Studies have shown that cats over 16 weeks of age with a healthy immune system respond very well to just 1 FVRCP vaccine. This webpage is not intended to be a comprehensive discussion on all matters involving vaccinations but, instead, will cover some vaccine basics, and my personal views on the subject – including how I vaccinate my own cats. Other vaccines may be recommended based on the risk a particular disease poses to an individual cat (non-core vaccines). Everyone has a different ‘take’ on a risk-benefit analysis and people have to work within their own comfort zone.Â What follows are suggestions that work within my comfort zone. Most vaccines are given by injection under the skin. My goals in writing this page are to get the reader to: Adjuvants are substances that are added to vaccines to purposely cause inflammation at the vaccine site in order to alert the immune system to its presence.Â They are used with killed vaccines to stimulate a more robust immune response but can also cause a fatal, aggressive tumor (sarcoma) at the site of vaccine injection.Â (See below for a picture of “Chicken” – a sweet cat who fought a long battle with this cancer.). )Â Since humans can contract rabies from animals, including cats, vaccinating cats for rabies is required by law in some areas of the country. This virus causes a multitude of disorders from tumours, (including leukemia), to bone marrow suppression, to silent infection, although some infected cats may not show clinical signs for several years. Please note that even some (all?) Necropsy was authorized, and revealed ascites, retroperitoneal and abdominal edema, small pale kidneys, and kidney morphologic changes consistent with glomerulonephritis. ). Please click on the links below to read more about the key issues associated with vaccines.Â Several important statements will be repeated in different sections in case the reader does not review the entire webpage. Given the above, it is obvious that titer testing has some severe limitations when being used to assess the status of a patient’s immune system.Â If a titer is low, that does not necessarily mean that the patient is unprotected.Â If he has a lot of memory cells standing by waiting, he is considered to be well-protected against diseases that are best eliminated with a quick antibody response. Though these tests do not provide evidence of protective immunity, some clinicians use high titre results as an indicator, along with low disease exposure risk that vaccines might be administered at a longer than usual revaccination interval. 4) On a positive note, intranasal vaccines cannot cause a vaccine associated sarcoma and they have been shown to cause noÂ kidney inflammation.Â However, even in light of these ‘pluses’ I am not comfortable using them to protect kittens against panleukopenia. 1) Unvaccinated, at-risk cats can transmit a deadly disease to humans. 5)Â In some situations (catteries and shelters with a severe herpes/calici problem), the IN vaccine that contains only the herpes and calici viruses but not panleukopenia virus is of value since it stimulates a local mucosal (the lining of the respiratory tract) immunity very quickly and is not affected by maternal antibodies.Â Therefore, it can be given to kittens younger than the traditional 8 weeks of age. All of these negative clinical signs can be seen secondary to the administration of vaccines. Until then, my advice is to keep them indoors and away from any unvaccinated pets. Certain breeds may be predisposed to health problems even at an early age. This can be discussed, and decisions made with the help of your veterinarian. If a lump persists for three months, grows larger than 2 cm in diameter or continues to grow beyond one month after injection, ask your veterinarian to evaluate it. Hypothesis: Cats inoculated with CRFK lysates and FVRCP vaccines will develop autoantibodies measurable by Western blot immunoassay. there may be a link between the FVRCP vaccine and kidney inflammation. Under specific circumstances, your veterinarian may advise an alternative regime (see handout … Do not assume that your veterinarian uses non-adjuvanted vaccines. New technologies have provided even safer and more effective forms of vaccine protection. Many colleagues who do use the PureVax line are refusing to carry the 3-year product and will continue to only carry the 1-year product. Many veterinarians are choosing not to carry the PureVax line (either the 1-year or the 3-year rabies vaccine, or the PureVax FeLV vaccine) because PureVax products are much more expensive than adjuvanted vaccines.Â Many veterinarians practicing in low-income areas or in animal shelters on limited budgets are still using the more inflammatory adjuvanted rabies vaccines. To repeat much of what I have said above:Â There is nothing in the scientific literature to support annual vaccination with the FVRCP and Feline Leukemia (FeLV) vaccines.Â It is well-known that: Please note that kidney disease is the most common subject that I consult on and it is considered by many to be the number one cause – or at least a very common cause – of death in our older cats. It spreads easily in unhygienic conditions and is sadly often fatal, with unvaccinated kittens being most at risk. They are to be given as low on a limb as possible.Â This is to allow for limb amputation if a VAS occurs. In 1997, the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) came out with the strong recommendation to never use the scruff area for vaccines.Â Evidently, the veterinarian who administered Chicken’s adjuvanted rabies vaccine either did not take this recommendation seriously or was not keeping up with his continuing education.Â In addition to using the wrong location, an adjuvanted rabies vaccine was used instead of PureVax and Chicken paid a high price for these careless decisions. A cat’s immune system is not any more ‘forgetful’ than a human’s immune system.Â In other words, there is no reason to believe that they need to be vaccinated so often.Â Their immune system, to the contrary, has a very good memory. 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