Titers tell you if your cat needs a vaccination

Titers are blood tests. They check a cat’s (or human’s) immune status to vaccinations or disease which a cat may have received or suffered in the past.

If a titer result is positive the cat or human has sufficient immunity to a particular infectious disease. In which case the cat does not need a vaccination for that disease. To put it another way titer testing tells pet owners if a previous vaccine (or the body’s natural immunity) is still protecting their cat (or dog). It does this by measuring antibodies in the blood.

I have never heard about a veterinarian informing their client that a proposed vaccination may harm their cat and to ask if she would like a titer done to find out if a vaccination is needed.

In fact, I had never heard of titters in relation to vaccinations until today. By contrast, we have all heard about over vaccinating of cats. It occurs less often these days but is still a source of concern to many informed cat owners.

The risk of an adverse reaction to vaccinations in cats

Apparently nowadays there are titer testing kits which are relatively inexpensive. The test can be carried out in house at the clinic rather than at a laboratory. This speeds things up and restrains costs.

If titer testing tells us if our cat needs a vaccine why aren’t these tests carried out routinely rather than the vaccination? There must be two reasons: the extra cost and time involved and the loss of revenue from automatic booster vaccinations and ancillary selling of services. I don’t believe that these are worthy reasons. There may be a third reason: titers don’t provide a guaranteed test as to whether a cat has sufficient immunity against a certain disease. This is what your vet will probably say.

Example Health Risk of Mandatory Cat Vaccinations

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Titers tell you if your cat needs a vaccination — 6 Comments

  1. Holy crud! THANK you Michael for passing along this information! I’m totally pissed at the veterinary industrial complex for not being forthcoming about this. It is unconscionable.

    • I will ask my vet tomorrow if they will do a titer blood test on my cat before giving him a booster. I’ll report back in the article! They’ll probably say it is too complicated bla bla and too expensive. So just in case (and to rake in a bit of cash) they vaccinate again at the risk of the cat’s health. That is the truth of it. I can see the difficulties but vets really should find a way to do this test routinely. I’d be certain that very many cats would test positive which means they are receiving unnecessary vaccinations.

      • Not just unnecessary but overdoses of the vaccine. The shot is the same no matter the species or size. This goes on because despite how we see them the law sees your pet as personal property.

  2. Vets don’t advertise this because it would cut down on the number of vaccines they sell (and that’s really what they’re doing) because the test will show the cat is still protected) and it would also force vets to use a safer but much more expensive rabies vaccine and to vaccinate less often. Their profit margin from all of the vaccines would go down.

    • That’s what I think. The vets would say that the titer blood test is not accurate enough and too complicated or something like that.

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