There are many reasons why cat owners decide to keep their furry felines indoors including safety and health. While the indoors can keep your cat safe, there are still some unplanned factors that can put your cat’s health at risk. Here are 3 reasons why you should still have your indoor cat vaccinated:
1. An unplanned escape.
Accidents happen and your cat may slip outside through a door that was left open. Whether you capture your cat right away, or don’t notice until hours later, any amount of time your unvaccinated cat spends outside can be harmful. Any contact with an outdoor cat carrying a disease, or even a rabid animal, means your kitty is at risk.
Important note: All cats are at risk for internal (stomach and small intestine) parasites from exposure to soil in our homes via house plants and from the soil we bring in from our shoes. This exposure can lead to contracting internal parasites or “worms.” When cats, dogs and other animals poop in our yards, they can leave behind eggs from worms. When our indoor cats get outside, even if they just escape to the backyard, they can come in contact with these worm eggs. When they groom themselves they swallow the eggs and worms develop in their stomach and small intestines. And did you know people can get worms from cats? Gross! That is why keeping your cat worm-free is important, not only for the cat, but for you and your family, too. Come see us for information on keeping your cat protected from parasites.
2. You decide to get another pet.
Maybe you’ve been tinkering with the idea of getting another cat and want to fill your home with even more kitty love. It’s a wonderful thing to rescue a cat from a shelter, but be sure to consider the health of the cat you already have at home. Bringing a cat home from a shelter poses a health risk to your unvaccinated cat. If you do plan to being another feline home, be sure to get your existing cat(s) vaccinated if they aren’t already, and do so in advance to allow the antibodies to build up. Your veterinarian may suggest coming back for boosters (an additional dose needed to keep your pet’s immune system working to fight off disease) before your cat is fully protected.
3. A rabid animal finds its way into your house.
While this may seem like a stretch, rabid animals such as bats, raccoons, or even other domestic pets, have been known to enter houses, although rare. This could happen via an open door or window, chimney, or through a pet door. Protection for your indoor cat from rabies through vaccination is not only a good idea in these rare circumstances, it may also be required in your state or county. VIP Petcare offers the PureVax rabies vaccine, which is specifically formulated for cats, and represents “best medicine” for cats in preventing the rabies virus. This vaccine is non-adjuvanted, meaning it contains less of the various agents believed to cause fibrosarcomas in cats.
4. You can inadvertently be a carrier.
Some of the viruses can be transmitted on your hands, clothing, or shoes if you have handled an infected cat or walked where one had been. This would be especially true for anyone working or volunteering with cats but could be true for anyone.
Vaccinations are and should be seen as an important part of your cat’s healthcare routine, even those that live indoors. Our veterinarians will be happy to answer any questions you have about recommended health care for your indoor cat during your visit to a clinic. If you have questions, feel free to visit our staff at a Community Clinic near you or call our HelpDesk at (800) 427-7973.