Rabies is a viral disease typically found in wild animals most commonly raccoons, bats, skunks and foxes. However, any mammal can become infected if they are exposed. That is why it is essential that we keep our pets protected with consistent rabies vaccines. Both indoor and outdoor cats are at risk for contracting rabies. Here’s what you need to know about the rabies vaccine for cats, including the schedule, side effects and cost. Rabies is transmitted through the saliva of the infected animal, so sustaining bites from infected wildlife is the most common way to contract it. There have been cases of non-bite exposures, where scratches, abrasions or opens wounds are contaminated with infected saliva, but these are rare.
Rabies is a viral disease that can infect all warm-blooded animals, including cats and people, although some species are somewhat naturally resistant to the disease. When signs of rabies occur, it is an almost invariably fatal disease. Rabies has been recognized and described since approximately 2300 BC.
The rabies virus is a very severe disease, which is predominantly fatal for unvaccinated pets. It is also important to know that many states REQUIRE the euthanasia of unvaccinated animals exposed to potentially rabid animals. Euthanasia is required because it is impossible to diagnose rabies in living animals. The tests for diagnosing rabies require brain tissue samples from two parts of the brain that can only be extracted during a postmortem procedure.
Once rabies symptoms set in, the disease is nearly always fatal in animals, and treatment options are typically supportive. That is why prevention methods like the rabies vaccines are essential. These are also the reasons why most states and local governments in the United States require the vaccination of dogs and cats by law. These laws vary by region, so I would recommend contacting your veterinarian or local health department for additional information about the requirements and recommendations.
Features of Rabies Vaccine For Cats
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.
Vaccination of dogs, ferrets, and livestock can be started at no sooner than three months of age. Some cat vaccines can be given as early as two months of age. Regardless of the age of the animal at initial vaccination, a booster vaccination should be administered one year later.
Prices of Rabies Vaccine For Cats
$15.00 – $35.00