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Rabies shots for an indoor cat?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
My vet wants to give Fei Fei a rabies shot every year, as this is required by the City of Chicago for cats and dogs. However, I have an indoor cat that never goes out. Does it make any sense to vaccinate him for something he will never be exposed to? Please advise.
post #2 of 24
My indoor only kitties do get yearly Rabies vaccines. It is required by law in my area as well, plus I just don't want to take the chance that one of them may get out one day and be exposed to it.
post #3 of 24
I think it is required here but honestly I have never done it and never will. Shelters around here don't even do it. I don't see the reason if you cat stays indoors.
post #4 of 24
Yes, most cities/states require rabies shots for dogs/cats. Even if your pet is never exposed to it, its better to give it. If a bat would ever get in your house or your cat get out and tangle with a rabid animal, without protection, your cat is dead.

The vet/health department has no choice but to kill the dog/cat and test for rabies if there is no proof of vaccine.
post #5 of 24
I would look into the 3 year not the yearly rabies vaccine. The laws usually allow a 3 year.
post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Yes, most cities/states require rabies shots for dogs/cats. Even if your pet is never exposed to it, its better to give it. If a bat would ever get in your house or your cat get out and tangle with a rabid animal, without protection, your cat is dead.

The vet/health department has no choice but to kill the dog/cat and test for rabies if there is no proof of vaccine.
Exactly - I'm in DuPage County, just west of Chicago, and also do the shots for these reasons, and, as well, just in case I ever had to board mine for whatever reason, vaccinations are required.
post #7 of 24
The major concern to me, is that if your cat ever bit someone and you had no proof of rabies vaccinations, then your cat can be immediately euthanized or put into confinement in a strange, unloving place for...I think 45 days? And there wouldn't be a thing you could do about it!
post #8 of 24
Rabies is required by law, not to protect pets, but to protect people. The incidence of rabies resulting from bites from domesticated animals has gone down to almost zero since the institution of rabies vaccine laws.

If your cat does NOT have an up to date rabies vaccination and bites someone, it may be quarrantined for anywhere from 10-90 days, or immediately euthanized and tested depending on your local laws. I would check so you know what you are risking by declining rabies.

Many places will accept titers instead of vaccination, particularly for medical reasons. Ask your vet or humane society about local laws to make an educated decision.
post #9 of 24
I do shots every 3 years for rabies. There is a 3 year rabies shot now.

I suggest doing it for your kitties sake, should it ever bite someone or be exposed to rabies.
post #10 of 24
In addition, if you ever have to go out of town and want to have your cat boarded, the kennel will insist on proof of rabies vaccine.

There are real concerns about rabies shots, reactions to them, etc., but mostly they are outweighed by safety concerns for your family, your neighbors, and even your cat. Remember, the only way for your cat to be tested immediately for rabies is to eutanize it.
post #11 of 24
My cat also gets regular rabies shots. She is indoors but I feel more safe knowing that she is protected.
post #12 of 24
My indoor dogs get the 3 year. My indoor only kitty has had one rabies and is protected for a very long time and will not be getting another rabies ever. From my research, the risks outweigh the cons of that much overvaccination to her little body.
post #13 of 24
Our cats are strictly indoors and do get their rabies every year. A lot of people choose not to do it, regardless of it being the law. My aunt lives in Charlotte and has one indoor cat and she ended up getting a letter from the city stating that if she didn't get her cat rabies vaccinated she would be fined. Not sure how they even knew, but they did.
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by bnwalker2 View Post
My indoor only kitties do get yearly Rabies vaccines. It is required by law in my area as well, plus I just don't want to take the chance that one of them may get out one day and be exposed to it.
required by law here, too, so i get them. also, when i took Firefox in for her spay, they needed a copy of her cert before they would spay her - her tag wasn't enough.
post #15 of 24
It's WAY easy for an inside kitty to get rabies. Bats carry rabies like crazy and you know as well as I do how easily bats find their way into our homes. Mice and rats can carry it too. It's a big risk to take.

All cats should get rabies shots. It's a very inexpensive shot and a very needed shot. You can't test an animal for rabies until they are dead, so it's best they don't even have the chance for rabies.
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by taterbug View Post
The major concern to me, is that if your cat ever bit someone and you had no proof of rabies vaccinations, then your cat can be immediately euthanized or put into confinement in a strange, unloving place for...I think 45 days? And there wouldn't be a thing you could do about it!
My grandpa had a dog that was put to sleep because he bit someone and was over due for his rabies shot.
post #17 of 24
Baby has a rabies shot. She's the one who might dart out the door. Tiny would never consider it, so I didn't have him vaccinated. Considering he goes under the bed if I so much as open the door, I think I'm safe!
post #18 of 24
My cats get 3 year rabies. It's required by law and is also required (as someone said) for boarding, grooming, or anything else that you take your cat in public for. As far as shelters not giving rabies... I think mostly that is because they don't want to give too many vaccinations at once and leave that one up to the person adopting. It also saves them a little money. But it's not usually the case that they don't see value in it.
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Callista View Post
Baby has a rabies shot. She's the one who might dart out the door. Tiny would never consider it, so I didn't have him vaccinated. Considering he goes under the bed if I so much as open the door, I think I'm safe!
What if Baby got out and then returned with something infectious that Tiny could pick up? Just a thought. This happened with my daughters dogs.
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by mzjazz2u View Post
What if Baby got out and then returned with something infectious that Tiny could pick up? Just a thought. This happened with my daughters dogs.
Good point. That is why Mika gets flea treatment although Bijou is the one that gets to go outside.

It is a law in our area too and I wouldn't dream of not vaccinating our cats. There was a recent case of rabies here in the Toronto area involving some puppies at a flea market and a large number of people had to be vaccinated because of their contact.

I don't believe in over-medicating for anything, but some things are just common sense.
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by mzjazz2u View Post
As far as shelters not giving rabies... I think mostly that is because they don't want to give too many vaccinations at once and leave that one up to the person adopting.
Shelters do not vaccinate for rabies because the animal must be healthy and stress-free in order to mount a proper immune response, and unlike other vaccinations, rabies is not boostered in two weeks after adoption when the animal is in a more stable environment. There is very little risk of the animal contracting rabies in the shelter, but high risk on the streets, and not vaccination prevents confusion if a stray with no vaccine history happens to develop neurologic signs. It is also required by law to be given by a veterinarian, which many shelters do not have on-hand all the time.
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnzoLeya View Post
Mice and rats can carry it too.
According to everything I've read, mice, rats and other rodents like squirrels can't carry rabies. But of course bats can (though I've never seen one indoors), as well as raccoons, which we sometimes have in our yard. My cats are vaccinated (once) for their protection, and after that they are vaccinated every year because of the law.
post #23 of 24
Are rabies vaccinations needed every year? I would say definitely not. Titer tests have proven and continue to prove that vaccinations are active in the cat's body for long over a year. Some would say that if a cat is vaccinated once for rabies, they are vaccinated for life. Others would say that boosters are only needed every three years. I'm not going to say "never vaccinate your cat." However, I believe there needs to be an awareness of the risks associated with vaccinations themselves.

My cat DIED from a rabies vaccine. Because I needed to travel outside the U.S. I was very careful to follow the laws and regulations... so she was vaccinated every year for rabies. When I took her in for her rabies vaccination in December, she went into anaphylactic shock and died within a couple hours of receiving the vaccine. The more research I do, the more it seems like my cat was over-vaccinated and her body couldn't handle one of the ingredients found in vaccinations. Having lived through this nightmare, I now believe that vaccines themselves carry a very real risk. My signature has a link for my website which has more info about anaphylactic shock from vaccinations.
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by momto3cats View Post
According to everything I've read, mice, rats and other rodents like squirrels can't carry rabies. But of course bats can (though I've never seen one indoors), as well as raccoons, which we sometimes have in our yard. My cats are vaccinated (once) for their protection, and after that they are vaccinated every year because of the law.
Any mammal can get rabies.

I'm glad my two indoor cats have their rabies vaccinations. A few weeks ago a squirrel got into our house and my cats were going nuts trying to catch it. My cats have also escaped outside.
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