Why does an indoor cat need a rabies shot and vaccinations?
Original Question: We adopted Ziggy from a local rescue. He is fixed and has had all his shots in January. We have had him since he was 10 months. He is an indoor apartment cat so why does he need to be vaccinated? What about rabies? There are no other pets in the house. - Cindy
Thanks for your question.
A vaccination program for an individual cat should be tailor-made. It’s important that you speak to your veterinarian about the individual health concerns and also issues of travel and lifestyle when considering a vaccination. In the case of a rabies vaccine, here in Ontario Canada, every dog and cat has to be current on its rabies vaccination status. It’s a legal requirement.
You’ll want to discuss the pros and cons of vaccination with your veterinarian but you can start by watching our videos, “Which Vaccines Should I Give My Cat or Dog“, “Everything You Need to Know About Vaccine Reactions” and “How Often Vaccines Need Boosters and The Benefits of Titer Testing for Dogs and Cats” for more information on this topic. I think it’s important that every veterinarian ask questions about a pet’s risk of exposure to the disease to determine the value of vaccination against it.
I would recommend you investigate options for frequency of vaccination and strive to give the minimal requirement with the lowest frequency of administration. If you and your veterinarian determine that your cat’s risk is higher due to its activity, such as going to a groomer or visiting other homes, etc. I believe in judicious vaccination and not creating a vaccine protocol that every cat should follow. I always recommend a 3-year rabies vaccine rather than 1-year product unless you have a pet that is interacting with wildlife that has a higher risk of exposure to rabies.
I strongly encourage you to take a look at the vaccination videos we have. It will lay the basis for an informed discussion with your veterinarian.
I hope this helps.
Dr. Clayton Greenway
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