Vaccinate Your Cat Against Rabies

Some people refuse to vaccinate their cats against rabies. A common misconception is that if a cat lives indoors, it cannot be exposed to rabies. This is simply not true! The bat, a frequent carrier of rabies, readily gains access to homes.

The consequences of exposure to a bat for an unvaccinated cat are dire. If an unvaccinated cat is exposed to a bat, it is considered to have been exposed to rabies. The Michigan Public Health Code specifies two alternatives for an exposed unvaccinated cat. The first is immediate euthanasia, and the second is quarantine for six months. If during the quarantine period any sign of illness occurs, the cat must be euthanized and tested for rabies.

There are legal consequences that an owner of an unvaccinated cat may be subject to. If an unvaccinated cat bites or scratches a human being, it is subject to the same Michigan Public Health Code as above (euthanasia or quarantine). There may also be financial liabilities to the cat owner.

Cats as young as 12 weeks of age can be vaccinated against rabies.

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