A cat at the vet about to get a vaccine.
A cat at the vet about to get a vaccine. Photography ©Maica | Getty Images.

Rabies Vaccine Required for All Cats in Illinois

As of January 2019, all cats and kittens 4 months of age and older in Illinois must be vaccinated for rabies. Learn more about the law here.


Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed legislation into law that amended Illinois’ Animal Control Act. As of January 2019, all cats and kittens 4 months of age and older must be vaccinated for rabies and given a second rabies shot within one year of the first vaccination. As is currently done with dogs, counties will issue a vaccination certificate and a rabies tag, which they will provide to veterinarians to distribute.

Editor’s note: This article appeared in Catster magazine. Have you seen the new Catster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? Subscribe now to get Catster magazine delivered straight to you

About the author

Jackie Brown is a freelance writer from Southern California who specializes in the pet industry. Reach her at jackiebrownwriter.wordpress.com.

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4 thoughts on “Rabies Vaccine Required for All Cats in Illinois”

  1. Pingback: How Often Do Cats Need Shots and Other Preventative Treatments? – Info Body

  2. We have a new cat, vet told us he is 22 months old. We adopted him in October knowing it might get cold and freezing in Winter here. We took him to the vet for his shots and a check-up. Recently I feel a small quarter-size lump near his shoulder. We did not see the vet give him his shots so I don’t know if he gave them all at one time! In the past we have lost 3 cats and 2 Golden Retrievers and a Blond Siberian Huskey to cancer and one of them came down w/cancer as a direct result of the Rabies shot. Our cats have always lived indoors only. We have to take our new Russian Blue to the Cat Hospital for the costly check-up! In September our dearly beloved 15 year old darling cat was found to have aggressive Cancer attached to her stomach found via Sonogram and died 3 days later! This is costly & must be stopped, or fewer animals will be adopted or go through great pain because the owners can not afford the medical bills. JCM

  3. I agree with Kat! Especially if your cats live indoors only the threat of contracting this disease is so small to non-existent! There’s no need to put our pets’ health at risk. Rabies vaccines do not come without risk of adverse side effects, including death, especially if it is given in addition to other vaccines at the same time. Furthermore, immunologists agree that in most cases once a pet has received a vaccination for a disease they likely carry this immunity for life. This flies in the face of re-vaccinating our pets every 1-3 years. The risk is greater with each vaccine. It’s time to put a stop to this madness.

  4. as with children, I dont think pet parents should be MADE to give their pets vaccines!!! Its another sign of government trying to control our lives! yes, I understand about the danger of rabies, BUT as with children, we are concerned about the effects of these drugs on our animals! It shoudnt be mandatory rule to do so, especially if animal is inside, like inside only cats. it has been proven it can cause cancer, tumors, etc detrimental to the health of the animal. and I dont think vets should require it be given before they treat an animal either. just my opinion…..

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