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Cat Rabies ?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Haven't posted for quite awhile and wanted opinions of all the cat experts. Last May we adopted a lovely long-haired tabby from the same shelter where we adopted our dog. Of course shelter rules made it mandatory for her to have a rabies and other feline vaccines. My question is, it is time for her annual rabies shot but since she is an indoor only cat I am undecided whether or not to give her the vaccine. Our last cat was not the least bit interested in leaving the house so I never gave him a rabies shot. Neely, on the other hand, would most likely follow our dog out the door if I let her so I'm waivering about what to do. For those cat owners who keep their cat(s) indoors - do you give them an annual rabies vaccine? And do you feel the same way about the feline leukemia vaccine? Thanks for your help.
post #2 of 13
Abby is an indoor cat, that goes outside occasionally on a leash and harness. She gets rabies and distemper vaccines regularly. My state requires rabies vaccines. Personally, I would give her the vaccine. Better safe than sorry.
post #3 of 13
Jamie is an indoor cat who goes outside on a leash, and has access to a balcony secured with cat net. He has managed twice to catch bats out on the balcony, so he definitely gets regular rabies shots. He also gets the feline leukemia vaccine, as he attacks other cats he encounters, and I unfortunately sometimes fail to notice that a neighborhood cat is lurking behind a bush. He always notices.
Have you seen the story of the Texas teenager who just died of rabies after a bat got into his bedroom and bit him?
http://www.click2houston.com/news/92...0412&qs=1;bp=t
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
I know there is a 3-year rabies vaccine for dogs, are you aware if there's one for cats as well?
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neely
I know there is a 3-year rabies vaccine for dogs, are you aware if there's one for cats as well?
It really depends on the area you live in, i.e., whether your state has approved a three-year vaccine. Some have, others haven't, but it does exist.
post #6 of 13
Your area most likely requires a rabies vaccination for pets. Of course, if you keep your cat indoors, AND she never gets out, AND she never bites anybody, no one will ever know. UNLESS, if she ever gets out and gets picked up, you'll be required to buy a license, pay for a rabies vaccination, AND pay a fine to reclaim her from the authorities. And heaven help you if she ever bites anyone and you can't produce a rabies vaccination certificate. You're in deep doo doo with the authorities and your insurance company, and even deeper doo doo with your cat when she has to be quarantined for 10 days. Whoever she bit will have to get rabies shots, which you'll have to pay for out of your pocket since your insurance won't pay (negligence, you know.) And hopefully, the bitten party won't sue. Your insurance won't cover that, either.

Yes, I think a rabies vaccination is a small price to pay to avoid any possible problems. Oh, and jcat mentioned bats...bats sometimes get INDOORS.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster
Your area most likely requires a rabies vaccination for pets. Of course, if you keep your cat indoors, AND she never gets out, AND she never bites anybody, no one will ever know. UNLESS, if she ever gets out and gets picked up, you'll be required to buy a license, pay for a rabies vaccination, AND pay a fine to reclaim her from the authorities. And heaven help you if she ever bites anyone and you can't produce a rabies vaccination certificate. You're in deep doo doo with the authorities and your insurance company, and even deeper doo doo with your cat when she has to be quarantined for 10 days. Whoever she bit will have to get rabies shots, which you'll have to pay for out of your pocket since your insurance won't pay (negligence, you know.) And hopefully, the bitten party won't sue. Your insurance won't cover that, either.

Yes, I think a rabies vaccination is a small price to pay to avoid any possible problems. Oh, and jcat mentioned bats...bats sometimes get INDOORS.
I wasn't worried about the cost of the rabies shot or the license. I have heard so many side effects about vaccines on another board that it made me a little concerned which is why I looked here for help. I appreciate all the opinions so that I can make the best decision. Thanks.
post #8 of 13
The three-year vaccine has a higher incidence of vaccine-induced sarcoma. Your risk of that is lower getting a one-year shot every year. In any case, the risk is very low.
post #9 of 13
Vaccine related sarcomas are not quite as rare as some folks think. Do a seach on it in this forum to see how many people, just on TCS, know someone whose cat died from vaccine-related sarcoma, or have experienced it themselves. Sarcomas occur often enough that vaccines are now administered as far down on the leg as possible, not in the scruff of the neck. Why? If a sarcoma does develop, the leg can be amputated, hopefully at least saving the life of the cat.

There's a reason that vaccine protocols are changing - along with increased incidence of sarcomas, the current thinking is that the effectiveness of the vaccines lasts longer than previously believed. Many vaccines that were given yearly are now given every 3 years. I won't be surprised if in a few years that will be revised again, to even more infrequent vaccinations.

My belief is that vaccines should be administered according to how your cats live. If they spend most of their times outdoors, you'd want to do the rabies vaccine every 2-3 years. On the other hand, the chances of an indoor cat who lives on the 5th floor of an apartment house contracting rabies is slim to none. Evaluate the chances of contracting the disease with the risks associated with the vaccines themselves.
post #10 of 13
My cat is an indoor cat but I vaccinate him because it's the law. I also have two dogs who go outside, and they get their Rabies vaccine.

It looks like you have a dog in your signature, so I would vaccinate your cat for rabies.
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plebayo
It looks like you have a dog in your signature, so I would vaccinate your cat for rabies.
By golly, you're right -- good point!!
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster
By golly, you're right -- good point!!
hahaha thanks... sometimes my genius just gets the best of me
post #13 of 13
You know, vaccines last for years. Rabies lasts along time if you want to get technical. It is required in some places but once their are vaccinated, they are good. That is my opinion. I vaccinate my cats up until a year old and then that is it for a few years. Only one of my cats goes outside and I get her done like every 3 years or so. Even then I am not like freaking out after that amount of time.

Low risk house cats do not need to be vaccinated every year. Especially if your cat stays indoors all the time. I think you shoulkd take your cat to the vet for an exam about once a year, but vaccines last like 10 years or something like that. Bottom line is that the first year is important when they are young, vulnerable and higher risk. Kitten shots, 3 sets or whatever it is, up until the booster adult shot. After that they are fine. It is just a good way for vets to get you in for an exam. Vets should examine your cats and is they are fine, tell you you don't need to worry about it this year.
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