HomeCat FoodTen Myths of Cat Care Busted

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Ten Myths of Cat Care Busted — 14 Comments

  1. Michele,
    Thanks for your comments. I do think it’s wise to get those vaccines that are recommended, especially since so many cats there are allowed to go out, and more easily have contact with other cats.

    As for the question on risk factor for live or dead rabies vaccine, that statistic may be available. although most of my decisions aren’t based on statistics. Actually, probably none are!

    • I wasn’t only thinking of the rabies vaccination when I raised the question about live/dead vaccines. I’ve read numerous posts from Americans raising concerns about the FeLV vaccine, but haven’t come across that here.

      Vets don’t use the same brands worldwide and I’m simply curious to know if either type (live or dead) is considered to have less side effects or whether is one is considered more effective than the other.

  2. I wonder what research might show about reactions to the rabies and other vaccines.

    I think if a cat is strictly indoors, the chances of getting rabies is pretty slim. Another reason to keep unvaccinated cats inside.

    I live in a senior community where all cats must be licensed, therefore needing a rabies shot or yearly booster. I’ve read enough about pet and human vaccines to decide not to do this.

    I think some people and pets can be harmed. I just received a renewal from from the city licensing dept. that I need to submit a current rabies vaccine report. I will not give the rabies vaccine, and have found a way around it, but can’t reveal how.

    Regarding the vaccine manufacturer’s statement that the vaccine must be given every year or ” if anything went wrong, such as failure of the vaccine or an adverse reaction, there would be no help or come back from the vaccine company because proper directions were not followed.”

    Does anyone believe that this statement is actually for “health and safety” reasons, or profit? And how many cases of vaccine failure or adverse reaction have received help from the vaccine company? Another topic of research….

    Considering that there are so many feral cats vulnerable to rabies that don’t get shots, I wonder why the rate of rabies is so low in the US? Outdoor cats come in contact with feral cats, and males especially sustain bites.

    Bats can be a problem, depending on where you live. This story is truly very sad, and the decision to euthanize rather than confine, was heartbreaking.

    For me, the risks of letting my cat outdoors, outweigh the benefits she might enjoy. Although, she does go out on an enclosed porch. Now, I’m wondering if we have bats…..

    • As the UK has been rabies free for 100 years, we are not required to vaccinate our pets against it unless they will be travelling to another country.

      Since the vast majority of cats here are allowed access to a garden during the day, vaccinations against Feline Infectious Enteritis, the 3 main strains of cat ‘flu (Calici, Herpes & Chlamydophila) and FeLV are strongly recommended.

      As my last 3 cats had pet passports they also had the rabies vaccination and having read lots of horror stories on-line I decided to ask my vet about the risks. He told me that in his 30+ year career, he’d only ever seen 4 cases of severe adverse reaction. Sadly he had seen many cats become very ill or die as a result of contracting one of the infectious feline diseases.

      I wonder if there’s a difference in the risk factor, dependent on whether the vaccine is live or a dead one?

  3. Glad to see the myths about dry food being exposed. Far too many people have no idea how inappropriate that diet is for cats or the serious consequences it can have on their health.

    Totally agree that by-products have been given a bad press. Especially when you consider that they are a natural part of a carnivore’s diet and can be rich in nutrients. Of course it depends on whether the manufacturer uses organ meats or poor quality by-products such as you’ve described. (In the UK, pet food manufacturers only use animals passed fit for human consumption).

    Despite the WSAVA recommendation for vaccines to be given every 3 years, currently all brands of UK licensed vaccines have to be given annually. This is based on the vaccine data sheet and thus required by law unless good justification can be provided by the vet and the pet’s owner is prepared to sign a waiver.

    • currently all brands of UK licensed vaccines have to be given annually

      I am surprised to hear that. Michele, are you saying that the regular vaccines have to be given annually in the UK?

      • In the UK, the vaccine manufacturers specify they must be given annually. This quote is taken from the web site of a UK vet;

        “For legal and safety reasons, these specifications have to be followed by the vet unless there are compelling reasons not to do so. Otherwise, if anything went wrong, such as failure of the vaccine or an adverse reaction, there would be no help or come back from the vaccine company because proper directions were not followed.”

        Strangely enough, vaccine manufacturers only require 2 sets of vaccinations for kittens, yet there’s growing evidence to suggest that this doesn’t provide sufficient immunity for them. Not only would a 3rd set of injections ensure they are fully protected, but it could increase the chances of the vaccinations offering life-time protection. (I guess this protocol would dramatically affect their profits and is probably why it’s the regulations haven’t been changed.)

  4. With the exception of No. 9, I think you did a great job busting these myths. While it is most likely beneficial to over-look vaccinations on a yearly basis, the rabies vaccine is one that cannot be overlooked.

    To elaborate:
    A friend had a cat who was very “needy” and preferred almost total contact with her “mom”. She liked to be held and would snuggle against Mom’s neck, etc.

    One morning the cat brought a baby bat to the owners. She seemed to limp when jumping down from the washer. Her Mom wasn’t sure if the cat had been bitten by the bat, so she took the bat to the local health department for rabies testing.

    After submission to the local health department, supposedly the bat tested positive for rabies. After much research by their trusted vet, the choices of either six months in quarantine with no human contact (it seems rabies can take longer than 10 days to show symptoms) or euthanasia.

    Because six months in solitary confinement would have been an emotional death for the cat, the decision was made for euthanasia. My friend was devastated and a very large piece of her died that day along with her “baby”.

    Several years later, the news reported that particular health department was so overwhelmed with work, that they could not process all lab requests and many were going undone. This information is quite devastating for pet owners everywhere, knowing what that implies for their pets.

    • I agree about the rabies vaccine. I was simplifying things. In the USA it is obligatory as you probably know. Yes, if a cat is suspected of rabies it is a very serious matter. The incidence of people getting rabies from cats in the USA is very, very low. Bats are the biggest worry.

      Your story is very sad indeed.

  5. I agree with these myths for the most part. However, regarding by-products in commercial pet food: What pet food is actually inspected by the USDA? Most by-products in commercial pet food would indicate euthanized animals with drugs and diseased animals not fit for human consumption. I do agree that organ meats are beneficial for pets, especially if used in home prepared diets.

    I don’t trust the USDA or The Association of American FEED(not FOOD!)Control Officials (AAFCO).

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