Indoor Cats: Why Bother With Vaccinations?

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This article has been rewritten with permission from Jill Posanski, the Waukesha County Humane Officer.

I am going to share some of the calls my office receives regarding wildlife making its way into homes. That should be all the incentive cat owners will need to get their indoor cats vaccinated against rabies.

Recently I got a call from a person whose indoor cat caught a bat in their “up north” cabin.  After handling that call, I started recalling all the crazy ways I have heard about pets (usually cats) being exposed to wild animals in their home.

Picture the kids running out to the backyard bonfire and leaving the screen door open. The moths come into the lights and the bats follow the moths.

Have you ever set down grocery bags on the steps while you fumble with the door? I have heard of bats piggybacking in on the bag right into the kitchen.

Remodeling job can create openings between attic and living areas. If bats are in the attice, some could pass through openings into your closet or bedroom. Most bats can fit through a hole the size of a dime.

The family dog captures something alive outside and brings it in to show it off.

Kids like to capture critters outside. When they bring them in to find a container, some of these rescued critters escape and hide.

I have had callers describe bats hiding in the leg or pocket of jeans that were hanging on the line to air out. They get a free ride indoors with the laundry. Be sure to give the laundry a good shake if it was outside overnight.

If the foam around the window air conditioner has gaps, bats can squeeze inside.

Firewood brought in during the winter can have unseen dormant bats hiding against the bark. When the bats thaw out, they start squeaking and flapping.

I have heard of raccoons and oppossums coming in throught pet doors. Sometimes they tear through patio screen doors and come right in. The females commonly climb      down the chimney. Behind the flue is a dry, predator-free place to have their babies. They make a lot of mess and a lot of noise! Raccoons are also fond of campers and boats stored for the winter. They are quite messy and destructive and may bite whoever disturbs them, wheater human or pet.

Have my stories convinced you that indoor pets need “outdoor” shots? Rabies virus is currently present in Waukesha County and it is fatal for pets and humans if not treated. Vaccinate your pets!!. A rabies vaccine is very inexpensive