Whenever you receive a vaccination, you could react with varying degrees of side effects or have no side effects. Side effects depend on the person’s makeup or your cat’s genetics.
For example, I experience nothing out of the ordinary when I get my annual flu shot. Some years this flu shot may make me slightly tired, and a nap helps. It lasts for a day and is gone.
On the other hand, my daughter refuses to get a flu shot because she experiences severe flu symptoms that send her to bed for two to three days. Your cat is no different. Some cats react to vaccinations while other cats do not react at all.
Why Is My Cat Tired/Lethargic After Having A Rabies Shot?
The last set of vaccinations that our Isabella (cat) received made her very ill, and for three days, she would find new hiding places that I would have to discover. She could hardly hold her head up, and this frightened me.
Isabella refused to eat or drink, so I had to syringe feed her water to keep her from becoming dehydrated. Since Isabella received a combination of vaccinations, I was not sure which one caused these reactions. The vet told me these side effects should go away after three days. She has had no shots since that time.
Isabella is immune-compromised with IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and the vet is not cool with giving her any more vaccinations, including a rabies shot. She is an inside cat, so neither the vet nor I am overly concerned. If she ever has surgery, she will have to get her rabies shot because it is a law in my state that all cats must have a rabies vaccination.
Do you know what precisely a rabies shot is?
Rabies, short and sweet, is a viral disease that is not so sweet after all. An outside cat can contract rabies if it has a run-in with a wild animal with the rabies virus, such as but not limited to the following wild animals.
- A stray cat
- A bat
- A skunk
- A fox
- A squirrel
- A raccoon
Being a feline owner for many years, I am not OK with letting any of our cats run loose throughout the neighborhood. Too many dangers can harm cats, such as nasty viruses like Fip, Rabies, feline leukemia, fleas, parasites, and a host of bad adults and children.
How is Rabies Transmitted?
The rabies virus is contained in the saliva of an infected animal. When that animal bites its next victim, the rabies virus enters the body of that healthy cat and infects it with rabies.
Your cat does not have to receive a bite to be exposed to the rabies virus. Your cat can contract rabies through a scratch or an abrasion by an infected animal. If your cat has an open wound, the saliva from an infected animal can enter your cat’s body. These instances are rare. A bite is a leading cause of spreading rabies.
Rabies is a severe virus that is fatal to unvaccinated cats. When caught, animal control or your vet must euthanize your cat. Brain tissue samples can be extracted to determine the presence of rabies. If they find that the cat was not infected, it is unfortunate. Your cat lost its life over the simple fact that you did not get a rabies vaccine. Don’t let this happen to your fur baby.
My Cat is Inside-It Does Not Need A Rabies Shot
If your cat insists on going outside for a few hours every day, you must be sure it is vaccinated. It is a state law in many states now that cats have a rabies shot. An inside cat can contract rabies through another infected cat or a bat if your home is prone to having a bat or two every year.
This vaccination covers all unique and strange incidents should your cat come in contact with a rabid animal. You may find wild animals in your home through chimneys, attics, and basements.
Bats are a massive problem in the fall and spring for many homeowners. Cats see these wild animals as intruders, and because cats are natural-born hunters, they will seek these animals out and try to play with them or kill them. Hopefully, your inside cat has had its rabies vaccination. Hopefully, the animal getting into your home is rabies-free.
Is it Normal for a Cat to be Tired/Lethargic After a Rabies Shot?
As mentioned earlier, all cats react differently to vaccinations, including a rabies shot.
- The cat may develop a slight fever.
- It may become slightly tired or lethargic.
- Your cat may not want to eat or drink. Not eating for a day or two is not concerning. Not wanting to drink water is very concerning, and you will have to ensure the vet rehydrates your cat or you syringe feed it some water every hour or two.
- There can develop slight redness and swelling at the injection site, which is a normal, localized reaction versus an internal reaction to the shot.
- It is rare if your cat reacts to a rabies shot. If reactions develop, they may be present for 24-48 hours. You must notify your vet if these reactions remain any longer than 48 hours.
- Your cat can become sleepy and feel tired after getting a rabies shot.
What To Do If My Cat Is Tired After A Rabies Shot?
Make your cat as comfortable as possible and allow them to sleep where they feel the most comfortable—the choice place to sleep that your cat picks may not seem comfortable to you. However, a cat is not going to sleep where it is not cozy and comfortable, so leave your cat alone to sleep off the shot.
If your cat eats dry and moist food, keep a small dish near its sleeping location and a dish of cool fresh water. Keep its litter pan nearby. Monitor your cat to make sure it is eating and drinking enough water. Eating is not as important as making sure your cat remains well hydrated.
If side effects from its rabies shot last more than 48 hours, please seek the advice of your vet.
How Often Does My Cat Get the Rabies Shot?
The length of time between rabies vaccinations depends on the type and brand of vaccination that the vet uses. Be sure your vet’s office gives you a certified copy of your cat’s rabies shot and file it in an easy-to-access folder.
If your cat ends up biting someone, you have proof that your cat is up to date on its rabies vaccination. Having this paper can save your cat’s life should it bite someone while outside or inside the home. This paper will tell you when you need to get your cat vaccinated again. You must understand how vital rabies shots are to your inside or outside cat. Your cat’s health and your health depend on this vaccination.
If your cat needs its rabies vaccination, do not fail to call and make the appointment as soon as possible. This vaccination could save your cat’s life.