Rabies is an extremely dangerous virus that can be fatal for cats and other pets. Luckily, it can be prevented entirely. In this article, our vets at Jackson will discuss the expenses, timetables, and potential adverse effects of vaccinating your cat against rabies.
How Rabies Spreads
In North America, the most common carriers of the rabies virus are skunks, bats, foxes, and raccoons.
The virus that causes rabies is transmitted through saliva and can result in increased aggression in affected animals. Cats are most likely to contract rabies from being bitten by an infected animal.
Due to the serious health threat it poses to humans, many states in the US mandate euthanasia for pets diagnosed with rabies. All mammals are susceptible to catching rabies from infected animal bites, which is why it's crucial to keep your pet's rabies vaccinations current to ensure their safety.
The prognosis after catching rabies is not good for unvaccinated cats, for whom the infection is most often fatal.
Cat Rabies Vaccine - Cost
The cost of rabies vaccination can differ greatly depending on the location and the veterinarian. The cost is largely determined by the type of vaccine used. Vaccines offering longer protection and fewer side effects tend to be more expensive.
To determine the cost of your cat's vaccinations, it is recommended to contact your vet directly and inquire about the specific rabies vaccine they use. Your veterinarian can help you choose a vaccination plan that meets your cat's health needs and fits within your budget.
Cat Rabies Vaccine - Schedule
The schedule for your kitty's rabies vaccination will vary depending on the brand of vaccine used.
Most vets offer vaccines without adjuvants - ingredients that proved effective in preventing rabies but caused an allergic reaction in some cats. These vaccines may or may not be more expensive than vaccines with adjuvants, which are just as effective at preventing rabies but have a higher potential for causing rare side effects, depending on the individual veterinary practice and any existing state legislation on rabies vaccination in cats.
In the past, non-adjuvant vaccines needed to be administered annually, requiring yearly booster shots. However, modern vaccines only require a single booster shot one year after the initial vaccination, with further boosters needed every three years. These newer vaccines are more expensive, and some veterinarians still prefer to use the older technology. If you consult your vet about the frequency of rabies vaccinations for your cat, they can provide information on the available vaccination options and recommend the most suitable schedule 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 Jackson Animal Clinic.
Possible Cat Reaction to Rabies Vaccine
Cat owners often have concerns about the possible side effects their cat could experience following their rabies vaccination. Pet Parents sometimes come to our Jackson vets concerned about stories they have heard about "cats who have died from the rabies vaccine." Fortunately, these fears are unfounded. Cat rabies vaccine side effects are rare and typically include only slight fever, lethargy, decreased appetite, and/or a localized swelling at the vaccine site.
It is extremely rare for a cat to have an allergic reaction to the rabies vaccine, which can cause hives, weakness, and collapse. It's essential for pet owners to understand that less than 0.001% of cats experience allergic reactions to modern rabies vaccines. Therefore, it's always safer to have your cat vaccinated against rabies than to risk potential infection in the future.
Why Your Indoor Cat Needs Their Rabies Vaccine
As a cat owner, you might think that vaccinating your indoor cat against rabies is unnecessary. However, this is not true. Even if you keep your cat inside, there is still a possibility that they could escape or that an infected bat or rodent could enter your home, putting your feline companion at risk. The consequences of rabies are serious, so it's important to take precautions and ensure that your cat is protected through vaccination.
In fact, in most states in the US, it is required by law for all cats and dogs over six months old to be vaccinated against rabies. When you take your pet to the vet for vaccination, they will provide you with a certificate of vaccination, which serves as proof that your cat is up-to-date on their rabies vaccine. By vaccinating your cat, you are taking the necessary steps to keep them safe and healthy.
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.