Whenever I’m asked about routine annual vaccinations for a cat or a dog, I happily repeat what I was told some time ago by a very well respected vet.
He told me that after the age of 8 or 9, the vaccines don’t work. Presumably to do with the changing physiology of an ageing animal. Before that age though, the vaccine is offered routinely on an annual basis. Did you know that its efficacy lasts for between 3 and 5 years and that the yearly dose is to satisfy a legal, not welfare, requirement relating to UK catteries and boarding kennels? In the US the same vaccine is administered every 3 years.
Since one of my cats died at the age of 8, from cancer, the tumour growing precisely on the vaccination site, the sole vaccination my cats have had is the initial one, as kittens. I use a homeopathic equivalent to protect them instead and I’ve found catteries who are happy to accept cats on this basis if needs be.
As far as worming and flea treatments are concerned I believe the common sense approach works best. In practice I worm my animals homeopathically. Or you may prefer to use a wormer once or twice a year.
Flea treatments seem to me to be a licence to print money whilst damaging our cats and dogs.
Years ago fleas were treated annually, now apparently, it’s necessary to do this monthly! Just as with the overuse of antibiotics, the greater the frequency of administration, the less effective the result, so the greater frequency of administration. Who suffers? The animals and your finances .
I’m not the only one whose cats have reacted adversely to a flea treatment. The reactions I’ve witnessed range from uncontrollable sneezing and irritated eyes, to a zombie like state lasting 24 hours and most frightening of all, a series of thirteen seizures, following a flea treatment earlier that day. Never again.
Flea control in my house is now as simple as possible. I comb through the fur with warm water, sometimes a vinegar and water solution. This keeps the fleas at bay, the cats enjoy the extra attention and I can relax knowing they are not being poisoned.
I think the question that we as loving and responsible guardians of our animals can best ask ourselves, before deciding on any treatment or procedure is, “Am I choosing to do this because it’s available, or because I feel it’s in the highest and best interests for this animal at this time?”
I’d love to know your views and experiences.