Curious if it's worth vaccinating your cat for rabies? In the majority of US states, it's required to keep your cat's rabies shots current. Plus, remember that this vaccine might one day save your cat's life. Our Vancouver veterinarians provide detailed insights.
Rabies & Your Cat's Health
Rabies is a deadly virus that affects the brain and spreads through contact with infected animal saliva. It impacts mammals like pets, livestock, wildlife, and humans.
Around 5,000 cases of rabies in animals are reported to the CDC yearly, mostly occurring in wild animals. Common carriers of rabies include bats, raccoons, skunks, and foxes.
Cats are more prone to rabies than dogs, likely due to lower cat vaccination rates.
Rabies is almost always fatal. Once signs appear, animals usually pass away within days.
Rabies Incubation Period & Spread
If your cat gets rabies from a bite or contact with the saliva of an infected animal, it usually takes 10 to 14 days for symptoms to show up. However, in some cases, it might take months for symptoms to appear, depending on how the virus was contracted.
Your pet can spread the rabies virus to other animals and people once the virus is in their saliva. This can happen about 10 days before symptoms show."
There Is No Test For Rabies
If your cat hasn't received a rabies vaccine and comes into contact with an infected animal, you might face tough choices. In this situation, you'll need to decide between two options: putting your cat to sleep or isolating them and waiting for signs of illness. Even isolated pets might not survive if they don't show symptoms at first.
A confirmed rabies diagnosis only happens when symptoms show up or by testing the animal's brain tissue after it has passed away.
Symptoms of Rabies in Cats
Cats with rabies may show a variety of signs and symptoms, including:
- Excessive drooling
- Uncharacteristic fearfulness, aggression, or even affection
- Barking or meowing differently
- Biting at the site where they were exposed to the virus
- Overreaction to light, sound, or touch
- Uncharacteristic aggression
- Difficulty swallowing
- Loss of balance when walking
- Partial or complete paralysis
There Is No Treatment For Rabies
Once your pet has been infected with rabies, there is nothing your vet can offer you to treat the disease. Euthanasia and quarantine are the only options.
This is why prevention is so very important.
The Importance of The Rabies Vaccine for All Pets
Every state has different rules for pet vaccinations, but making sure your pet's rabies vaccine is current helps keep your pets and your family safe from this serious brain disease.
Indoor Cats & The Rabies Vaccine
Many cat owners mistakenly assume that indoor cats don't require rabies vaccinations. However, even if your cat lives indoors, it's crucial to prioritize their protection. Cats can surprisingly find ways to venture outside, putting them at risk of encountering rabid animals. Moreover, bats and rodents sometimes find their way indoors, exposing your pet to potential danger. Neglecting to vaccinate your pet is a risk that's simply not worth it. Remember, safety comes first!
The Bottom Line
Being a pet owner means taking responsibility for your pet's well-being. One crucial aspect is keeping your pet vaccinated to prevent diseases like rabies. If you're unsure about vaccinations, consult your vet. At Mountain View Veterinary Hospital], our veterinarians are here to assist you and ensure your pet stays joyful and in good health.
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.