The Cat Vaccine Hoax

Welcome to the “Healthier Cat Detox Series” Part Three

Are yearly cat vaccines really necessary or doing more harm than good?

We vaccinate to protect our cats from diseases and viruses and because veterinarians tell us to do it.  Every year, we receive the vaccination reminder–“it’s time for your cat’s annual vaccination…keep your vaccines up to date…protect your cat…don’t risk your cat getting sick.”

You dread the visit, your cat certainly dreads the trip to the vet, and you may even wonder if it’s really necessary. Your cat may have had a bad reaction soon after a previous vaccination, but the vet assures you it’s normal or the side effects are better than not vaccinating. Long ago, before I knew better,  I was routinely vaccinating my cats and dogs.

Repeated vaccine reactions and weakened immune system

There is a lot of evidence that repeated vaccines cause reactions–sometimes soon after.  In some cats, reactions can take weeks, months, even years later to surface. There is also evidence that repeated vaccines weaken the immune system over time. The compromised immune system then becomes much more susceptible to other illness and diseases.

Some cats develop the disease for which they were just vaccinated.

I know two cats who had severe reactions to the FeLV vaccine. One of them was my kitty, Fluff. It was her first FeLV vaccine. She became so sick, as if she had FeLV, and I thought she was going to die. But she pulled out of it.

The other was a friend’s cat. Every year, he would have her vaccinated, even though she lived indoors. Each year, her reaction would be worse than the year before. Lethargic, no appetite, weight loss from not eating, just plain sickly. My friend was brainwashed by the veterinary profession and just didn’t know any better. Nor would he listen to me! Well one year, Tizzy nearly died from the reaction. My friend finally woke up and said no more vaccinations! Thank goodness for Tizzy!

In the feline 4-in-1 FVRCP, the vaccine does not provide immunity to rhinotracheitis and calicivirus (the R and C in FVRCP). The vaccine is claimed to assist in reducing the severity of the symptoms if a cat becomes infected. But I can argue that claim, as you can seen in the next paragraph. I believe a better approach is to build up our cat’s immune systems so that if they do become exposed, their immune system can fight it off. 

The vaccine reportedly provides immunity to Panleukopenia (also known as feline distemper).

It happened to my Harmony

As a young cat, Harmony was vaccinated by a cat rescue group as part of their protocol, along with spaying. Six months later, she contracted herpes from a tiny foster kitten. Strangely enough, the kitten came down with only a very mild cold and quickly recovered. The herpes virus went into Harmony’s eyes. One eye developed an ulcer. This required sewing her eyelid up over the eye so it could heal. I had to give her eye pain ointment and antibiotic eye drops. I felt horrible for her.  She was left with a slight clouding on the cornea.

So much for the vaccination reducing the symptoms! Fortunately, homeopathic remedies helped her heal quickly and fully, much to the surprise of the veterinarian.

I thought I had Harmony’s immune system strong enough to protect her. Harmony’s mother was a feral cat and in poor health. No doubt, genetics played a part in Harmony’s inability to fight off exposure to the herpes virus. Therefore, it was absolutely necessary that I do everything within my power to build up her immune system from the get go.  However, I was still feeding my cats dry food at that time. Grain-free, but nonetheless, it was still junk food. I fed them raw once a day, and dry food once a day. I was only half way there to feeding the best foods.

Risks of routine cat vaccines

What are the risks of routine vaccines? There are plenty.

Acute Reactions Most Likely to Occur Within 24 Hours:

 1) Allergic reaction at site of injection (redness, swelling, itching)

 2) Lethargy

 3) Vomiting

 4) Diarrhea

 5) Fever

 6) Drooling

 7) Collapse

 8) Seizures

 9) Stiffness, soreness 

 10) Death, yes–death

These reactions are largely not reported, as there is not a formal reporting procedure or requirement. Cat parents and vets don’t always associate the reactions with the vaccine. According to Dr. Ronald Schultz (a vaccine immunologist pioneer and expert for the University of Wisconsin, School of Veterinary Medicine), education on vaccine reactions is inadequate for veterinarians.

I know a woman who took her two dogs in for their routine vaccines. The younger dog had no problems. The older dog had a severe reaction within a few hours–most of the symptoms listed above, except for the seizures and death. The veterinary office was closed, so she called her vet the next day. He was adamant that the vaccines he used would not cause such a reaction. The reaction lasted two days, and her dog did pull through. It was so scary for her. I encouraged her to report the reaction to the vaccine company. However, she would not pursue it, because the vet had shamed her.

Long-Term Problems Strongly Linked to Routine Vaccinations (a partial list):

1) Skin allergies

2) Autoimmune disorders such as Hyperthyroidism and Diabetes

3) Cancer

4) Arthritis and joint problems

5) Behavior changes

6) Injection site sarcomas (tumors)

The rabies vaccine is notorious for causing injection site tumors. In fact, veterinary experts recommend injecting vaccines low on the back leg so it can be amputated if cancer develops! This is opposed to injecting anywhere on the torso, where the cancerous tumors can more readily spread to organs.

This right here tells us they KNOW vaccines can cause cancerous tumors. has very in-depth information about vaccinations in our pets, including a video relating to injection site tumors.

Vaccines are only necessary every three years or less frequently

In 1978, Dr. Ronald Schultz and his colleague, Dr. Fred Scott, published a vaccination protocol stating that after kitten vaccinations, a cat be vaccinated again in one year. After that, vaccinate every three years or LESS frequently.

There is growing evidence that the initial vaccinations last at least seven years and quite possibly a lifetime. Think about measles: the measles vaccination lasts a lifetime.

It was 20 years later when the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) announced guidelines similar to what Dr. Schultz had published.

I can’t help but wonder who was lining the AAFP’s pockets that it take so long for the organization to finally admit it?

Things keep changing — the studies, the reports, the vaccines, the viruses mutating, etc. The latest guidelines from AAFP came out in 2013. They recommend to do the core (the 4-in-1) every three years, unless your cat is at high risk of being infected. But, please remember, vaccine immunologists have seen evidence for decades that the vaccines last at least seven years, if not a lifetime. 

Why do veterinarians push annual vaccines?

So why do the majority of veterinarians still push annual vaccines and send us reminders?  In 2016, I took a stray cat (Buddy) to a vet for FeLV testing and the FeLV vaccine. When I asked him about the protection period, he told me in a very lowered voice,

“The FeLV vaccine probably lasts a lifetime. All the vaccines do. He probably does not need another one.”

And this veterinarian sends yearly vaccine reminders!  We tried to convert Buddy to indoor living, but he sprayed and fussed A LOT Because Buddy would continue to live outdoors, the veterinarian’s recommendation was to get just one more FeLV vaccine in a year to be on the safe side.

At the holistic practice where I took my cat Harmony, the veterinary technician told us — in a low voice as if for no one else to hear — that all the core vaccines probably last at least three years. She said except for the FeLV, which should be done every year.

So, they really don’t know either, and they have varied opinions! 

Who really benefits from routine vaccines?

How much are veterinarians and pharmaceutical companies making off of routine vaccinations?

Routine vaccinations are a HUGE portion of a veterinary clinic’s income. According to Dr. Andrew Jones, DVM, the mark-up is as much as 60%.

According to Dr. Schultz,

there is absolutely no evidence that annual revaccination is necessary.

The pharmaceutical companies manufacturing the vaccines recommend repeating vaccines on the bottle labels. Of course, why not, this brings in higher revenue dollars.

The veterinarians follow the recommendations. And the more often you bring in kitty, the more money they make. Not to say that you should not take your cat in annually for a wellness exam to check for tumors, check the teeth and a cleaning, check the heart, etc. But they get cat lovers in their clinics by pushing the annual vaccines with postcards or magazines with the cute little pictures. The message tries to make you out to be a bad person if you don’t keep ’em up to date.

According to Karen Becker, DVM with Mercola Healthy Pets, the one-year and three-year rabies vaccines are identical. She also states that the same dose of vaccine protects a 350 lb tiger in the zoo as a 10 lb pet cat. Excuse me, but why would a small domestic cat receive the same dose as a 350 lb tiger?

The toxic ingredients in vaccines

It’s not actually the vaccine material itself that is toxic.  It is the ingredients and preservatives that build up in the cat’s organs and body and cause the problems over time.


Aluminum is the most commonly used adjuvant in killed-virus vaccines.  An adjuvant is a substance added to a killed-virus vaccine to enhance the immune system’s reaction. The virus being used is killed and less effective at stimulating an immune system response. Also, a killed-virus is less likely to replicate in the body.  Killed vaccines include Panleukopenia (FPV), Herpes 1 (FHV-1), Calicivirus (FCV), FeLV and Rabies.

No-kill or “live” vaccines (two versions known as Modified Live and Recombinant Live) are Rabies and FeLV. These vaccines can be produced in a live version because the virus is supposedly less likely to replicate in the host. Rabies and FeLV vaccines can be either killed-virus or live vaccines.

The adjuvant-containing vaccines are most likely to cause vaccine-induced tumors. The tumor can be surgically removed. But in some cats, the tumor grows back in multiples. The tumor(s) can lead to death. Aluminum has been found in removed vaccine-induced tumors.  

Aluminum targets the brain and endocrine (hormonal) system. It builds up in the brain and nervous system causing degeneration, vaccine-associated cancers, seizures and behavior issues.

When I moved from California to Hawaii, the antiquated law in Hawaii required two sets of rabies vaccines within 90 days! It is no wonder I heard stories about pets never being the same, suddenly becoming ill, and dying after moving to Hawaii.  My pets had all kinds of problems when we lived in Hawaii. In part, it was due to the consistently warm wet weather, where viruses, mold, and fungi never die off.  I am certain all the vaccines required to move to Hawaii were also responsible for their health problems.

When I moved from Hawaii back to California, the rabies vaccination was required to come into California. This makes no sense because Hawaii is rabies-free.  I dreaded doing this to my cats and dog, since they had already received rabies vaccines to go to Hawaii. Within a few weeks, two of my cats developed tumors at the site of the vaccine. I used homeopathy, and the tumors began dissolving within a few days, not to return.


Thimerosal is a commonly used mercury-based additive made by Eli Lilly that’s used as a preservative. It’s not the only brand that makes preservatives. Other brands also contain mercury.

In 1967, a study published in Applied Microbiology showed that Thimerosal killed mice when added to vaccines.

In 1972, Eli Lilly found Thimerosal to be “toxic to tissue cells” in concentrations as low as one part per million (PPM)–100 times weaker than the amount used in a typical vaccine.

Veterinary vaccine manufacturer Pittman-Moore wrote to Eli Lilly: “We have obtained marked local reaction in about 50% of the dogs injected with serum containing dilutions of Merthiolate (Thimerosal). Merthiolate is unsatisfactory as a preservative for serum intended for use on dogs.” (Director of Biological Services, Pittman-Moore Company, letter to Dr Jamieson of Eli Lilly Company dated 1935. U.S. Congressional Record, May 21, 2003, E1018, page 9).

Since then, repeated studies show the dangers of Thimerosal.  

In 1982, the FDA proposed a ban on over-the-counter products containing Thimerosal.

In 1991 the FDA considered banning Thimerosal from animal vaccines. Considered? What or who stopped them from banning it?

In 2006, researchers at UC Davis published a study showing that Thimerosal may make the immune system vulnerable to bacteria and other pathogens.

Thimerosal-Free Vaccines?

In response to all the negativity surrounding Thimerosal, vaccines were developed without it. But wait…. How about that little-known vaccine ingredient called an excipient? These ingredients are used in the production of vaccines, but aren’t an actual ingredient directly added to the vaccine. Thus, the manufacturer can claim the vaccine is Thimerosal-free, when it isn’t.

Save Your Money, Save Your Cat

So, please consider no more annual vaccinations, especially if your kitty has a reaction each time. Your cat is trying to tell you something! Also consider no more annual vaccinations if your cat is older or is ill to begin with. Save your money for healthier food, dental gel, and some good supplements for better health and longevity. 

Have you got my list of 10 ingredients to avoid in cat food? You can get it here: 10 Ingredients to Avoid.  This is a list of  ingredients that are not supportive of a healthy immune system and constitution. Rather, these ten ingredients build up in the body, creating a toxic load and weaken the organs.  Choosing cat foods without these ingredients will help your cat detox from toxins and move toward thriving health.

If you’ve been getting annual vaccinations for your cat or any vaccines at all, help your cat detox as soon as possible! Learn how in the Healthy Cats Detox Workshop. Check it out here.

Don’t Miss Any of the Healthier Cat Detox Series:

Part One:  Safer Household Products for Cats

Part Two: Best Food and Water Bowls for Cats


Kim Staley
Healthy Life Cat Coach

No More Shots–The Cat Vaccine Hoax

9 thoughts on “No More Shots–The Cat Vaccine Hoax

  • May 28, 2017 at 3:35 am

    From Sherry Daniel. My 3 cats are strictly indoor kitties. Yes, 2 of them have escaped, at different times, but weren’t around other cats. They are all fixed…that was only time they saw a vet. My female is almost 8 yrs old…never been sick. The other 2 are boys, 4 yrs old & never been sick. None have received ANY vaccinations.

    • May 28, 2017 at 1:23 pm

      Hi Sherry, that is wonderful that your kitties have never been sick. Let’s hope they never are! Thank you for sharing your experience. What helped you decide to not vaccinate, other than them living indoors? Have you ever had cats that were vaccinated that did have a reaction to the vaccines?

  • May 6, 2018 at 8:46 pm

    My 11-week-old kitten bit a vet after major surgery for pectus excavatum, and the City of Austin forced her into rabies quarantine (luckily at home), then forced me to vaccinate her for rabies at only 12 weeks….Help! How do I detox her?

    • May 28, 2018 at 12:01 pm

      Hi Savannah, I’m sorry to hear about your kitten having to go through such a major surgery. She obviously associated the vet with the trauma she went through. You are a cat angel for making the decision to go forward with what I’m sure was a very expensive surgery. How is your kitten doing post surgery? Did or does she have any signs of reaction to the rabies vaccination? I truly believe there is no need to panic, so please try not to worry unless she is having a reaction. The problem with vaccines is mainly around repeated vaccination. If she has developed an injection site tumor, please do not hesitate to set up a complimentary Thriving Health Discovery Session with me. Go to my contact page and shoot me a quick email for the scheduling link so we can determine if we can take care of this in one consultation or if you would like my full service offered in the Thrive Nutrition Program.

  • April 13, 2019 at 4:00 am

    I had found one vet who would agree to spay and neuter without also vaccinating, but he was very old, and was gone before I got my youngest cat. Problem is you can not see a vet without a ‘current’ rabies vaccination, even if they have been 100% indoors, from less than one year old.
    I find it interesting to contrast the health of my spayed but not vaccinated 17 yr old with my neutered and vaccinated (only once!) 18 year old. Small sample size in older cats I know, but the reason I wanted to stop with the usual combination of rabies plus spay/neuter, in the same visit, was the cats in that particular area were actually dying on me afterwards, as 6 month old kitten! Along with really impressive and awful non-death reactions. (We were the unofficial place to drop off kittens in the area, because we would get them fixed at the high cost in the area for not completely feral cats, and adopted out, so that sample size was pushing 50 kittens.)
    I dreaded getting the last kitten vaccinated, which would be required before spaying, because she was definitely local. She seemed to always be in heat when there was finally a vacation day, plus an open appointment for a rabies, so we’d put it off. Right now she is approaching old age (9) in an un-spayed and un-vaccinated condition, where no vet can see her, without the first visit in any given year being a rabies vaccination. Which could kill her. Or not.
    It’s very stressful, and hard to find any information on an intact female who has never been pregnant. She still seems to enjoy her heats, first cat I ever met who joyfully sails through them. Less than zero interest in the stray males that come calling (she does the cat equivalent of hit the road jack! through the windows), but she sometimes chooses a long-term mate from the neutered males in the house. (Until her, I had no idea cats did that.) She runs the house in the most graceful and pleasant way. Keeps us all in line, using even our phone notification sounds as cues for when to make us get moving, and I’m not sure what any of us would do without her.

    • April 14, 2019 at 1:19 pm

      Hi Suzie,
      Thank you for sharing your experiences, painful as they may be. You are a generous soul to work at slowing down the reproduction of the stray cats. It seems a really high ratio of the kittens having reactions! How horrible you had to go through that. I wonder if they had very weak immune systems to begin with.

      I know that a lot of veterinary clinics require cats and dogs to be vaccinated before being allowed in. Such hogwash! There are still veterinarians where I live in San Diego County, CA, that do not require animals to be vaccinated. The vets in your location must be much stricter, or they are all just following along like sheep.

      Your female sounds like a lovely gal. My experience is that many females are rather snotty. I have wondered if it is due to being spayed at young ages. More recently (past 5 years or so), all the rescues are spaying and neutering kittens as young as 4 weeks old just to get them adopted out ASAP. In the past, the rescues would work on an honor system with the adopters, hoping they would take the kittens to be spayed/neutered once old enough. Now any age is old enough! I believe there will be severe repercussions later in their lives that the veterinary field has not seen and does not know about yet.

  • November 23, 2019 at 6:58 am

    I have a cat with chronic kidney failure ( he survived being mauled by two dogs but shock damaged his kidneys) and I have no idea how old he is ( he is at least 12 now) because he was fully grown when I adopted him after his owner passed. I had no access to his vet records so I didn’t know when or if he had ever been vaccinated. Considering that he was neutered, it was reasonable to assume that he had had needles. When I took my concerns to my vet, she said thet she didn’t want to give him needles, especially the rabies one, because of his compromised kidneys. When I said that a lot of clinics will not accept an animal that hasn’t had a rabies shot, she chuckled, and said that was ridiculous because ALL the vet staff have had their own rabies shots! If there was any concern, the animal would simply be kept in isolation so other pets would not be compromised. The possibility of an indoor cat having rabies is incredibly slim, anyway.

    • November 25, 2019 at 2:27 pm

      Hi Charlotte,
      Thank you for sharing your experience with us. Good for that veterinarian for having the sense to not insist on vaccinating your cat with his condition.She is right, it is ridiculous for clinics to require vaccinations to be seen. I truly believe they do it to instill fear, thus increasing their revenue. Sending you and your kitty loads of love for his happy and long life.

  • April 8, 2020 at 6:29 pm

    Since they are indoor cats, how did they get sick?


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