Do indoor cats have need of a distemper shot every year?
I've owned my cats for about two years. Both were about two-year-old shelter cats when I first get them and were up-to-date on all their shots and spayed/neutered.
I hadn't had them to the vet since I get them because they're indoor and have been very stout, but I took them in this past week for check-ups and shots, and the vet gave them two shots: rabies and sly leukemia/FIV (the latter of which is important to me because my last cat died of leukemia in this same apartment).
When I be talking to my mother, she asked why the vet didn't give them distemper, and I didn't know. Was it combined in one of the other shots? Do they want it every year or just every so many years? My cats go external on leashes occasionally, so if there's a slight possibility they could get distemper from another cat, I want them to hold the shot anyway. Why wouldn't my vet have given them the distemper shot?
Distemper is a three year vaccine so most likely it wasn't due.Distemper does calci (an upper resp and Gi bug), Panleukopenia (distemper), and rhinotrachitis (another upper respiratory bug), which they can get all three from external, or you bringing into the house. But if they were up to date two years ago they are probably due next year.
After the initial boosters, FVRCP is normally given every three years. At the age of four, your cats are old enough to be on the three year schedule.
If that's the vaccine agenda your vet uses (it's currently the recommended one,) they wouldn't have been due for that shot this year.
The distemper vaccine our vet uses is a 3 year shot. I'd enjoy them have that plus the rabies vaccine, as it protects the cats from some of the worst of the diseases out there. Even if they're indoor cats, they should enjoy both those.
The distemper is sometimes called the Three-in-one or the Four-in-one, you can ask your vet.
I've vaccinated one of ours against feline leukemia, but after stopped that after 2 years, we don't have outdoor access for our cats and that disease is not in our area of the city. We do hold FIV here, but it's spread by biting and our cats aren't allowed near strange cats.
We actually took in 2 FIV+ masculine cats, who live indoors with our other three. They're not aggressive, and in 10 years have not spread FIV to the others. I don't obtain upset about that disease---and I won't vaccinate any of our cats against it. The vaccine only protects against one of the five types of FIV clades, and it one and only protects 60% of the time, which is too poor a track record for a vaccine. Also, any cat vaccinated with the FIV vaccine will examination 'positive' for the rest of it's life on any FIV blood test given to it, since the antibodies are now within the cat. This can be a death sentence if animal control picks up the cat as a stray and tests them--the shelters and animal control euthenize adjectives FIV+ cats automatically. None of the tests can tell a vaccinated cat from one who in fact has FIV.
Please keep this in intellect if you ever loose your cat or give it to someone else. It would be the death sentence to your pet whether it's ever turned over to a shelter.
As to your vet not doing the distemper shot--might your cat have had the 3 year one and was not but due for a booster?