How likely is it for a cat who was vaccinated against rabies to get rabies and die from it?

My cat was being treated for a head trauma by a local vet. He died a couple of days later, and now the vet thinks he had rabies. He was vaccinated in June of last year, so his vaccinations are up to date. Is it possible that he had rabies?

Asked by Toby on Mar 27th 2012 Tagged rabies, vaccine, sick, cat, headtrauma in Illness & Disease
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Pretty unlikely. The rabies vaccine is one of the most effective vaccines out there for cats and partly because it is so effective rabies has become very uncommon, particularly in dogs and cats. If there has been a recent outbreak in your area and your cat's head trauma included bite wounds, particularly from an unknown or wild animal, then yes, there may be a small chance he had contracted rabies despite resistance built up from vaccines, but if he wasn't bitten I don't see how he could have had it. If sweet little Toby here is the one who died, a 13 year old cat is pretty old and a bad head injury could have easily been too much for the poor guy.

If your vet seriously suspected rabies infection they should have asked to run tests post-mortem to confirm as your other pets, family, and neighbors may all be at risk if that was indeed the case. I would consider getting a new vet and even asking local animal control about the situation as most places have strict protocols about rabies.

Hannah answered on 3/27/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Ajaxx Anthony Fisher

I agree with Hannah, it's highly unlikely that he caught rabies esp. since he was just vaccinated 9 months ago. I have no idea why your vet would suggest such a thing without running any tests, so I agree with Hannah that a new vet might be in order.

My condolences go out to you regarding your kitty who passed away. He's crossed the Rainbow Bridge & will be waiting there for you when it's time for you to be reunited.

Ajaxx Anthony Fisher answered on 3/28/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Izadore (Izzie)

I'm so sorry! Hannah is right. The only way to tell if your cat had rabies is to do testing. Your vet may be reluctant to do so, because if they said your cat was vaccinated, you have a tag and/or paperwork saying he was, and it turns out he did have rabies, the vet clinic could be in big trouble. Cases of rabies must be reported to the local authorities. I agree. If it were me, I'm not sure I'd trust this vet with any other animals in the future. Purrs and headbonks from us here in the Zoo Gang.

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 3/28/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Hell no. Nothing just drops dead from rabies. It a progressive viral decease of the brain and has distinct symptoms that even the most incompetent vet could spot a mile away. Sounds like he screwed something up and thinks your really stupid. call CDC after you get records of Dr. Drunk's diagnosis. Unfortunately I'm sure they were destroyed with anything else incriminating. If you get ANYTHING on this jerk call animal welfare society to point you to an attorney. Put him out of business. A lot of these attorneys volunteer their services or take small portions if there's a settlement. Nothing is going to bring back your precious Kitty. But donating this guys practice to a cat charity in your cats name will guarantee she will be remembered by many. Your cat deserves pay back. BIG TIME

Member 1090019 answered on 4/13/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer