Indoor cats may be susceptible to more than you think. They’re not exposed to anywhere near the things that outdoor cats are, but they still need regular medical care, and yes, indoor cats need shots. Let’s talk.
Do Indoor Cats Need Shots?
Many owners of indoor cats wonder, “Why should I vaccinate my cat for diseases they’ll never be exposed to?” It’s true that vaccinations help protect cats from many bacterial and viral conditions they’ll only catch from other cats, but if your unprotected cat slips outdoors, she’s got no help fighting communicable illness.
You should discuss with your vet which shots your indoor cat needs. But if you’re not willing to get all shots the vet recommends for your indoor cat, please at least get the rabies vaccine. In some states this is required.
There are several documented cases of infected animals making their way into residences and, for an indoor cat, a bat can make a tempting squeaky toy! If your indoor cat catches a mouse, or if a bird gets into the house, and that animal is infected with rabies – the result could be fatal for your cat. It’s just not worth risking – get them their rabies shot! For more information about the need for a rabies shot for indoor cats, click HERE.
It’s important that your indoor cat visit the vet once a year. The physical exam covers several important things like monitoring your cat’s weight, checking her blood pressure, heart rate, temperature. The vet will look at your cat’s mouth and teeth and look inside her ears. These are all ways that any developing illness or condition can be detected early – which may prevent serious illness in the future.
Early Detection Can Save Your Cat’s Life
As cats get older, they can start to show signs of typical diseases associated with age. A simple blood test can check for chronic kidney disease, overactive thyroid and diabetes, which commonly affect older cats. Establishing a baseline and keeping an eye on these markers can allow for early detection and easier treatment.
My vet discovered kidney disease early on in my then-10-year-old cat, changed her food to one specifically formulated for that particular condition – and literally saved my cat’s life. (That’s her in the picture – she lived 20 years!)