Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I am not vaccinating the cats

I have been dicking around for a few years now regarding the cats' shots. I don't do vaccines for myself, so why should I with the kitties? What about rabies? (booga booga). I found the following link on Holisiticat:

Vaccination for Cats: Helpful or Harmful?

Even in outdoor cats, vaccines may be unnecessary, as many diseases are not truly contagious. In these cases vaccination is useless since it is not directed toward the cause of illness. These diseases are immune suppressive (often autoimmune) conditions. The immunosuppression occurs first, allowing a virus, bacteria, or fungus to grow. We know this because healthy animals are unaffected by these organisms.

Organisms that fit this category include feline leukemia virus, feline infectious peritonitis virus, feline immunodeficiency virus, and ringworm (in most cases). Vaccines for these diseases are therefore of no benefit; in fact, they often induce just the disease they are purported to prevent. These vaccines are among the most dangerous ones available. The only prevention of these diseases comes from a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Very interesting read. I recall one of my own vets saying I shouldn't worry for at least 3 or 4 years between rabies shots. I've since done that and more (or less?!). Though with spring here and the local raccoons, whom I loathe, being out and about and causing trouble, I was pondering the ever fun lugging of all the kitties to the vets. Something evidently I find every reason not to do unless there's some kind of real emergency.

Which got me to thinking, so easily given my sloth, why am I bothering with any of them? Does the potential 'harm' outwiegh the potential 'benefit'? As with vaccines for humans, I would imagine in most cases the answer likely 'no'.



Penny said...

I remember when we first got our cat, the vet wanted to vaccinate every year. I said, no.
Told the vet I had read it was totally unnecessary, as these vaccines were bringing on disease in the cats. So I generally do it about every 3 years. Which last time I got kitty her shots, the vet was only advising them for every 3 years.

Last year, due to circumstances beyond my control, I was unable to drive the whining kitty to the vet.

This year however, Kitty is long overdue.

I like to keep her up because there are so many strays, who come visit. And they are scraggly some of them, really scraggly.

Then of course, racoons and skunks, but mostly the strays.
(who come sit on my steps, under my porch, in my garden)

I can live with that, but, not every year, that is just to make money

Magdelena said...

Yeah, I wrestle with this for sure. The only one I may arrange for ONE of the cats (the killer) is rabies - but NO others. It's been three years since his last one.

Still though, I'm not so sure.

As you know, I get a lot of strays here too. (Why don't people neuter their animals?????). Though most are pretty easy going and not many 'fights' break out. It's more the damn raccoons (whom I loathe!). I am going to get a trap and send those buggers packing.

Doug Plumb said...

I think the raccoons are cute, but I have had little experience with them. I am one that is more likely to let my animals be animals. I can't imagine a raccoon being more difficult than a parrot.

People had remarked that my grey parrot was "unbroken". I always intended to keep her that way, although she was sometimes a domineering pet (at least tried to be anyways). I gave her to someone who will be putting her with another grey parrot where she belongs.

I'm very sad to see her go and worry that she may not be treated well, but I think this is better.

My vet advised me not to give her any of the shots, and advised me against giving her the chip. I was considering the chip in case she flew out the window one day.

I think maybe these vaccines and pills for pets are to make us more likely to accept them, after all the chip started with pets now they want to get it into humans.

Magdelena said...

Hi Doug,

I'm sorry to hear you had to give your parrot away. That must have been a very difficult and emotional decision. Parrots have such amazing personalities. :(

As far a chipping, I'd agree that its use in pets was and is a factor in attempting to 'sell' it to humans as well. So, yeah you might be onto something there regarding vaccines.

The issue for me, at the beginning at least, was monetary. As I have four of the furry beggars, and only one of these kitties was actually chosen by us. The remaining freeloaders were all strays who came, and never left. Buffy showed up encased in ice, in the middle of January. That was ten years ago. At first we thought another one, Lyla, was a raccoon!! but no, just a massive Maine Coon and also a hermie! :O. Dennis, the three legged wondercat and the most expensive due to the amputation, is a riot, he's the youngest and by far the funniest little guy. Then, there's the Killer, Marshall, pictured so lovingly sticking out his tongue on the front page here. He, is chipped. He wanders even though neutered. So, yeah, I big brothered him. Oddly, he's the one we actually picked out (from our wood guy's garage!). Since he's also the only one who regularily hunts literally everything and anything, I did get his rabies shots about every three years - so I still 'might' do him. The others are better behaved.

I'd rather save my $$ for emergencies wrt the cats.