What Can Happen if You Don't Have Your Indoor Cats Vaccinated?

In some parts of the country, vaccines in pets are required by law.
i Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

If you are a caring cat owner, then routine vaccinations can do a lot for keeping your pet healthy and safe against a variety of harmful diseases. Although cats who spend a lot of time outdoors are understandably at higher risk for dangerous infection, indoor cuties are sometimes vulnerable, too.

About Vaccines

By getting your indoor cats regularly vaccinated, starting during the wee kitten years, you essentially get their immune systems ready to protect against organisms that could trigger unwanted diseases -- not a bad deal at all. Shots can defend felines against a wide array of ailments, including feline calicivirus, feline herpesvirus, panleukopenia, giardasis and rabies.

According to the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, although a vaccine can be extremely helpful in preventing disease, full defense is never a guarantee. Because of this slight uncertainty, it is always vital to keep your cats as sheltered as possible against potentially infectious animals and areas.

Indoor Cats

When it comes to cats that either live outside full-time or part-time, the need for vaccinations is pretty clear. However, indoor cats also may benefit greatly from vaccines. The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine mentions the chances of an indoor cat getting lost outdoors. As secure as you may believe your home is, there always is the chance of a mischievous cat slipping out, even if by accident. If your precious pet gets loose, he could easily encounter an ill animal and come back home sick and infected himself -- no, thank you.

Apart from an indoor cat getting loose, simple encounters with other pets could also bring upon dangerous disease. Say a close friend of yours decides to bring her fluffy Persian cat over for a meet and greet with your kitty. If by any chance the Persian cat is infected, your cat probably will be soon, too -- yikes.

What Could Happen

If one of your indoor cat gets infected with an infectious disease like rabies, he could experience everything from paralysis and convulsions to, ultimately, death. Feline herpesvirus also can be unpleasant, with consequences from eye inflammation to severe exhaustion. The negative effects are seemingly endless, and because of that, it is very important to speak to your veterinarian about all of the appropriate and necessary vaccinations for your fluffballs. One vaccination could mean the difference between healthy living and death.


In some situations, you may have no choice in the matter regarding whether your indoor cats get vaccinated. All states have different policies regarding pet vaccines. Within the state of New York, vaccinations against rabies are required for all pets over a certain age. If you are unsure of the rules in your state, speak to your veterinarian. A vet will also be able to tell you which vaccines are particularly necessary and helpful for each and every single one of your cats. After all, not all felines have the exact same medical needs. Many factors can come into play, from age to vaccination history.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

the nest