Skip to Main Content
  • 3085 English Creek Ave Egg Harbor Township NJ 08234 US
  • (609) 645-2120
Ask About Financing

Rabies in Cats: Vaccinations & Booster Shots

Not sure if you should get your cat vaccinated against rabies? Did you know that many states legally require that pets have this vaccine? Our Egg Harbor Township vets discuss the signs of rabies in cats, when you should bring them in for vaccinations, and the importance of booster shots for cats and dogs.

Keeping Your Cat Safe & Healthy

Rabies is a deadly virus that affects the brain and is transmitted through contact with saliva from an infected animal. Rabies can infect and be fatal for all mammals.

Approximately 5,000 cases of rabies in animals are reported to the CDC each year, the vast majority of which are cases occurring in wild animals. Animals that are most likely to carry the rabies virus include bats, raccoons, skunks, and foxes.

Cats are more likely to contract rabies than dogs which is believed to be due to lower vaccination rates in cats.

It is usually only a matter of days between the appearance of symptoms and death.

How is rabies transmitted?

If your cat contracts rabies through the bite of an infected animal or by otherwise coming in contact with the saliva of an infected animal it will typically take 10 - 14 days for your pet to begin showing symptoms. That said, depending on how your pet was exposed to the virus it can take months for symptoms to appear.

Your pet can pass on the rabies virus to other animals and humans as soon as the virus is present in their saliva. This will happen within the 10 days before the onset of symptoms.

Can my cat be tested for rabies?

If your cat is not vaccinated against rabies and comes in contact with an infected animal you will have to make some very difficult decisions.

Because you cannot test an animal for rabies, pet parents in this position are forced to choose between two options - to euthanize their sweet cat or to quarantine the pet and wait for symptoms to appear. Pets that are quarantined are unlikely to survive even if they do not show symptoms initially.

A rabies diagnosis can only be confirmed by the appearance of symptoms, or through the testing of brain tissue following the animal's death.

What are the symptoms of rabies in cats?

Some of the common signs and symptoms of rabies in cats are:

  • 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
  • Falling
  • Partial or complete paralysis
  • Seizures

Rabies is Uncurable & Usually Fatal

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 very important. Bring your new puppy or kitten in for all their shots as soon as possible.

Why are rabies vaccinations so important for cats?

While state vaccination requirements vary, keeping your pet's rabies vaccine up-to-date protects both your pets and the human members of your family against this deadly neurological disease.

Vaccinating Your Indoor Cat Against Rabies

It can be tough to understand why your cat needs vaccinations if they never go outside, but indoor cats need protection too! Our cunning feline friends often manage to sneak out when our backs are turned, exposing them to the risk of coming in contact with infected animals. It is also the case that bats and rodents can make their way indoors where they could put your pet at risk. Not getting your pet vaccinated is simply too risky.

Final Thoughts on Pet Vaccinations in Egg Harbor Township

Your pet's health relies on you. Keeping your pet vaccinated against preventable diseases such as rabies is an essential part of fulfilling that role.

If you are unsure about whether to get your pet vaccinated, speak to your vet. At Newkirk Family Veterinarians our veterinary professionals are always happy to address any concerns you may have and answer your questions. We are here to help you keep your pet happy and healthy.

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.

Do you need to bring your cat in for the rabies booster shot? Contact our Egg Harbor Township vets today to book an appointment for your furry friend. 

Always Welcoming New Patients

At Newkirk Family Veterinarians, we always accept new patients into our veterinary family. Our veterinarians are passionate about the health and well-being of Egg Harbor Township pets. Contact us today to book your pet's first appointment. 

Contact Us

(609) 645-2120 Contact