Miami-Dade Animal Services (ASD) offers low cost rabies vaccines and low cost well-care vaccine packages for the pets of County residents. Well-care packages include vaccines to help protect dogs and cats from many common, serious and even fatal diseases. Dogs and cats must be four months old. For dog, the rabies vaccine alone costs $15 and the well-care packages start at $35 while the most comprehensive, which includes spay or neuter surgery and microchip, is $90. For cats, the rabies vaccine alone costs $15 and the well-care packages start at $20 while the most comprehensive, which includes spay or neuter surgery and microchip, is $55. The rabies vaccine cost for the pets of qualifying low-income pet owners is $5 and lower cost pet care packages are offered.
The cost of rabies vaccination varies tremendously between different veterinarians, based in large part on what type of vaccine they use. Longer-lasting vaccines, as well as vaccines with a smaller number of potential side effects, are much more expensive–the best course of action is to ask your vet about which rabies vaccine(s) they provide, and at what cost. Your veterinarian can help guide you on what vaccination plan is right for your cat’s health, as well as your own personal budget.
Features of Cat Rabies Vaccine
Rabies cannot be cured, but it can be prevented. And protecting cats from rabies isn’t just a matter of pet health. Because the disease can pass from cats to people, there are huge implications for human health, too. That’s why Whittemore considers the rabies vaccine to be the most important vaccination a cat can receive. Every year, the rabies virus kills nearly 60,000 people around the world, and most of its victims are children. The disease is only rare in the United States thanks to the prevalence of vaccinated pets, says Whittemore. When you vaccinate your cat, you are part of a global initiative to reduce the number of rabies deaths to zero.
Luke Gamble, BVetMed, plays a part in this initiative as well. As the founder and CEO of Mission Rabies, a nonprofit that runs vaccination and education programs in rabies hotspots like India and Malawi, he’s seen the suffering that rabies can cause firsthand and describes the vaccine as the safest and most effective way to protect both pets and people. “By keeping your pets up to date on their rabies vaccination, you can help prevent them from acquiring the disease from wildlife or other unvaccinated pets, and in so doing, prevent possible transmission to your family or other people,” says Gamble. “Even in the U.S. where human rabies cases are rare, we must all take action to prevent disease outbreaks. It’s also important to note that if your cat has never been vaccinated and is suspected to have come in contact with rabies, the CDC recommends immediate euthanasia. The only other option is to place the cat in strict quarantine with no direct human or animal contact for four months, but it is unlikely the cat will recover.
Rabies Vaccine Schedule for Cats
The threat of rabies is so serious to both pets and people that in most states you’re legally required to vaccinate your kitten between 12 and 16 weeks of age with a booster shot a year later, says Whittemore. You can learn what’s required in your area by asking your veterinarian or by contacting your local health department. How often your cat is given subsequent booster shots may also be decided by local laws. There are two options: a 1-year shot and a 3-year shot. According to Whittemore, the difference between the two vaccines essentially comes down to labeling as the components are the same.
If your cat comes into contact with a potentially rabid animal, your veterinarian may give your pet an extra vaccination even if your cat is up to date just to be safe. And while no vaccine is 100-percent effective, the rabies vaccine is extremely successful at protecting cats against infection.
Prices of Cat Rabies Vaccine