Both of my cats are indoor cats and never go outside, nor are they exposed to any other animals. Considering that, my question is, do they still need to receive these vaccinations?
First of all, the most important reason to bring your cats in for annual check ups is the physical exam. Cats age quickly compared to humans. One year is equivalent to approximately 5 years for a cat. On our exams, we assess weight changes, dental disease, heart, lungs, arthritis, and periodic blood chemistries to test for metabolic disease.
Vaccinating for RCP actually protects for three different diseases. Panleukopenia (distemper) is extremely contagious. It can remain dormant in homes and apartments for years, and it can be carried into your home on clothing, hands, etc. from other cats. It can also mutate and become virulent in cats that have not been exposed to other cats. Vaccinating your cat will help protect them from these scenarios.
Rabies vaccination is necessary for multiple reasons. Indoor cats can be exposed to rabid animals, including bats, in your home. It has happened multiple times in my years as a veterinarian! Rabies vaccination is also a legal issue. If our pets bite people in our homes, we care liable for damage and proof of vaccination. Unvaccinated cats may require quarantine and/or euthanasia for rabies evaluation. We deal with these situations too often. We strongly recommend preventing this situation with your pets.
Dr. Greg Windschill
New Ulm office