Sample script: Talk rabies vaccinations with cat owners
There are a million reasons a pet owner could come up with to not vaccinate their cat, and you've heard them all, including the frequently uttered “my cat doesn’t go outside.” Don't let this discourage you. Practice this sample conversation with your veterinary team to educate your clients and protect their pets.
Ms. Catlady: My cat doesn't go outside. Does he really need to be vaccinated?
You: Rabies is a common and fatal disease in wildlife. While your cat's chance of exposure to rabies is greatly reduced when you keep her indoors, it’s not foolproof. It’s possible that your cat could accidentally get outside, and she wouldn’t be protected. Is Whiskers the type of kitty who’s always trying to sneak out?
Ms. Catlady: No. She doesn’t stir much off the couch.
You: OK, that’s good! We still recommend vaccination today, because we’ve seen countless homebody cats who’ve accidently gotten outside and encountered wildlife. There’s also the possibility of the great outdoors coming inside. Rodents and bats are known to sneak into households, which can trigger your kitty’s hunting instincts to take care of the problem. Either way, they are still at risk of a bite by a rabid animal that finds its way into your home.
Keeping your cat current on its vaccinations is a simple way to prepare and protect against the worst-case scenario. Let’s get Whiskers protected today.
Ciera Sallese is a CVT, VTS (Clinical practice), at Metzger Animal Hospital in State College, Pennsylvania.