Knowing how rabies affects cats – and that it can ultimately be transmitted to humans – should help you understand the importance of a rabies vaccine for cats.
Rabies is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system of mammals, including cats. It is transmitted through the saliva of infected animals, usually through a bite or scratch.
Rabies is a serious and often fatal disease that can be transmitted to humans through bites or scratches, so it is important to take precautions to protect yourself and others.
To help prevent this situation, we’re sharing everything you need to know about rabies vaccines for cats, including cat rabies symptoms, rabies cat vaccinatino timelines, and potential side effects.
Common Cat Rabies Symptoms
If a cat has rabies, it may exhibit the following signs and symptoms:
- Aggression – Rabid cats may become more aggressive and attack people or other animals for no apparent reason.
- Change in behavior – A cat with rabies may show a change in behavior, such as becoming more withdrawn and less social, or becoming more vocal and agitated.
- Difficulty swallowing – Rabid cats may have difficulty swallowing and may drool excessively.
- Loss of appetite – A cat with rabies may lose its appetite and may not eat or drink.
- Paralysis – In advanced stages of the disease, rabies can cause paralysis in the muscles of the throat and jaw, making it difficult for a cat to swallow or open its mouth.
- Seizures – Rabies can cause seizures and uncontrolled muscle movements.
If you suspect that your cat has rabies, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. You can reach out to our expert veterinarians at the Catonsville Cat Clinic here.
Do I Have To Vaccinate My Indoor Cat Against Rabies?
While you may choose for your cat to stay indoors because it’s easier for you, it’s difficult to guarantee that your cat will always stay indoors. A door left ajar or a window left open could lead to an outdoor adventure with an unfortunate outcome.
Since there are several other illnesses your indoor cat can get, vaccinations are an important way of protecting them and ensuring your feline friend is with you for a long time.
When Is The Right Time For Rabies Vaccines For Cats?
We recommend that a kitten get their first rabies shot at 12 weeks. That should be followed by a booster vaccination a year later.
From there, follow-up vaccinations can happen from every 1-3 years to protect your cat against rabies.
How Should I Vaccinate My Cat If I Don’t Know Their Medical History?
If you’ve just adopted a cat or brought in a stray, you may not have its complete medical file. In that case, it’s better to play it safe and have their rabies vaccination administered again.
If it is an adult cat, you can then continue with the aforementioned booster plan of every 1-3 years.
What If My Cat Is Pregnant Or Nursing When It’s Time For Their Vaccination?
In this instance, it’s usually advisable to wait until the cat is done nursing. For one, this vaccination doesn’t get passed onto her kittens. For another, it is an additional stress to their bodies and immune systems when they are already going through quite a bit of stress.
Let her finish her natural process and then once she’s done nursing, you can resume her cat vaccinations.
Are There Side Effects After Rabies Vaccinations For Cats?
Side effects are fairly uncommon, though they can happen. They can include a decreased appetite, some swelling at the site of the vaccination, lethargy, and a slide fever.
How Quickly Does My Rabies Cat Vaccine Take Effect?
Like in humans, vaccines don’t work immediately. It takes time for our immune system to recognize and respond to the vaccine.
Our general rule of thumb for cat vaccinations is to expect full vaccination after two weeks. In the case of vaccinations that need to be spaced out, consider that two-week period to take place after the final shot.
Schedule The Rabies Vaccination For Your Cat Today
Is your kitten ready for their first rabies vaccination? Or is your adult cat due for their booster? Our team of veterinarians is happy to help.