Does anyone know of an alternative cheaper protection against rabies for my cats than the usual innoculation by a vet?
Sara from Centreville, VA
Sometimes townships offer a free rabies clinic. Call your town hall to see if the township or county that you live in offers one.
Some vets will have a yearly clinic for rabies shots that they give at a greatly reduced price. Contact the vets around you to see if they offer such a thing there. Also the Humane Society may be able to help you too.
I innoculate my animals by giving them shots purchased from an animal catalogue such as Omaha Vaccine.
You can try a feedstore in your town or the Nasco farm and ranch supply catalog to buy the biologicals, and give the shots yourself! The main reason I don't do that for my two dogs is that I need proof of vaccination on file if I ever need to board my dogs for an emergency trip.
Since I keep my cat indoors and he's not in contact with other cats or animals, the vet told me that mine didn't need to be vaccinated for rabies. (We don't have mice or any way for him to get the virus.)
Our local PetSmart has a clinic once a month (I think it's the first Saturday of the month) where a vet comes in and does rabbies vaccinations for $9. They also do the other common vaccines inexpensively. There are drawbacks, but I find they are worth the savings. The drawbacks are that your pet does not get an examination with the vaccinations like you would get at a regular vet check-up, you need to stand in a long line because many other people will be wanting to save money that day as well, and you need to keep track of your own vaccination history and know when to bring Fido back in for his next shots because no one is going to remind you that Fido is due for his next round. If you're okay with those things, I would find the nearest city that has a PetSmart (or any other large pet supplies company), give them a call, and see if they have or know of any programs such as this in your area.
Around here, the local "farm supply" and hardware stores carry the vaccines for pets that you can give them yourself. A lot of breeders and pet owners swear by them.
You can't buy a rabies vaccine from any pet feed store or pet catalog. Legally, a Rabies vaccine must be administered by a practicing veterinarian. Even if your pet is indoor only, it is okay to forgo the other vaccines but it is very smart to continue giving the rabies vaccine. Most veterinary clinics offer a 3 year rabies vaccine. Here in Georgia it is the law to have your pet vaccinated against Rabies, if you don't, you have to pay a hefty fine.
Several cats I had years ago were perfectly healthy until I had them vaccinated, after which they all died. Could have been bad vaccine, mad vet, or neighborhood contagion. Ever since I have kept one old cat indoors for 20+ years, still more than healthy, and now have a new one that I intend to keep inside with no vaccines as well. Our city has a cat leash law, which is horrible, but it keeps the neighborhood clean and nights quiet.
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