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Rabies Vaccines for Indoor Cats (3 replies)

Karen Doll
3 weeks ago
Karen Doll 3 weeks ago

I'm just curious. We have 3 indoor cats and we have them vaccinated against rabies every year--I know many cat owners who do not. They argue that their cats are indoor only cats and there is not need. First of all, there is a need--indoor cats escape and our cats are living proof. We've always been able to catch them, but some may not be so lucky. Second, it is a state law here in PA that all cats receive a yearly rabies vaccine. We are surrounded by woods and have many raccoons, possums, foxes, and skunks who are some of the most likely predators to carry rabies. Just in case we don't catch our escapees quickly, I feel better knowing that they are protected. So, I'm wondering, if you own indoor cats, do you regularly vaccinate your felines against rabies?  

Dr. Debora Lichtenberg, VMD
3 weeks ago

This is an important topic! As a veterinarian, I run into problems with indoor cat owners who don't vaccinate their indoor cats for Rabies. Pennsylvania had a terrible problem with raccoon Rabies when I was a vet student at UPenn. All students had to be vaccinated.

First, make SURE your cat received the Rabies Purevax.  Less of a chance of a vaccine-induced sarcoma with that vaccine.

Why the need for indoor cats to get vaccinated?  You are right they might escape. Also, bats get into homes and are killed by cats!  If your cat is not vaccinated, this is a serious problem indeed.

Lastly, different states have different Rabies laws and quarantines but if your indoor cat bites a person and is not vaccinated against Rabies, it could pose another headache and a quarantine.

Thanks for taking care of your kitties!

Karen Doll
3 weeks ago
Karen Doll 3 weeks ago

Thanks, Dr. Deb 🙂 

Good point about an indoor cat biting a guest. And, we do have a lot of bats flying around our backyard from dusk on.

I didn't know about the Rabies Purevax. Thanks. One of our cats already had her vaccine, but two of our cats are due for their shots in September--I'm going to look into that. 

As a dog owner in the past, I also know that not everyone gets their dog vaccinated against rabies and with dogs being out and about, that's just dangerous for everyone who comes into contact with that dog. As a vet, I'm sure you face similar situations. It's really hard to educate people who think they know best. 

My guess is that folks just don't realize the dangers. I always try to tactfully share the potential dangers, but I can't make people do the right thing.

What's nice to see are the long lines at our local Pet Supplies Plus on Sundays when they offer vaccination clinics--LOTS of good people taking great care of their beloved pets!! 

Melissa Smith
3 weeks ago
Melissa Smith 3 weeks ago

My cat is strictly indoor and I always get his rabies vac done. What if he got out? He would be totally unprotected. Rabies is so dangerous but so preventable!!

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