Vaccinations - Feline

Nixa Animal Hospital

700 W Mt. Vernon
Nixa, MO 65714


Vaccinations for your cat

Does My Pet Need Annual Vaccination? Questions About Vaccine... Which Ones and How Often?


Q: My whole life I have been told my pet needed yearly vaccinations. What has changed?

A:  The tradition of annual boosters was based on manufacturers' recommendations and labeling. To date, few studies have been done to prove how long vaccines are effective. In addition, veterinarians found vaccination to be a safe procedure that was generally free of side effects and risk.

Recently, there has been a growing degree of evidence indicating protection from vaccination is longer lasting than previously believed. In addition, there is increased awareness and concern that vaccination is not as harmless a procedure as once thought. This awareness and concern have led to a growing number of authorities (such as infectious disease experts, immunologists, and researchers) as well as practitioners who recommend reduced frequency of vaccinations while at the same time tailoring vaccine recommendations to specific risk situations.

Q: Is vaccinating my pet a risk to his or her health?

A: Vaccination against disease is a medical procedure and, like all medical procedures, carries some inherent risk. As in any medical procedure or decision, the advantages must be balanced against the risks. Veterinarians recommend that no needless risks should be taken and that the best way to accomplish that is to reduce the number and frequency of administration of unnecessary vaccines.

As is the case with any medical decision, you and your veterinarian should make vaccination decisions after considering your pet's age, lifestyle, and potential exposure to infectious diseases.


Q: What possible risks are associated with vaccination?

A: Again, severe reactions are uncommon, but any needless risk is unacceptable. In general, vaccine reactions and side effects (such as local pain and swelling) are self-limiting. Allergic reactions are less common, but if untreated can be fatal.

In a small number of patients, vaccines can stimulate the patient's immune system against his or her own tissues, resulting in diseases that affect the blood, the skin, the joints, or the nervous system. Again, such reactions are infrequent.

In a tiny percentage of cats, there has been an increase in a particular form of tumor that is strongly associated with vaccine administration. The reported incidence of this side effect is one in 10,000. Researchers are currently studying this phenomenon to learn what causes the problem so that vaccines can be redesigned to avoid this unacceptable side effect. Meanwhile, reducing risk by reducing the number of unnecessary vaccines given to cats is the safest option.

Nixa Animal Hospital only uses non-adjuvanted vaccines to limit vaccine reaction and to decrease the potential for vaccine associated tumor formation.  The non-adjuvanated vaccines do require annual boosters due to the


Q: How do I know which vaccines my pet needs?

A: There are two general groups of vaccines to consider: core-group vaccines and noncore vaccines. Core-group vaccines protect against diseases that are more serious or potentially fatal. These diseases are more easily transmitted than noncore diseases. Core group vaccines are those generally recommended for all pets. For cats, these include panleukopenia, calicivirus and herpesvirus, as well as rabies. For dogs, we include distemper, adenovirus, parvovirus and rabies.


Vaccine Recommendations for adult indoor cats: 

Feline upper respiratory complex (FVR-CP) every 3 years

PurVax Rabies Non-Adjuvanted Vaccine Yearly


Vaccine Recommendations for adult outdoor cats:

Feline Upper Respiratory Complex (FVR-CP) every 3 year

PurVax Rabies Non-Adjuvated Vaccine Yearly

PurVax Feline Leukemia Vaccine Yearly

Annual Testing for feline leukemia and FIV


For more information and to get your specific questions answer about your individual pets, call us to schedule a time to visit with Dr. Molly one on one.