Wednesday 26 October 2011

Are cat vaccinations necessary?

Sometimes there are legal requirements to vaccinate; for example against rabies in the USA. Unless you are prepared to break the law, a vaccination against rabies is necessary in that country. However, it might be possible to argue that it is not necessary from a health perspective. People who make the law are not always right.

There is a commercial element to vaccinations. It enables veterinarians to get people in to the surgery on a regular basis which in turn enables them to sell other services and products to the customer.

The commercial nature of the veterinarian's business distorts the delivery of cat health care. It can lead to over vaccinating. A lot of veterinarians agree that multiple vaccines either in the form of frequent and/or repeated vaccines could compromise the cat's immune system.

It is suggested that the immune responses (by the immune system) becomes confused and unable to distinguish between harmful and benign substances.

It has been said that the customer, the pet owner, is insufficiently informed about the risks of vaccines. One unnamed vet says that if customers knew how vaccines affected the health of a cat they would not have their cat vaccinated!

It could be argued that full-time indoor cats that are old and that have been vaccinated routinely when young no longer benefit from further vaccinations. The risk of ill health from vaccines outweighs the potential benefits for some cats under some circumstances.

There are things that we can do to boost our cat's immune system. That is a more natural form of protecting the health of the cat. Good cat food and good all round care is the answer.

Some vets simply don't vaccinate their cats. Some are heavily against vaccinations saying that vaccines are poisonous to the cat's immune system. Some are resolutely for vaccinations.

Conclusion: Are cat vaccinations necessary? No, not in an absolute sense. It is a balancing act. Vaccines are meant to improve the cat's health. They might not. They might hurt the cat. The injection can cause cancer. The immune system can be damaged. But they might protect the cat from serious illness. There are no clear answers. We should not automatically presume that vaccines are good as is promoted by most vets. See cat vaccination recommendations.

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