Rabies Vaccinations For Indoor Cats
You asked:I have gotten mixed information about rabies vaccine times. Should you vaccinate an indoor cat once a year after the booster or every 3 years?
Dr. Diaz Answered: Great question! Rabies vaccination is an important and required vaccine for all cats. A common misconception is that indoor cats are not required to maintain updated vaccines as they do not have exposure to the outdoors or other animals. In fact, rabies vaccinations are required by law in all felines.
Kittens are generally vaccinated once around 4 months of age or within their first year of life. This vaccine is valid for 1 year after its first administration. After this, cats are eligible for a 1 year or a 3 year vaccine. Here at Friendship, we like to administer the 3 year rabies vaccine on its own and to cats under the age of 9 years old, to ensure that no vaccination reactions occur due to the mild increase in antigenic stimulation. All vaccines recommendations are made based on each individual patient, their medical history, and physical exams. We always enjoy providing owners with information regarding vaccinations and care for indoor and outdoor cats. Please feel free to contact your Friendship Primary Care Doctor to see what vaccines might be best for you cat!
Cat Rabies Vaccine Cost
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 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.
What Are The Signs Of Rabies
There are usually three distinctive stages with rabies in cats. The first one is called the prodromal stage. In this stage, a rabid cat will usually exhibit changes in behavior that aren’t typical for their personality: A shy cat can become outgoing, an outgoing cat can become shy, and so on.
The second is called the furious stage the most dangerous phase in a rabid cat. In this stage, a rabid cat may become nervous and vicious. They may also excessively cry out and experience seizures and a loss of appetite. At this point, the virus is attacking the nervous system and prevents them from swallowing, leading to the classic sign of excessive drooling or foaming at the mouth.
The third is the paralytic stage, in which a rabid cat will go into a coma, be unable to breathe, and unfortunately, most often pass. This stage usually occurs about seven days after signs have started, with death often occurring around day 10.
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How Do I Prevent Fleas On My Kitten
No matter where you live, fleas may be a threat to your kitten and to your household. Fleas spend a short time on your kitten and then venture out into your home. Adult fleas feed on the cats blood, then hop off their host to lay eggs in the environment. Eggs hatch and the emerging larvae live and feed in your home. Larvae mature into pupae which lie dormant in your carpets, furniture, and floorboards. The pupae eventually hatch into adult fleas. The entire flea life cycle can take as little as 3-4 weeks under ideal conditions in unfavorable conditions, the cycle can take as long as a year. Therefore, it is important to kill fleas on your new kitten before they can become established in your home.
“Many of the flea control products that are safe on dogs are dangerous for kittens.”
Many of the flea control products that are safe on dogs are dangerous for kittens, so consult your veterinarian before choosing a flea control product. There are many safe oral and topical medications that control fleas, treat intestinal worms, and prevent heartworms all at the same time. These products are administered once a month, even in young kittens, and will protect both your cat and your home from fleas. Newer flea prevention products last 3-8 months. For more information on flea control, see the handout Flea Control in Cats.
Where Can I Get Low
This rule was created with the help of veterinary medical professionals. Many veterinarians have told us they will help people protect their pets and their communities with low-cost rabies vaccines. You can also contact private veterinarians, animal shelters, and animal organizations in your community who can suggest low-cost options.
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Signs Of A Rabid Cat And What To Do If Your Pet Is Exposed
There’s a good reason why even the thought of a rabid cat strikes fear in the heart of pet guardians everywhere. Rabies is highly contagious, and once signs of rabies in cats develop, the disease is almost always fatal.
While rabies is a real threat in many locales, you can minimize the risk of this lethal disease by vaccinating your cat and keeping them indoors. Additionally, here are answers to seven common questions about rabies so you can be better equipped to keep your cat safe.
What Are The Side Effects Of Rabies Vaccines In Cats
Fortunately, reactions to vaccines are very uncommon in cats. In fact, side effects of rabies vaccines in cats are very rare. When they do happen, they include slight fever, lethargy, decreased appetite and a localized swelling at the vaccine site.
These rabies vaccine side effects usually disappear within a few days.
In extremely rare cases, cats may develop an allergic reaction to the vaccine, which includes hives, swelling of the face and itchiness.
Severe reaction can include weakness and collapse. Keep in mind that these reactions are extremely rare allergic reactions occur in fewer than 10 cats out of each 10,000 cats vaccinated.
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Are Cat Vaccinations Necessary
Some cat vaccinations, I would say, are necessary for pretty much every cat. The most important one would be the rabies vaccine required by state law for all cats. Even if they’re inside 100% of the time, it’s a good idea to do it still. Bats can get in the house Anybody that’s got an old camper or an old house here in Maine will know that you get a bat in the house here and there. You don’t always necessarily know if that bat has interacted with your cat or even with you when you’ve been asleep. You can’t tell if you’ve been bitten sometimes, and that’s still a potential vector for rabies. We must keep all of our pets safe so that we keep ourselves safe.
Even for indoor cats, I recommend doing distemper shots every three years until they’re about anywhere between 8 to 10 years old. That’s just to protect them against potential exposure through a screen, or if you decide to get a kitten, to keep them safe. For cats going outside, I also recommend the leukemia vaccine because that is a disease that we can’t cure, and it can cause several health problems. Leukemia is transmitted from cat to cat, usually through an aggressive activity like scratching or biting.
How Often Do Cats Need To Get A Rabies Vaccine
There are a number of different brands of rabies vaccines for cats available on the market, and each brand comes with manufacturer guidelines that must be adhered to by the administering veterinarian.
The major differences between feline rabies vaccines are whether they contain an adjuvant or not.
Older vaccines contained materials called adjuvants, which act to boost the immune response to the vaccine. These vaccines worked very well to prevent disease, but in a very small numbers of cats, they were linked to the development of both local reactions and much more serious problems, like growths at the site of the vaccine.
Most veterinarians have now changed to the non-adjuvanted form of the rabies vaccine for cats. Originally, this vaccine was only released as a one-year vaccine. That meant that starting at the age of 12 weeks, a cat would need to receive the vaccine annually to ensure protection from the disease.
Recently, however, a non-adjuvanted three-year vaccine has been made available to veterinarians. This vaccine is only given once every three years after the initial one-year booster.
It is relatively expensive, so many veterinarians still prefer to use the annual form of the non-adjuvanted vaccine.
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Rabies In North America
In North America, the most common carriers of the rabies virus are skunks, bats, foxes, and raccoons. Since the virus is spread through saliva and causes heightened aggression in animals suffering from the effects of the disease, the most common way for cats to become infected with rabies is through the bite of an infected animal.
Due to the severe risk that rabies poses to human health, most US states require that pets diagnosed with rabies be euthanized. All mammals are capable of catching rabies through the bite of an infected animal, which is why it’s extremely important to protect your pet by ensuring that their rabies vaccinations are always kept up to date.
The prognosis after catching rabies is not good for unvaccinated cats, for whom the infection is most often fatal.
Vaccines Truths And Myths
As with many medical interventions, there is often a misunderstanding of the benefits and risks of vaccination. This misunderstanding can sometimes lead well intentioned cat owners to make misinformed decisions about this vital aspect of feline health maintenance. Here are some examples of truths and myths regarding feline vaccination.
- Vaccination protects all cats by making disease transmission less likely
- No vaccine is 100 percent effective, and the effectiveness of different vaccines varies
- Although uncommon, all feline vaccines carry the risk of feline injection site sarcoma
- Vaccinating a cat against a disease can treat that disease
- Vaccinating a cat against a disease causes that disease
- All cats should receive every vaccine available for cats
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When Should My Kitten Receive Their First Shots
You should bring your kitten to see your vet for their first round of vaccinations when they are about six to eight weeks old. Following this, your kitten should get a series of vaccines at three-to-four week intervals until they reach approximately 16 weeks old.
Kitten Vaccination Schedule
- Review nutrition and grooming
- Blood test for feline leukemia
- Fecal exam for parasites
- Vaccinations for chlamydia, calicivirus, rhinotracheitis and panleukopenia
- Examination and external check for parasites
- First feline leukemia vaccine
- Second vaccinations for calicivirus rhinotracheitis, and panleukopenia
- First feline leukemia vaccine
- Rabies vaccine
- Second feline leukemia vaccine
What Is The Vaccination Schedule For Kittens Adult Cats And Senior Cats
We typically recommend doing a distemper shot for kittens every three to four weeks, starting between six and eight weeks of age until about 14 to 16 weeks of age. We do several boosters because the antibodies that kittens receive from their mother through the milk can interfere with the vaccine’s effectiveness. It varies from kitten to kitten as to how long those antibodies stay in their system. Based on studies, we know that if we continue to vaccinate until they’re 14 to 16 weeks old, the vast majority of kittens will get a solid immunity to the diseases we’re vaccinating for by 16 weeks of age. Rabies is such an effective vaccine, and there is not a lot of maternal antibody interference, so a single vaccination – usually between 12 and 16 weeks – is adequate. We typically start between eight and 12 weeks for leukemia, and typically two vaccines as a booster series are enough.
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What Are The First Signs Of Rabies In A Cat
Most rabid animals show signs of central nervous system disturbance. The most reliable indicators are sudden and severe behavioral changes and unexplained paralysis that worsens over time. Behavioral changes can include sudden loss of appetite, signs of apprehension or nervousness, irritability, and hyperexcitability.
At What Age Do You Stop Vaccinating Your Cat
By the time our pets are 8, 10 or 12 years or older they should have been vaccinated for these diseases several times in their lives: the first few times as puppies or kittens, a booster at one year and then boosters every three years, as recommended by the American Animal Hospital Association and the American …
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Theres No Good Test For Rabies Pre
Theres no accurate test for rabies in the live animal. The only test can be made post-mortembecause the test for rabies is done by tissue analysis of the brain, which requires euthanasia and an autopsy. The rabies test is done via an immunofluorescence microscopy test on fresh brain tissue it typically takes several days to receive results.
How Often Do Cats Need Rabies Shots
Rabies is a very serious disease that can infect both indoor and outdoor cats alike. Luckily, there is a vaccine that offers protection for our furry loved ones. The question is, how often do cats need rabies shots?
For years, it was recommended that kittens receive their first rabies shot as early as 8 to 12 weeks of age. After that, it was recommended for them to get a booster yearly to keep their protection up to date. Over time, however, its become apparent that this protection lasts longer than previously thought. Now, after their original dose and first yearly booster, cats should receive their rabies shots every 3 years to keep them safe from this dangerous disease.
If youre a cat owner, protecting your companion from the dangers of rabies is imperative. Read on below to learn more about this disease and how you can keep your cat protected from its deadly grasp.
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What If My Cat Has Never Been Vaccinated
The kitten should also get their booster shots a year later. If you have an adult cat who has never been vaccinated, you’ll need to talk to your vet. The vet will advise you on the best vaccines for your fur baby after considering their age, lifestyle, breed, location, and pre existing medical conditions.
What Is The Rabies Vaccine Why Is It Important
Rabies is a very serious disease and is predominantly fatal for pets that are unvaccinated. Since it’s impossible to diagnose rabies in living animals, euthanasia is required.
Once rabies symptoms take hold, the disease is nearly always fatal in animals and treatment options are usually supportive. This is why proactive prevention with the rabies vaccine is essential.
The vaccine is very effective and is typically provided to kittens at three or four months of age. Depending on your state laws and your vet’s advice, revaccination may be recommended at specific times.
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What Are The Clinical Signs Of Rabies
Following a bite or scratch from a rabid animal, the disease progresses through three stages:
1. In the first or prodromal stage, there is a marked change in temperament quiet cats become agitated and can become aggressive, while active extroverts may become nervous or shy.
2. This phase is then followed by so-called furious rabies that is by far the most common type observed in the cat. During this phase, excitement predominates and it is at this stage that the cat is most dangerous, both to other animals and to the owner. The cat becomes increasingly nervous, irritable, and vicious. Muscle spasms will often prevent swallowing and there is excessive drooling of saliva.
3. The third stage is the paralytic stage, which usually occurs after about seven days. Ultimately the cat will become comatose and die.
A noted feature of rabies in cats is the widely dilated pupil throughout all stages of the disease.
Schedule For Cat Rabies Vaccine
Cat rabies vaccines are given on a schedule that will vary depending on the brand of vaccine that your vet uses and will either be every year or every three years. Your vet will let you know how often your cat should have a rabies vaccine.
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.
Older non-adjuvant vaccines only lasted for a year, and so yearly booster shots were required. Newer vaccines have been developed which require a single booster a year after the first vaccination, followed by boosters every three years after that these vaccines are considerably more expensive, however, so some veterinarians opt to stick with the older vaccine technology. If you ask your vet “how often should my cat have a rabies vaccine?” they will be able to tell you about what vaccination options they offer and what schedule is best for your cat.
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 preventative care at Valencia Veterinary Center.
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Serologic And Cerebrospinal Fluid Testing
The Public Health Agency of Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory is the Canadian rabies reference laboratory. NML conducts testing on serum and cerebrospinal fluid samples from all provinces and territories in Canada with the exception of Ontario, where serological testing is performed by the Public Health Ontario Laboratory .
Following vaccination, neutralizing antibodies begin to develop within seven days and persist for at least two years. For testing vaccine response, NML uses a modified Fluorescent Antibody Virus Neutralization assay, while PHOL uses a modification of the Rapid Fluorescent-Focus Inhibition Test . Both institutions consider the antibody titre of at least 0.5 IU/mL as an acceptable correlate of protection. Protective antibodies are present immediately after passive vaccination with RabIg and have a half-life of approximately 21 days.
Because of the excellent immune response to rabies vaccine, healthy people immunized with an appropriate regimen do not require routine antibody determinations after either pre-exposure or post-exposure rabies vaccination, unless one of the following applies:
People with ongoing high risk of exposure
- Continuous risk -serology should be checked every 6 months.
- Frequent risk – serology should be checked every 2 years.
Others who have less frequent risk of exposure to potentially rabid animals or whose risk is likely to be from a recognized source do not require periodic serologic testing.