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What vaccinations do cats need aside from rabies?

Hi Megan!

Well, distemper is one vaccine I know of that's important. That was most likely given with the rabies vaccine.

The other biggie (and somewhat controversial) is Feline Leukemia. Most vets today will tell you that this vaccine is vital if your cat goes outside. However, it's when the cat (like our Himalayan, Sami) is totally indoors that the issue of Feline Lukemia vaccine becomes highly debated. I've done a lot of research and spoken to many sources and the general feeling is that if the cat never goes outside, then it's better to avoid this vaccine as there have been links to cancerous tumors.

Either way, it is important that cats are screened for leukemia early. I highly recommend, from experience however, that you don't have the test done too soon--wait until the cat is 6 months old. Kittens can actually show the leukemia antibody before that time, and the scare is just not worth it.

We had Sami tested as soon as we got her, and the test came back positive. We were wrecks! Finally, after a re-test, it came back negative. That's how we learned that many vets tell you to not even check until 6 months of age.

...but I still am...

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