for varying amounts of time. Some can last up to three years. In other cases, one vaccination protects a cat for a lifetime.
While we wait for more evidence to emerge, some cat owners may choose to not vaccinate their pets at all. That could serve as an even bigger problem.
The Benefits of Vaccinating Your Cat
Many indoor cat owners, seeking to avoid extra expense, avoid vaccinating their cat. Since most communicable diseases and other conditions come from outside, many believe that indoor cats don't need any vaccinations.
Experts agree that even indoor cat owners may want to get vaccinations for their pets. The cat could catch a disease or parasite if they escape outdoors. Even a fight with another animal could expose your pet to rabies. Some diseases can be brought into the home by humans.
Common vaccinations include:
• Rabies vaccinations prevent the contraction of this disease, which is both fatal and transmittable to humans. Most states require this vaccination
• Feline leukemia is transmissible by close contact with a carrier. Indoor cats will not contract it unless they escape the home
• Feline Immunodeficiency Virus is not related to human HIV or AIDS, but it is a virus that can be contracted by cats when they get near a carrier of the disease
Your veterinarian will recommend these and other vaccinations. You must consider whether the risk of your indoor cat coming into contact with these conditions is worth the expense of vaccinating.
Should You Vaccinate Your Cat?
Despite the studies and news stories, you should vaccinate your cat, especially if he or she goes outdoors. Your pet has a much higher chance of contracting one or more of these conditions, which a vaccination could prevent. Most of these diseases and other conditions will make your cat suffer needlessly.
You should, however, continue to follow stories and studies about vaccinations. Talk to your vet to see if he or she has seen the latest information and ask them about how frequently your cat should have each vaccination.
All owners and veterinarians want to make sure that cats and other pets receive the proper medication to prevent illness. If you have any questions or concerns about vaccinations, make sure to ask a respected and qualified veterinary service such as Beech Lake Animal Hospital.
Beech Lake Animal Hospital is committed to delivering the highest level of care for your pet. If your pet needs preventative or emergency care, call us today.