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After using many different manufactures of vaccine.  We have decided it best to not vaccinate the kittens unless they are going into a home where there has been Panleukopenia in the past, boarding the kitten/cat or showing the kitten/cat.  These situations expose the kitten to disease. 


Dr. Don Hamilton’s article titled Vaccination for Cats: Helpful or Harmful?”  gives a total picture about vaccine and guidelines to help make informed decisions about the need verses the potential long term dangers…… Please read the link above to fully understand vaccinations.  Here is part of his article for you to ponder:


Obviously, when we reach the point of making recommendations like these, we are out of control. But do we simply avoid vaccinations in order to avoid all risk? Or is there possibly more risk by not vaccinating? Personally, I am opposed to vaccination in virtually all situations, but I will endeavor to give some guidelines that will assist you in making a balanced decision regarding your feline companions. 

There are four criteria that are at the center of any vaccine decision. One should only consider administering a vaccine if all four criteria are met: 
1. The disease is serious, even life threatening. 
2. The animal is or will be exposed to the disease. 
3. The vaccine for the disease is known to be effective. 
4. The vaccine for the disease is considered safe. 



Our past experience with vaccine has resulted in the vaccine giving the kittens the disease we are trying to protect them from contracting.  Our kittens are isolated from other cats and should have excellent immune systems because we feed grain free, raw meat supplemented with Young Again supplement or 4 Life Transfer Factor Livestock Stress.  They live in a sunny clean environment with circulating air that has been exposed to UV light. 



SAHJASiamese and Oriental Cats and KittensSahja Siamese and Oriental cats and kittensGrand Champion Sahja's Glory MacHanna, chestnut silver spotted oriental cat picture


I know there are probably many situations similar to Sopko’s experience.   It is my hope that  questions will be asked about the use of adjuvant vaccines when non-adjuvant vaccines are available with much less risk.  We also have to ask whether older indoor pet need vaccinations. Sopko received Fort Dodge Rabvac 3, an adjuvanted vaccine.  His story below was given to me on 2-18-2008.

Sopko the Gila Monster Cole


My cat has been healthy throughout his entire life. I've never had any health issues with him at all, up until Jan. 07' when a vet convinced us due to the law in Pennsylvania, that he had to be up to date on the rabies vaccine. That night following the vaccine, he became so sick (like I never seen before)...lethargic, irritable, vomiting, etc. I was told by the emergency vet on call that particular night, that cats can possibly experience this as a side effect to the rabies vaccine and to call if he isn't better by the next day.


The next day, his condition seemed to be resolved. However, less than a week later, I was told that he was very anemic (Hct was 20). It was determined that he had an allergic reaction to the rabies vaccine since he has had no previous illness prior to the vaccine. They had me put him on prednisone to combat his immune response which cause him to have very high sugars levels in his blood (diabetes). So then, I had to give him Lantus (insulin) injections to combat the diabetes while weaning him off the prednisone. This went on for about three months or so until we were finally able to wean him off of both. By October 07' he had recovered his Hct to 30, on his own. We thought our nightmare was finally going away...until x-mas when he had to be hospitalized for a sudden drop in his Hct to 17 (same symptoms...lethargic, irritable, vomiting, not eating, etc.).


He was in the hospital from x-mas to New Year day, when after receiving a blood transfusion, bone marrow aspirate and various other tests to rule out viral, bacterial, parasitic, and cancer causes, all of which were negative.  He was finally diagnosed with "myelodysplastic syndrome

" which is secondary to an autoimmune mediated hemalytic anemia caused by the rabies vaccine (i.e., a "drug insult" as they worded it), and then they informed us that our kitty's disorder has a poor prognosis.  See attached report from the veterinarian.


The good news is, he is still with us. Neither he nor we are giving up! It has certainly been a roller coaster ride with lots of ups and downs. As long as he continues to eat and drink, we will continue to keep fighting! He has now been started on a different immunosuppressive drug (cyclsporine which does not effect blood sugars) and so far, the drug appears to be working (last week his Hct was 20, up from 16 which is what it was when he left the hospital). We are very hopeful for him and of course, very happy too! Perhaps you can tell people (owners) about our kitty's misfortunes and use our story as an example of why older cats do not necessarily need vaccinations. I can only hope that someone can learn from us and our situation, perhaps you can help me with that. I have certainly had to learn the hard way.

Much thanks and God bless,





Hi Sally,

I am sad to tell you that we have lost our battle with Sopko's passing this morning, 5/8/08. Although it hurts my heart so, I am relieved that his suffering is no more and extremely grateful for the extended time and the many years that I had with him.

Thank you for helping us help others with your website and for giving Sopko a place in memory there. Please know that I deeply appreciate your offer to post my testimony and I am forever thankful for it.

With thanks and much appreciation,

Regina L.


Hi Sally,

I've been gathering some of Sopko's pictures and thought it would be nice to share them with you (see attachments). It is true that my heart is still heavy but as I mentioned to Lois, it is so comforting to know that the two of you are out there spreading his story. And even more comforting, is to think that my boy's experience may save others from suffering the same consequences (knowledge & experience is sooo powerful).

Please promise me that you will never let any of your kittens or cats go without telling their new owners about Sopko's story! And if there is anything that I can do to help... I am willing to talk to anyone personally if they are interested in avoiding the same consequences concerning the rabies vaccine and what happen to Sopko. You can give them my email address at your discretion.

My feeling is that the worse thing about Sopko's experience and a regret that will always bother me, is finding out (when it was too late) that I could have made the difference... that I could have refused that rabies shot and Sopko would still be with me, happy and healthy. However, It would bother less to be able to save someone else from having the same regret one day.

Thank you so much for all that you have done and for the kind words and thoughts. I will always remember both of you for giving Sopko a place in kind memory and for telling others about his story. Please always keep in touch with me for I would greatly love that.

Most fondly,







What your vet must tell you about vaccination  Be sure to ask questions before making decision


Another veterinarian’s protocol  Is it necessary to give “booster” vaccinations?  Do vet’s give their own animals the same number of vaccinations they give yours?


The Dark Side of Pet Vaccination - Shirley's Wellness Cafe


Adverse Reaction to Vaccination


Another cattery that is questioning the use of vaccine.  Breeders who are wanting the best for their kittens have to ponder the benefits versus the long term health dangers of vaccination.


Vaccinosis article by Dr. Jean Dodds

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