My cat is an indoor cat. She never goes outside.
Does she still need to have rabies shots and vaccines?
Yes! Rabies vaccination for cats is the law in Cook County. Although your cat lives indoors, the county feels there is always the small chance that a child, worker, or delivery person could accidentally let your cat out. The skunk is one of the wildlife reservoirs for rabies in the United States. Rabid skunks lose their fear of daylight and will attack an outdoor cat. If the cat is not vaccinated and becomes rabid, any person your cat bites may develop rabies and die. Therefore, the county has passed the law that all cats need to be vaccinated for rabies for the protection of the human population. With regard to the other vaccines that cats need, a much more lenient policy can be adopted. These days, the additional vaccines a cat receives is based on his/her lifestyle. Factors taken into consideration when deciding which additional vaccines to give a cat include:
• The amount of time spent outdoors
• Number of other cats in the house
• Whether or not the home is host to foster cats
• Stray cats in close proximity to the home
A consultation with your veterinarian will allow him/her to decide which vaccines are right for your cat.
Dr. House has owned and operated Hoffman Estates Animal Hospital for the past 25 years. He is a dual certified member of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, specializing in feline medicine.