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Annual Vaccinations For Your Cat…Helpful Or Harmful?

Over-vaccination in cats is rampant.


Annual vaccinations for your cat are due!

This past week my friend Lisa texted me a photo of a letter from her vet’s clinic with a kindly reminder that Nilla was past due for the following:  annual exam, fecal tests, feline leukemia vaccine, rabies vaccine, and combo vaccine of feline distemper, Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, and Chlamydia.  Did Nilla really need these?  What was my opinion?  The timing couldn’t be more perfect because I was watching The Truth About Pet Cancer documentary that discusses vaccinations and the links to cancer.  Therefore, when it comes to annual vaccinations for cats I would highly recommend you be informed of the dangers and question the necessity before you tote your beloved kitty off to the vet in dutiful compliance.

Vaccines and veterinary practice

Vaccinations are undoubtedly one of the most hotly debated topics in modern medicine.  In The Truth About Pet Cancer documentary several well-respected veterinarians and health experts weigh in on the truth behind the controversy, and this is information you need to know in order to protect your pets.  

According to Dr. Martin Goldstein, DVM, “vaccines don’t make pets healthy; they protect against disease, and they have documented side effects.”  He used to have a radio show a few years ago and invited Dr. Ronald Schultz, head of Pathophysiology at the University of Wisconsin to be his guest to discuss vaccinations.  What he learned blew him away:  Doses of vaccines are 10 times what’s needed in order to preserve shelf life because vaccines lose potency in the refrigerator.  Dr. Schultz went on to say

The recommendation for annual re-vaccination…was made without any scientific validation of the need to booster immunity so frequently.  …The patient receives no benefit and may be placed at serious risk when an unnecessary vaccine is given.  Few or no scientific studies have demonstrated a need for cats or dogs to be revaccinated.  (based on 40 years of vaccine studies)

Adverse reactions and the link to cancer

Mike Adams, The Health Ranger, points out that vaccines contain chemical preservatives and adjuvants which cause an inflammatory response in the immune system, and these contribute to diabetes, auto-immune disorders and cancer.  In his opinion we have a complete lack of medical freedom when it comes to pet health.  All but two vaccines also contain either mercury or aluminum which are very toxic heavy metals.

Adverse events happen all the time, and most are not even reported.  Dr. John Robb, DVM says when you bombard the immune system with chemical, viral and bacterial particles it responds…but it can start attacking it’s own body tissues resulting in neurological problems, seizures, and horrific diseases.  It’s also his opinion that idiopathic diseases (unknown causes) are directly the result of vaccination.

Annual vaccinations for catsBack in the days when I used to take my cats in for their shots I would feel terrible that they felt sick and puny for a day or so.  I never really gave it much thought or worried that they could have serious adverse reactions.  At least not until my cat Tosh developed tumors on his leg and another in his lungs which he ultimately died from.  The vet informed me it was due to the vaccines, and I felt so guilty–and furious!  It was then I realized the vaccine manufacturers KNEW the potential for this to happen yet I was never informed by any vet.

Dr. John Robb, DVM, Dr. Jean Dodd, DVM, and Dr. Robert Silver, DVM, all confirm this in the video.  Drug manufacturers learned from several studies that vaccines were causing tumors on the back of the neck at the injection site.  Their answer was to change the location of the injection site to the leg or tail.  This way if a tumor developed there they could amputate the limb.  In further studies pathologists reported that in dissected tumors remnants of the vaccine were found!  Vets are now required to document the injection sites of the vaccines they give.  In light of these facts the rabies vaccination recommendations changed from annually to once every three years.  The USDA, which regulates veterinary practice, doesn’t look for carcinogenicity or toxicity, only efficacy.  In other words, it doesn’t matter how dangerous the vaccine is or how deadly the side effects are; it just has to be effective in protecting against a disease.  Does this sound crazy to you? 

The truth about the rabies vaccine

Dr. Robb has faced legal challenges due to his oath as a vet to “first do no harm.”  He lost his Banfield clinic franchise because he was adjusting the dose of the rabies vaccines according to the size of the pet.  In his own words, companies like Marrs, who own the Banfield pet hospitals, are more interested in greed and profits than the pets’ best health interests.  When it comes to the rabies vaccine the dose shouldn’t be a “one size fits all,” and vets should be allowed to adjust the amount by body weight.  In other words, the amount of vaccine for a 50 pound animal is way too much for a 4 pound animal, yet the rabies law mandates otherwise.  In addition, no consideration is given for the fact that antibodies are already circulating in the pet’s body that protect it.  The whole industry is based on a flawed law. 

What’s a pet parent to do?


Over-vaccination is rampant, and many vets still recommend annual boosters which goes against many veterinary associations and affiliations today.   Check up reminders are simply the way clinics make money, according to Dr. Dodd.

Dr. Karen Becker, DVM, wisely reminds us that “humans don’t get revaccinated every year, yet vets continue to revaccinate because that’s what they’re taught in vet school.  And then they put guilt trips on pet parents who don’t want to follow the traditional vet model.”  I can personally attest to this because I’ve been bullied before!

Here’s what Dr. Robb and Dr. Silverman recommend:

  • Don’t vaccinate any animal before 12 weeks of age.  The mother’s antibodies persist in a protective fashion for at least 12 weeks.   
  • 1 vaccine at a time, 30 days apart. 
  • No need to vaccinate more than twice in a lifetime at best. 
  • Do blood titer tests instead of revaccinating.  Titers measure the amount of antibodies circulating in the blood that protect against a particular disease.  
  • Wait until 6 months of age for the rabies–and give it alone.

I recently asked Dr. Will Falconer, DVM, about indoor kitties and vaccines specifically.  In his opinion, indoor cats pose very little to no risk of contracting a disease and may not need any vaccines at all.  He even recommended a mobile vet do house calls whenever possible instead of exposing your cat to potential risks at the vet’s office.  

Vaccine exemptions

Did you know you can actually get a vaccine exemption for your cat?  All the pamphlets and labels on the vaccines say only vaccinate a healthy animal.  This is how the manufacturers protect themselves because they know an immune-compromised pet could be severely harmed or even killed by an adverse reaction to a vaccine.  Unfortunately I learned this the hard way with our cat Snowbear.  However, I was successful in avoiding a rabies vaccine completely for Aylen by signing a waiver.  Therefore, if your kitty has a heart condition, kidney disease, diabetes, cancer, pancreatitis, a respiratory infection or virus, or has ever had an adverse reaction to a vaccine do not give any vaccines whatsoever.

Knowledge is power!

In Nilla’s case, she had a complete exam and blood work back in the summer while up in Colorado.  Furthermore, she’s an indoor kitty who has already been vaccinated and has no risk of contracting any of these diseases.  Therefore, I told Lisa to disregard this friendly reminder and don’t give it a second thought.  The irony of the whole thing is that Nilla will live a longer, healthier life by avoiding these vaccinations and is better off opting for the annual wellness checkups instead.  

According to Dr. Robb veterinarians should be more interested in serving their clients than greed, and I couldn’t agree more!  Next time you find yourself at the vet’s office and the doctor brings up the fact that your cat is overdue for her shots you can stand your ground as an informed, educated pet parent.

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