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Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 21449
Experience:  Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
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I have a 15 1/2 year old Cornish Rex who seems much younger

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I have a 15 1/2 year old Cornish Rex who seems much younger than her age. She sneaked outside last year, and ended up at the pound, where the vet estimated her age at 5 years and vaccinated her against everything but rabies, with no apparent ill effects. After that, I had some screening tests done, and everything was normal, most notably thyroid and blood sugar.

I have travelled with her once or twice a year by air, which she tolerates well. I cannot get a health certificate for air travel without a rabies shot. I have more than one vet tell me they will not vaccinate her any more because of her age.

I need to know what rabies vaccinations do to older cats. Boarding is very stressful for her, so I figure I am weighing two bad choices. If I can talk a vet into giving her a rabies shot, what are the chances that something will go wrong? An what is the nature of the reaction?


Hello, Suzie and welcome back to Just Answer!

My name is XXXXX XXXXX it will be my pleasure to assist you today.

How have you traveled with her in the past, with no rabies vaccination certificate?

Are you traveling domestically or out of the country?

Thanks for all your additional detail.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have travelled with her in the the past with full vaccinations and with health certificates.


I am traveling domestically. Specifically, to Montana, which requires rabies. I tried contacting the state government to see if I could get a waiver, but have received no reply.

Hi again, Suzie and thanks for your helpful reply.

Also, thank you for your patience, as my internet connectivity was giving me some problems.

In most states, if your vet writes a letter stating that your pet is not required to be vaccinated against rabies because the vaccine could jeopardize your pet's health, this should suffice; however as you already know, you will need permission from the state of Montana, which you are entering.

Here is additional information on vaccinations in older cats: Vaccinations

As you can see, older cats are more suceptible to allergic reaction, vaccine-induced sarcoma or immune diseases when they are vaccinated.

Try contacting the state government of Montana again by phone, email or letter and hopefuly, you will get a response. Also, ask your vet if s/he will make the contact for you, to their State Veterinary Board.

I hope all works out well and you are able to bring Tiramisu with you. If not, perhaps you won't have to board her if you can find a licensed, bonded, insured pet sitter to stay in your home with her, or have a trusted, cat loving neighbor, friend, relative, etc., stay at your house to take care of her.

If you need any additional information or clarification, simply 'Reply' back without rating and I will be happy to help with any follow up questions. Please do not rate negatively if you still need information. Just click "Reply". Thank you!

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Warmest regards,


Cher and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Hi again, Suzie.

I meant to include in my previous answer, that you could also have your vet do a 'titer' (blood test) to show that Tiramisu has an immunity to rabies.

Best regards,