What about vaccinations for our cats – how bad can it be?
There’s so much we do to and for our cats today that is accepted in the mainstream that is highly mediocre—so much so that few ever challenge this status quo and carry on doing the same things over and over again. But some of these habits, such as the feeding of cats out of bags and cans – which I offered an alternative to in this Care2 post – and vaccinating cats throughout their lives, have turned out to be quite harmful for our cats (dogs and children, too). Some only question these habits when something ‘cat-astrophic’ happens to them. I was one such person myself over 20 years ago, when I had not put together the holistic protocols I write and lecture about, including how to integrate holistic protocols with conventional veterinary medicine. See my Care2 post on integrating holistic and conventional veterinary medicine.
Romeo teaches me a lesson the hard way!
My love of my life cat, Romeo, to whom I dedicated my last book, The Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care (co-authored with Jean Hofve, DVM), had an upper respiratory infection before I adopted him (he came from a well known, at the time, Tonkinese breeder who used all those same tired mediocre dry feeding and annual vaccine protocols). She said that her vet said that my little 12-week-old Romeo needed to be put on a course of antibiotics before he could come home with me. And of course I knew very little about holistic health care for pets way back then in 1991. Thereafter, he developed symptoms of an upper respiratory infection, such as runny eyes and acute flu symptoms, including fever, after every vaccination my veterinarian gave him. (This was before I knew about the potential for side effects from vaccines, but again we all seem to learn the hard way.) And he got the miserable antibiotic, as well!
It took at least a full two weeks of antibiotics before the symptoms seemed to disappear. But in point of fact they were only being palliated, not cured, as I had not learned about homeopathy at that point either. See my Care2 post on homeopathy for dogs and cats.
The second to last time Romeo was vaccinated, he ran a 105°F (40.6°C) fever and was almost comatose four hours after receiving the shot. I helped him by giving him fluids and syringe feeding him chicken broth for days. I even remember the breeder telling me that his mother died after receiving a vaccination but couldn’t connect the dots about the dangers of vaccinating then. The next year my then veterinarian insisted on vaccinating him again, giving him a dose of an antihistamine first, thinking he was simply allergic to the adjuvant. Four hours later he was running a fever of 105.5°F (40.9°C) and staring into space. Once again I rushed him to the emergency vet hospital, where he was given steroids and fluids, and I was given strict instructions from a very wise emergency veterinarian never to vaccinate him again! He confided then to me, “We all know that vaccines last the lifetime of the pet, but just don’t go public with it. I never vaccinate my own animals after they have their kitten or puppy shots!” Wow, that was a revelation and kicked off a lifetime of study for me and my writing career on the subject as I compiled my evidence that something was very wrong in traditional veterinary medicine. I started a firestorm with the publication of my first book, entitled Cat Care Naturally, which was re-released as Natural Cat Care. My current book, Holistic Cat Care pulls the whole 20 years and 11 generations of natural rearing all together.