Curious about the value of vaccinating your cat against rabies? In most US states, it is crucial to keep your pets current on their rabies shots. Moreover, this vaccine could potentially save your pet's life. Get insights from our Franklin vets.
Rabies & Your Cat's Health
The rabies virus, a lethal pathogen that impacts the brain, spreads through contact with saliva from an infected animal. It affects a range of mammals, including pets, livestock, wildlife, and humans.
The CDC reports around 5,000 cases of rabies in animals annually, with the majority occurring in wild animals. Bats, raccoons, skunks, and foxes are among the animals most likely to carry the rabies virus.
Cats face a higher risk of contracting rabies than dogs due to lower vaccination rates in cats.
Rabies, once manifested, is nearly always fatal. The affected animal typically succumbs within a few days when signs of rabies emerge.
How Does Rabies Spread?
Rabies spreads through the saliva of infected mammals, primarily transmitted through bites. Contact with open wounds or mucous membranes, like the gums, can also result in transmission. The more your cat interacts with wild animals, the higher the risk of infection.
If your cat carries the rabies virus, it can transmit to you and other humans or animals in your home. Rabies can be contracted if the infected animal's saliva, such as your cat's, comes into contact with broken skin or mucous membranes. Although rare, infection through scratches is possible but unlikely. If you suspect exposure to the rabies virus, it's crucial to contact your doctor immediately for a rabies vaccine to prevent the disease from progressing.
There Is No Test For Rabies
You'll face tough decisions if your cat hasn't been vaccinated for rabies and encounters an infected animal. You'll have to choose between euthanizing your beloved cat or quarantining them, hoping symptoms don't emerge.
Even if your pet doesn't initially show symptoms, survival during quarantine is unlikely. Confirmation of rabies only happens through symptom appearance or brain tissue testing after the animal's death.
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 essential.
The Importance of The Rabies Vaccine for All Pets
Ensure the protection of your pets and family members by keeping your pet's rabies vaccine up-to-date, as vaccination requirements may vary by state. This precaution guards against the deadly neurological disease.
Indoor Cats & The Rabies Vaccine
Many cat owners mistakenly assume indoor cats don't require rabies vaccination. However, indoor cats also need protection. Our clever feline friends can slip away unnoticed, putting them at risk of encountering infected animals. Also, bats and rodents may enter homes, threatening your pet. Neglecting vaccination for your pet is a risk that cannot be overlooked.
The Bottom Line
As a pet parent, take proactive steps to ensure your pet's long and healthy life. Make a crucial contribution by keeping your pet vaccinated against preventable diseases like rabies.
If you're uncertain about vaccinating your pet, consult your vet. Our veterinary professionals at Pet Vet eagerly address your concerns and answer questions. We're dedicated to assisting you in maintaining your pet's happiness and well-being.
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.