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Cat Rabies Vaccine

For cats, the rabies virus can be fatal. Fortunately, vaccines for rabies are readily available to help protect your cat. Our South Plainfield vets talk about everything that is involved with your cat receiving the rabies vaccine, including the cost, concerns, and side effects.

The Rabies Virus & How it Spreads

Wild animals such as bats, skunks, and foxes can carry the deadly rabies virus which is often fatal for unvaccinated cats and kittens. 

The rabies virus is spread through the saliva of these animals when a bite occurs and affects the central nervous system. The virus rapidly moves through the body until it reaches the brain at which time it becomes fatal. Most US states require that the infected animal be euthanized due to the ease of transmission, which makes vaccinating your cat against rabies an incredibly important preventive measure. 

Cat Rabies Vaccine Cost

The cost of rabies vaccinations is dependent on the type of vaccine the cat receives and therefore varies tremendously between different veterinarians.

Vaccines with longer periods of efficacy will cost more than the vaccines that are administered more frequently, as well as vaccines that are developed with a lower risk of common side effects. Your veterinarian can help guide you on what vaccination plan is right for your cat's health, as well as your own personal budget.

Cat Rabies Vaccine Schedule

The brand of vaccine your cat receives will determine the vaccination schedule.  Most vets offer vaccines without adjuvants, ingredients that proved effective in preventing rabies but caused an allergic reaction in some cats. Vaccines with adjuvants are just as effective at preventing rabies but have a higher potential for causing rare side effects.  The vaccines without adjuvants also may or may not be more expensive, depending on the individual veterinary practice and any existing state legislation on rabies vaccination in cats. 

Previously, non-adjuvant vaccines were only effective for a year and so booster shots were required annually.  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.

Cats can begin their rabies vaccination treatment at 12 weeks old.  If you haven't already, you can schedule your cat for all their routine vaccinations and other preventative care at Plainfield Animal Hospital.

Cat Reaction to Rabies Vaccine

Cat owners often have concerns about the cat rabies vaccine having side effects.  They will tell our South Plainfield vets about their fears of losing their beloved family pet to vaccine complications.  Fortunately, these fears are unsubstantiated. Side effects are rare and typically include only slight fever, lethargy, decreased appetite, and/or a localized swelling at the vaccine site.

In some excessively rare cases, a cat can have an allergic reaction to the vaccine, leading to hives, extreme weakness, and unexplained collapse.  It should be known that fewer than 0.001% of cats will have allergic side effects to modern rabies vaccines.  It is always safer to get your cat vaccinated than to test one's luck against potential rabies infection in the future.

Indoor Cats and Rabies Vaccination

Some cat owners may be inclined to believe that rabies vaccines are unnecessary for their indoor cats, but the opposite of that is true. While it might be true that you don't allow your cat outside your home, the potential for escape--or worse, for an infected bat or rodent to break into your home, the risk of those potential situations should be enough to persuade all pet owners to vaccinate their feline companion.

The consequences of rabies are too harrowing to take any chances with, the best and only way to ensure your cat is completely protected against rabies is vaccination.  

Is it time for your kitten to get their first rabies vaccinations? At Plainfield Animal Hospital our vets put a focus on preventative veterinary care as a means of protecting your cat's well-being. Contact us today

Welcoming New Patients

At Plainfield Animal Hospital, we are always welcoming new patients! Our vets are passionate about providing state-of-the-art care to South Plainfield's companion animals. Contact us today to book your first appointment.

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