Rabies is one of the scarier viruses that can be found out there. In part, this is because it impacts the nervous system, thus leading to symptoms that can include but are not limited to confusion, anxiousness, terror, paranoia, and paralysis. Rabies can even lead to a fear of water, which can be blamed on the fact that the rabies virus is reliant on bites for transmission, meaning that swallowing water would hinder it in that particular respect. With that said, it should also be noted that rabies can’t be diagnosed until after the start of symptoms, which is rather problematic because no more than six people have survived rabies once neurological symptoms have appeared. As a result, while rabies might not be particularly common in the West, it is something that people should treat with total seriousness.
How Is Rabies Transmitted?
As stated, rabies tends to be transmitted through bites. However, there are other ways that it can be transmitted as well. For example, there have been a very small number of cases in which rabies spread from human to human because people were unfortunate enough to receive infected transplants. Likewise, it might be possible for rabies to spread from human to human via sex because the virus can be in both sperm and the secretions of the vagina, but this is speculation rather than based on solid evidence of such a thing happening. Otherwise, it is important to note that rabies cannot be transmitted through casual contact.
Summed up, bites from infected animals are the biggest source of concern when it comes to rabies. However, some animals are more concerning than others because while rabies can be found in a wide range of animals that are by no means limited to mammals, some species have much higher chances of being infected. For example, both rodents and lagomorphs are capable of carrying rabies, but they are not the most concerning species that can be found out there. This is because if something managed to bite them, chances are good that they wouldn’t be alive to spread the virus, though interested individuals need to remember that it isn’t impossible. Instead, cats, dogs, bats, foxes, and raccoons tend to be much more dangerous in this sense, particularly if they are exhibiting unusually aggressive behavior that could be a sign of the rabies virus changing their behaviors for its own benefit.
How Often Do Cats Need Rabies Shots?
Fortunately, there are vaccines for rabies, which should provide a measure of assurance for pet owners who are concerned about both themselves and their pets. Some people might be reluctant to get their cats vaccinated for one reason or another, but they need to remember that getting rabies means death for a cat if they are un-vaccinated, meaning that a rabies shot is critical for protecting their beloved companion’s well-being. This is true even if their cat is an indoor cat because there is no way for them to make sure that their pet will never head into the outdoors where they might end up getting exposed to the rabies virus. Never mind that infected animals have been known to break into human homes for the purpose of spreading their infection, which is an excellent example of how the virus can change their behaviors for its own benefit.
As for how often a cat should be getting rabies shots, that is a complicated question that depends on a number of factors. For example, there are a lot of places where getting vaccinated for rabies is mandatory, meaning that pet owners should follow what the law says unless they want to get hit with serious penalties should their non-compliance with the law ever be found out. In fact, it is not unknown for un-vaccinated cats to receive recommendations for euthanization should they bite someone while showing signs of concerning behavior, which can sound excessive but makes sense because the sole reason that rabies isn’t a bigger concern in the West is because it is treated with the seriousness that it merits. Otherwise, it is important to note that different rabies shots have different durations, which should be followed. However, should a vaccinated animal get attacked by something suspected of carrying rabies, they should be brought to the veterinarian for a booster shot to minimize its chances of getting infected. For that matter, if pet owners have any questions, they should seek out the veterinarian for further assistance to make sure that they are providing their beloved companions with what they need to ensure their well-being far into the future.