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Cat Rabies Vaccine: All You Need To Know In Advance

Cat Rabies Vaccine: All You Need To Know In Advance

Rabies is a highly dangerous virus that can be fatal for cats and other pets. The good news is that it is entirely preventable. In this post, our vets at Redding will provide information on the costs, scheduling, and potential side effects of vaccinating your cat against rabies.

How Rabies Spreads

In North America, skunks, bats, foxes, and raccoons are the most common carriers of the rabies virus. The virus spreads through saliva, and it causes heightened aggression in animals that are infected. Cats usually get infected with rabies through the bite of an infected animal. Rabies poses a severe risk to human health, and most US states require pets diagnosed with rabies to be euthanized.

All mammals can catch rabies through the bite of an infected animal, so it's crucial to ensure that your pet's rabies vaccinations are always up to date to protect them. Unfortunately, catching rabies is not good news for unvaccinated cats, and the infection is usually fatal for them.

Cat Rabies Vaccine - Cost

The price of getting your cat vaccinated for rabies can vary greatly depending on where you live, which state you're in, and even which veterinarian you go to. The cost is mainly determined by the type of vaccine used.

Generally, vaccines that last longer or have fewer potential side effects are more expensive. It's best to contact your veterinarian to find out which rabies vaccine they use for cats and how much the vaccinations will cost. They can advise you on the best vaccination plan for your cat's health and your budget.

Cat Rabies Vaccine - Schedule

Your kitty's rabies vaccination schedule will depend on the type of vaccine chosen by your vet. Most vets offer vaccines without adjuvants, which are effective in preventing rabies but have caused allergic reactions in some cats. These vaccines may or may not be more expensive than adjuvant vaccines, which are just as effective but have a higher potential for rare side effects. The decision on which vaccine to use depends on the individual veterinary practice and state legislation on rabies vaccination in cats. 

Older non-adjuvant vaccines required yearly booster shots, but newer vaccines require a single booster a year after the first vaccination followed by boosters every three years. However, these newer vaccines are more expensive, and some vets still use the older technology. If you ask your vet about the best vaccination schedule for your cat, they can inform you about the options available and what would work best for your pet.

Kittens should begin their rabies vaccination treatment at about 12 weeks old. If you haven't already, you can schedule your cat for all their routine vaccinations and other preventive care at Dana Park Veterinary Hospital.

Possible Cat Reaction to Rabies Vaccine

As a cat owner, you may feel concerned about the potential consequences of your feline's rabies vaccination. We understand that some pet parents might approach our Redding vets expressing anxieties, having heard tales of "cats dying from rabies vaccine." However, we want to assure you that these fears are unfounded. The likelihood of cats experiencing side effects from the rabies vaccine is quite rare, with symptoms such as a slight fever, sluggishness, reduced appetite, and/or localized swelling at the vaccination site being the most common. 

In extremely rare cases, cats may develop an allergic reaction to the vaccine, leading to hives, extreme weakness, and unexplained collapse. It's important to note, however, that less than 0.001% of cats are susceptible to allergic reactions from modern rabies vaccines. Ultimately, it's safer to vaccinate your cat against rabies than to risk infection in the future.

Why Your Indoor Cat Needs Their Rabies Vaccine

As a cat owner, it's important to understand that indoor cats are not immune to rabies and should be vaccinated. Even if you keep your cat indoors, there is still a risk of exposure to infected animals that may sneak into your home or if your cat tries to escape. The consequences of rabies are severe, so it's best to take preventative measures by vaccinating your feline companion. This is the most reliable way to ensure that your cat is fully protected against this deadly disease.

It is also the case that in most US states all cats and dogs over the age of 6 months are required to be vaccinated against rabies. When you take your pet to be vaccinated your vet will be sure to issue you with a certificate of vaccination as proof that your feline friend is up to date with their rabies vaccine.  

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is it time to get your feline friend vaccinated against rabies? Contact us today to book a vaccination appointment for your cat.

New Patients Welcome

Dana Park Veterinary Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Redding companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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