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What you need to know about rabies vaccines for cats

Rabies is a typically fatal virus that our pets can contract from wild animals. Today, our South Plainfield vets discuss pet vaccinations and what you need to know about the rabies vaccines for cats.

How the rabies virus spreads

The rabies virus typically spreads when your cat comes into contact and is bit by an infected wild animal such as raccoons, skunks and foxes. When your pet is bit by an infected animal the virus spreads through the saliva and causes heightened aggression in animals suffering from its effects

Unfortunately, the rabies virus poses a dangerous risk to humans that contract it as well as the rates of fatality being so high in animals suffering from it that it is typically recommended that the animal be euthanized. Because it is possible for all types of mammals to contract this serious virus it is all the more important to book your cat or kitten vaccinations to help protect not only your pet but your family as well.

The cost associated with cat vaccinations

Generally, the cost of pet vaccinations varies based on the area that you reside in, the clinic and vet themselves as well as the type of vaccine that your pet requires. The vaccination itself is usually one of the main factors that determine the cost in the end.

The more expensive vaccines will be the ones that have the fewest potential side effects and the ones that last the longest. Contact your vet to find out which rabies vaccine they use for cats and exactly how much your kitten vaccinations will cost. Your vet can help guide you on what vaccination plan is right for your cat's health, as well as your own personal budget.

When will I need to schedule kitten vaccinations?

When you begin to book your cat in for their rabies vaccinations, as well as other necessary vaccines, the type of vaccine that your cat receives will determine what schedule you will need to have these kitten vaccinations done on.

The most commonly utilized cat vaccinations are those without adjuvants. Adjuvants are ingredients that are effective for protecting pets against the virus but caused an allergic reaction in some cats. In some cases, these cat vaccinations may 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.

In the past, these non-adjuvant vaccines were developed in a way that they only lasted for about a year, which meant that it was necessary to bookly yearly cat vaccination appointments. Now there are newer vaccine options that have been developed which require a single booster a year after the first kitten vaccination, followed by boosters every three years after that. While these are long-lasting and just as effective these vaccines are also much more costly. Because of this increased price most veterinarians and pet owners prefer to stick to the yearly cat vaccination doses. speak with your vet to determine what the best kitten vaccination schedule is for your pet.

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 Plainfield Animal Hospital.

Cat vaccination side effects

One of the biggest concerns for pet owners is the safety of these cat vaccinations for their beloved pets. Pet owners occasionally come to our South Plainfield vets with concerns about things that they have heard about kitten vaccinations being unsafe and harming pets. Fortunately, these fears are unfounded. Luckily side effects, especially severe side effects, are rare and if your cat experiences any potential concern it will most likely be mild and include only slight fever, lethargy, decreased appetite, and/or a localized swelling at the vaccine site.

In some incredibly rare circumstances, your cat may experience an allergic reaction to the cat vaccine which could potentially cause your cat to suffer from hives, extreme weakness, and unexplained collapse. It's important for pet parents to know that fewer than 0.001% of cats will have allergic side effects to modern rabies vaccines. While there is a small risk, you leave your cat far more at risk of contracting a serious and potentially fatal disease by leaving them unvaccinated.

Why indoor cats need to be vaccinated

While you may feel like vaccinations are only important for outdoor cats this is not entirely the case. It is still just as important for your indoor cat to have all of the required core cat vaccinations including the rabies vaccine. Even if you don't allow your cat outside your home, your cat could potentially escape or an infected bat or rodent to break into your home, which means it will always be safer to protect your cat against a variety of preventable diseases. 

Cat vaccinations ensure that your beloved feline friend has a low risk of contracting serious and potentially fatal diseases allowing them to live a full and healthy life being protected.

It is also the case that in most US states all cats and dogs over the age of 6 months are required to be vaccinated against rabies. When you take your pet to be vaccinated your vet will be sure to issue you with a certificate of vaccination as proof that your feline friend is up to date with their rabies vaccine.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Do you have a cat or kitten that needs its vaccinations? Contact us today to schedule an appointment for your feline friend.

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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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