What is Rabies: How It Spreads to Pets(2023)

what is rabies

The procedure is simple and inexpensive and will protect your cat from rabies. Discover the importance of the rabies vaccine.

What is rabies, and how does my pet get infected?

Rabies is caused by a zoonotic virus. It is spread through the saliva of raccoons, skunks, bats, and foxes. Keep this in mind when going on nocturnal walks or in regions where there is outdoor litter. Rabies may be transmitted from animals to people with just one bite.

Rabies is a deadly virus that attacks the central nervous systems of animals and humans. It is transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal through a bite or scratch or when saliva comes into contact with an open wound, such as the eyes, nose, or mouth.

The symptoms of rabies in pets can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Aggression
  • Drooling
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Paralysis
  • Death

The incubation period for rabies can vary from a few weeks to several months. During this time, the animal does not show any signs of illness. Once the symptoms of rabies appear, the disease is almost always fatal.

Here are some rabies prevention strategies for your pet:

  • When you take your pet outside, keep them on a leash.
  • Allow your pet to have no contact with wild creatures.
  • Any animal bites or scrapes should be reported to your local animal control department.
  • Vaccinate your pet for rabies.

Why should I vaccinate my pet?

Rabies is fatal if not treated.

  • If your dog or cat becomes infected with rabies, it is 100% lethal unless treated immediately. You might not realize your pet is infected until it’s too late. Getting your pet vaccinated is the greatest method to protect them.

Rabies: Possible Charges

  • Non-vaccinated pets might face penalties of up to $300 in some areas. To find out what your state requires, contact your local VIP Pet car veterinarian or humane society.

I have a house cat. Is a rabies vaccination required?

Indoor cats should still be inoculated against rabies. There are several scenarios in which your cat might become infected with rabies. Bats may enter homes through gaps in the foundation, while raccoons can get through window screens. Unfortunately, whether your cat wants to or not, there is always the risk that they may escape.

Here are some additional tips for keeping your cat safe from rabies:

  • Keep your cat indoors at all times.
  • If your cat does go outside, keep them on a leash or in a fenced yard.
  • Do not let your cat interact with wild animals.
  • Report any animal bites or scratches to your local animal control agency.
  • Vaccinate your cat against rabies.

I live in a rural community. What else do I need to know?

If you live outside of town or own a lot of property, your cat or dog is probably free to wander. Because wild animals pose a greater risk, it is vital to have your dogs vaccinated against rabies.

Here are some additional tips for rabies prevention in rural communities:

  • Do not approach or touch wild animals, even if they appear to be friendly.
  • Keep your garbage cans tightly sealed so that wild animals cannot get into them.
  • Trim trees and shrubs around your home so that wild animals cannot climb them and enter your home.
  • Report any stray animals to your local animal control agency.
  • Vaccinate your pets against rabies.

Dog Vaccination Schedule

  • Puppies are vaccinated between the ages of 12 and 16 weeks, depending on the law.
  • Booster was shot a year later.
  • Additional shots are required every year or every three years, depending on local laws.

Vaccination Schedule for Cats

  • Depending on the regulations, a single dosage for kittens aged 12 to 16 weeks
  • Booster was shot a year later.
  • Depending on where you live, you may need another shot every year or every three years.

Rabies medication

There is no effective therapy for rabies once clinical signs occur in an animal. Infected pets nearly always die from rabies. An animal may be confined in specific instances to monitor symptoms and safeguard public safety. This, however, is merely a band-aid solution, and the animal will eventually succumb to the ailment.


Q: Can indoor pets get rabies?

Yes, indoor pets can still get rabies if they are exposed to the virus through an infected animal that gains access to your home or if they encounter an infected animal during outdoor activities.

Q: Is rabies curable?

No, rabies is not curable once symptoms appear. However, rabies is preventable through vaccination and prompt medical attention after potential exposure.

Q: How soon after exposure should I seek medical attention for my pet?

If you suspect your pet has been exposed to rabies, seek immediate veterinary attention. Prompt medical evaluation can help determine if post-exposure prophylaxis is necessary.

Q: Can cats and dogs be carriers of rabies without showing symptoms?

Yes, cats and dogs can be carriers of rabies without showing symptoms. These animals are still capable of transmitting the virus to other animals or humans.

Q: Is rabies prevalent only in rural areas?

No, rabies can be found in both rural and urban areas, as infected wildlife and stray animals can carry the virus into residential neighborhoods.

Q: Can I get rabies from my vaccinated pet?

While rare, vaccinated pets may still contract rabies if exposed to an extremely high viral load. However, their symptoms are generally milder compared to those of unvaccinated animals.

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