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Unread 10-15-2009   #1 (permalink)
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Default UK Vaccinations. Professional advice please

We have a pair of 15 year old tabbies who have had annual R/C/P/FeLV boosters since birth.
What Id like to know is would there be any risk if they didnt have any more vaccinations. Surely after 15 years they would have built up some natural immunity.
Any advice appreciated.
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Unread 10-15-2009   #2 (permalink)
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In my opinion (and my vet's opinion, by the way) your 15 year old cats no longer need the RCCP and FeLV boosters if they are indoor cats.

Rabies however, is law here, so it's not negotiable.


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Unread 10-16-2009   #3 (permalink)
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I would describe them as home & garden cats. They have always stayed close to home(spoiled i guess)
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Well here's the thing. Can other cats get into your garden?

FeLV doesn't live very long, say..on a blade of grass, only a half hour or so. But theoretically an FeLV + cat, or a cat with distemper could sneeze in your yard, and ten minutes later one of your kitties walk over to that spot and start sniffing or rubbing her face on it to mark over the strange cat smell.

The general thought these days is that as cats get older their immunity to FeLV increases (with or without the vaccine) to such that, by the age of your cats, they are very low risk

I don't think that is true for distemper and herpes, etc, though. (what the RCCP shot covers). But they certainly don't need that shot every year. The RCCP is considered protection for three years.

My cats go out into a fence protected yard, harnessed and supervised only. They get the annual purevax rabies (required by law, but I would do it regardless) and the two younger ones still get the three year RCCP. My ten + year old cat no longer gets the three year RCCP, as it makes him sick, and my vet feels he is protected well enough by now. None of them get the FeLV vaccine, as they are low risk.

I suppose the scenario I painted for you about an FeLV+ cat can be applied to my situation too, though my fence is pretty high, and there isn't any reason to think a cat would want to climb it to get into my yard.

Anyway I am just posting my personal thoughts in an effort to help you work out for yourself what is best for you and your cats.

I'll be interested to hear what you decide.


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Thats very interesting.When I spoke to the vet regarding the RCCP jabs being 3 yearly, I was told they only lasted for 1 year.
When we got our Maine Coon kitten the breeder said about 3 yearly vaccinations, but the vet said again it had to be yearly.
Makes me wonder if my vet isnt cashing in on unsuspecting owners. Will have to ask around on that one.
Regarding Madison & Minstrel, I think were going to leave them in peace.We live in a quiet residential area & the other local cats are safe. My last cat never had any vaccinations & she lived till 20.
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RCCP as a three year vaccination opposed to annually is relatively new thinking. Perhaps your vet is reluctant to adopt new ideas. If you aren't happy with this vet or suspect his motives, I urge you to find another vet.

Having a vet you trust is a very important part of caring for your cats.

I don't mean to tell you what to do, but having cats that live to be twenty with no vaccinations does not mean you will be that lucky again. Distemper and the other URI viruses can be very difficult, and expensive, to treat.

Herpes, which is very common in cats, is highly contagious, and there is no cure. The virus can be managed with daily supplements, and the supplements are not cheap.

FeLV (feline leukemia), also extremely contagious and very easily spread, is fatal, and cats with FeLV have many more illnesses that healthy cats,(involving a lot of expense) until they eventually succumb to the disease.

You said the other cats in your neighborhood are "safe". How do you know that? If you aren't vaccinating your cats, perhaps other people are not either. A lot of unvaccinated cats roaming the same territory is inviting an epidemic in my opinion. All it takes is one infected cat to wander into your neighborhood.

Cats are very susceptible to any sort of URI germs floating about.

Again, I am not trying to tell you what to do. Just raising some points for you to ponder, while you work this our for yourself.


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