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Lv 6
hello asked in PetsCats · 1 decade ago

Did you give your indoor cat a feline leukemia shot?

The vet said it is something I should think about doing for my cat.

16 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Feline leukemia is contracted from other cats who are living in the same environment - outside cats can get it in the mating process from bites and females with it can transmit it to their kittens.

    There are at least three strains of the leukemia virus and several manufacturers who make the vaccines. None of the "shots" covers all the strains of the virus.

    The vaccine itself has even been found to possibly CAUSE leukemia.

    Most up to date vets will consider the "lifestyle" of your cats in determining which vaccines they should have. The person who said that a cat died of it who came into a clinic doesn't have any idea how the cat contracted the virus. The cat could even have been vaccinated for it.

    I think you should go to and read Dr. Jean Hovfe's article titled "Vaccinations". There are also some updates in her regular newsletter which you can access through those archives. Then you will have some information from a veterinarian so you can have a good discussion with your own veterinarian about what vaccines are necessary or advisable for your cats.

  • 1 decade ago

    I would totally recommend it, I work at a vet clinic and we just had to euthanize a cat because it had leukemia. It was an indoor cat and was never outside. But there is always a chance, I try to sell people every precaution. Vaccinate for things that you may not think will ever be a problem, because you never know! And microchip your pets because what if they got out, even if they are inside "all the time", there is always a risk of them getting out and lost.

  • 1 decade ago

    First, one word to Old Cat Lady: feline leukemia virus vaccine has never caused Leukemia as it is a killed virus found in the vial. I think you are also confusing feline AIDS and feline leukemia (FIV vs FeLv). It is known to be able to cause fibrosarcoma at the site of injection which is a type of cancer. However the risk of getting cancer is lower than the risk of getting the disease for an outdoor cat. I routinely recommend Feline leukemia vaccine to all outdoor cats, to cats exposed to an outdoor cat, cats that may escape or cats belonging to someone who might be prone to rescue strays. I do not recommend this vaccine for strictly indoor cats.

    Source(s): I'm a vet in Canada
  • Kerry
    Lv 4
    5 years ago

    No it is not necessary if there is no chance she can get out OR if you do not have another cat that does go out- they can bring it to her. There is such thing as over vaccinating a cat and while it is still good to get the FVRCP (distemper) the first year, I wouldn't do the FELV. I have 3 cats that do not get it. They stay indoors and I actually backed off the distemper for my 8 yr old and 5 yr old because they have had one every year and they were getting older and given their situation, it was okay to do that. The vet I worked at for over 8 years does not recommend FELV unless the cat fell under one of the 2 categories I mentioned. Your vet is being proactive but it really isn't necessary. FYI, there are other disease out there your cat can get outside that they do not even have a vaccine for like FIV- feline version of AIDS. You know your cat so as long as there is no chance for exposure, I really wouldn't do it.

  • 1 decade ago

    Uhmmm.... The only time my cat had a feline leukemia shot was when we had to travel overseas - it was a must that he got ALL the vaccines imaginable. That was 3 years ago. I don't beleive in vaccinating my cats EVERY year. I take them every 3 years. My cats are due for vaccinations in a few months and my vet recommended only Rabies and Panleukopenia (Distemper) becuase my cats are indoor cats and they only get to enjoy the outdoors under the strictest supervision (in cat outdoor enclosure or walking with me around the back yard wearing halter and leash). They have almost zero chances of coming into nose to nose contact with another animal under these circumstances so doc said rabies and distemper only.

    However, it also depends on where you live. In some areas, certain cat diseases are fairly prevalent and your vet knows if the animals in his area are susceptible to getting certain sicknesses. So, if you doubt, call another vet office - they will be glad to talk to you over the phone about vaccinations.

  • 1 decade ago

    You know, that's a personal decision. If your cat never goes outside and it is not in contact with any other cats........there's really no need. Be contious of the cats that you are around. I am a sucker for petting and trying feed strays. But, I am always very conscious to wash my hands before I touch my cats. If you cat never goes out, I would say no. If there is any poosiblity, then yes. If you decide to get another one, first of all, have that cat checked for FIV, then vaccinate one time and if it completely stays inside with the other one.....they'll be fine. I had my cat for 18 years and she was only vaccinated the first time I got her. She never developed it. It comes from one cat to the other and it has to be direct contact. Just on the safe side is why I always washed my hands, because my cat really got up in age (18) so I didn't want to take any chances.

  • 1 decade ago

    My vet has stopped giving leukemia shots to animals that are 100% indoors as mine are. They haven't had a leukemia vaccination in years. Of course, those that still allow their cats to roam are offered the vaccination.

    Source(s): experience veterinary assistant
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I do not vaccinate either of my cats for Feline Leukemia, they are both indoor only pets. Before I introduce any other cat into my household, I test for FELV/FIV.

  • 1 decade ago

    I have 2 indoor cats, and yes, they both have had it. I think its a great idea for us, even though are cats don't go outside, because there are several cats that wander our condo complex, use our backyard as a litter box...etc. We have 3 kids that play outside and track goodness knows what in the house, so better safe then sorry! I also keep flea collars on my cats, especially in the summer for that same reason.

    Good luck! :)

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    All three of my indoor cats have had the vaccination. All it takes is for one of them to sneak out just once, have contact with an infected cat, and get sick. Just like rabies, just takes once, and there's no do-overs.

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