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Ask Dr. Elliot: Is it against the law not to vaccinate your indoor cat?



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badcatAfter Pawfun’s recent post, Are Annual Vaccines Harmful to Your Dogs and Cats?, a Pawfun Blog reader asked:

“I live in Westchester County NY and have two indoor cats, and would prefer NOT to vaccinate them. Am I breaking the law by not doing so?”

Pawfun’s holistic veterinarian, Dr. Jill Elliot, says: The only vaccine that is required BY LAW is the Rabies vaccine. And yes you are technically breaking the law if you don’t give it to your cat.

When was the last time you heard anyone tell you the Rabies police came to their home to check on the vaccine status of their CAT?

As a licensed veterinarian of NY State, it is my duty and responsibility to tell my clients that rabies is required by law. If they insist on not giving the vaccine I can have them sign a waiver in the chart saying they do not wish to vaccinate.

For dogs you can also do a rabies titer (blood test) and if the titer is adequate and the dog has some medical condition that would cause the dog’s health to further decline if the vaccine is given, the vet can write a letter asking for an extension to wait one year and then re-titer the next year.

At the practice in New Jersey where I work, they consider the titer test to be good for three years from date of test.


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