Cats, dogs, and ferrets should receive their first
rabies vaccination at the age of 3 months and their
second vaccination at the age of 1 year. After the second vaccination, the need
for revaccination of cats and dogs is determined by the type of vaccine used,
by the number of rabies cases in your local area, and according to state
Yearly vaccination may be needed in areas with a
high incidence of rabies.
Vaccination every 3 years may be needed
in areas with a low incidence of rabies.
Ferrets should be
vaccinated every year.
Check with your veterinarian for the rabies vaccination schedule in
If you have an exotic pet, check with your vet to find out what vaccinations the pet
needs. Most common exotic animal bites come from:
Skunks and raccoons. Wild (endemic) populations
of skunks and raccoons have the greatest risk for having
Ferrets. These animals can transmit rabies.
Rodents, such as rats, mice, gerbils, and
Rabbits or hares (lagomorphs).
If you have questions about local rabies issues, contact your local
health department. If you will be traveling with your pet, check with your vet
about the protection your animal needs and the risk your animal has for getting
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.