Yes! Even indoor cats need vaccines as they can be exposed to Rabies virus through bats getting into the home. They also need the FVRCP vaccine due to latent Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis in a large part of the cat population; vaccinating your indoor cat regularly can help prevent flare-ups of this disease.
We recommend all kittens also receive the Feline Leukemia vaccine series due to their susceptibility to this virus, but it is considered non-core in adult indoor cats.
Rabies is a yearly vaccine, the schedule for the other vaccines will be discussed with you based on your cat’s lifestyle and age.
Why are my cat’s vaccines so much different and more expensive than my dog’s vaccines?
Good question! Cats are prone to a rare form of cancer called injection-site sarcoma. This cancer is rare, but aggressive, and is usually a fibrosarcoma (connective tissue tumor). Although the exact etymology is not fully understood, these tumors are known to be related to the inflammatory process that occurs in a cat’s body after they receive an injection. Although in theory these tumors could arise from any injection, they are exponentially more likely to occur after receiving an adjuvanted vaccine.
An adjuvant is a part of the vaccine that helps stimulate the immune response to make sure that the vaccine is effective. Unfortunately, in some cats, this tends to be a trigger for injection site sarcoma formation. For this reason, at Latah Creek Animal Hospital it is our standard to never administer an adjuvanted vaccine to a cat.
Instead, we use the only line of vaccines that is specifically made with prevention of injection site sarcomas in mind. They are specially formulated to stimulate an immune response without the use of an adjuvant.