The question of whether or not your cats need a rabies vaccine is not always cut and dry. We are not anti-vaccines – however, we are against over vaccinating our cats. They say knowledge is power – and it sure can make a powerful difference in this situation. Sometimes we just need a friendly reminder.
When deciding whether your cats need a rabies vaccine, it’s imperative that you weigh the risks vs. the benefits first. If your cats are indoor only, what’s the likelihood that they encounter a rabid outdoor animal? Are the chances that they escape the home greater than that of vaccine-associated sarcoma (cancer) or other adverse vaccine reaction? These are very important questions that you must ask yourself when deciding to get another feline rabies vaccination.
Notice I said “another” vaccine. We believe it’s important for cats to be safely vaccinated against rabies, just not repetitively. More and more research is showing that, not only does one successful rabies vaccine usually last the lifetime of a cat, but the side effects of multiple vaccines can cause severe illness in cats. Since there is no adjustments in dose for size or age, our 7 lb cats are getting the same dosage of rabies that a 400 lb lion gets. And yet this vaccine is still recommended by some vets annually. Isn’t that scary?
Alternative Approach: Titer Testing
The good news is that a simple titer test can prove rabies immunity of your cat, thus avoiding the risk of harsh side effects. Dr. John Robb, DVM is working tirelessly to “protect the pets by amending the rabies laws to honor the measuring of circulating antibodies: namely, a blood titer as the true indicator of immunity“.
We as humans are more susceptible to acquiring rabies than our indoor cats, yet we don’t get rabies vaccines. Have you ever wondered why?
I’m not suggesting that you break the law. I am suggesting that you challenge the laws that affect your cat’s health negatively and do what you need to do to keep your kitty safe.