Treatment for Side Effects of the Feline Rabies Vaccine

| Modified on Jul 31, 2017

Side effects are surprisingly common after a kitten cat gets his rabies vaccine. Fortunately there are natural treatments for side effects from these vaccines including Bentonite clay, activated charcoal powder, colloidal silver, children's benadryl, and the homeopathic remedy Thuja.

Activated Charcoal Powder or Bentonite Clay

If a cat is experiencing vomiting or diarrhea following a rabies vaccination, activated charcoal powder or bentonite clay can be used to settle the stomach, stop diarrhea, and removing toxins from the body. Either one can be mixed with water or wet food, depending on which way your cat would be most likely to take it. 1/16 teaspoon would be enough for a kitten. A 10 pound cat may need 1/2 teaspoon. The dose could be repeated every 2 hours until symptoms abate.

If a cat or kitten has a reaction at the site of the vaccine, activated charcoal or bentonite clay can be used as a poultice to reduce swelling and heat.

Treating Allergic Reactions and Dehydration

If a cat or kitten is experiencing allergy like reactions, children's Benadryl may be a better option. A cat that is lethargic or losing a lot of fluids due to vomiting or diarrhea may need to be fed fluids by syringe, even every 15 minutes. A children's oral rehydration formula would be preferred over water, though don't hesitate to use water if that is all that is available.

Thuja for Rabies Vaccine Side Effects

Denise from California had success with the homeopathic remedy of Thuja. "I am so thankful for this website and people sharing. I too am using Thuja. It is helping my cat. She seems to be getting a little better. I put 3 pellets in a shot glass with bottled water. When they melted I gave her some with an eye dropper. I give her a half-full dropper every 2 hrs."

While some of the above remedies can be combined, some of them, when combined, could cause the remedies to cancel each other out. Thuja and/or Benadryl should not be used with activated charcoal and/or bentonite clay.

If you have a remedy for side effects from the rabies vaccination for cats, please let us know!

Scroll down to see what Earth Clinic readers have found helpful in treating side effects.


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Julee (Midway, Georgia USA) on 12/01/2008

I swear by activated charcoal for removing toxins from my dogs and cats and also for infections and tooth problems also used it effectively for a poisonous snake or spider bite...Maybe it is worth a try for vaccination problems.I usually give the dogs one activated charcoal pill when the problem appears and one more 12 hours later...with the pill in a can of catfood usually works.

Dietary Changes

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Mike (Fairfield, CT) on 03/13/2009

I would highy recommend a book called "The Nature of Animal Healing" by Marty Goldstein. He is a holistic vet in South Salem, NY. We took our cat there after he developed cronic renal failure which my wife and I feel was caused by a rabies booster shot. You will be horrified about what these shots and the commercial pet food industry has done and is doing to our pets. Our cat is doing much better since seeing Dr. Marty and he now only eats poached chicken and baby sweet potatoes. Dr. Marty believes in feeding our pets what we eat (yes with restrictions). Buy this book. PS I am not related to Dr. Marty nor get any royalties from him. I just care about my cat. He's my pal

General Feedback

Posted by Goldencat (Akron, Oh) on 10/02/2013

We use a feline specialist that taught me much about vaccines and who also called my kitten's breeder to tell her off about his reaction to topical flea killer Revolution. (diff topic)

Cats have sensitivity to rabies vaccine. There is ONE manufacturer that makes a safe one for them, given annually not 5-7 years like the conventional one. No, not the initial "kitten" vasccine, which is also a one year. ASk your feline AVBCF vet what vaccine it is - don't let a standard vet push the usual one on you. Sensitive cats develop tumors/(some) cancers at the injection sites, and especially when it is given in the old choice of sites: between the shoulder blades.

Also: she has seen "a number" of kittens tragically injured for life by the old live virus nasal vaccines. They developed brain damage from the live virus.

Worse, these are still (as of 2012) sold OTC to breeders and such who do their own vaccinations. My vet had a fit when she saw my new kitten's vaccine papers from the breeder - called the manufacturer and demanded to know why it was still being made available, and that third parties were reselling it. (amazing lil ole lady vet! )

Insist on ONLY a killed nasal vaccine for your cats.

Further - the FELV vaccine is mostly ineffective, and has high side effects, according to Winn Feline's site and the several vets I mentioned it to. A waste of time. Overall, data I saw indicates 60% failure to provide immunity. It's a hot debate, you'll see lots of pro-vaccine arguments.

AND, also in agreement with the board certified feline vet - we do NOT vaccinate the same day as another procedure, like dental cleaning. Nor if the cat is recovering from something else, even ear mites. To reduce immune system stressors and chance of a bad reaction in the cat. (yes, more sensitive than dogs, but this last bit applies to dogs too.)


3 User Reviews
5 star (2) 
4 star (1) 

Posted by Denise (Napa, Ca) on 08/07/2011

I am so thankful for this wedsite and people sharing I to am using thuja it is helping my cat she seems to be getting a little better I put 3 pellets in a shot glass with bottled water when they melted I gave her some with an eye dropper I give her half full dropper every 2 hrs. I will never give my cats a rabies shot I have 5 cats she is the only one who had the shot I will not put my other cats thru this.

Posted by Patricia (Tucson, Arizona) on 01/01/2009

Thuja- I used the remedy described in early comments for Thuja, exactly as described for my Cream Champagne Mackeral Tabbie cat, Jojo. I took him for his annual vaccinations (he previously had the recommended sets of kitten boosters a year ago, December 2007 was the second booster) and he recieved FVRCPC, FELV and Rabies Feline 3 Year shots. I did this fully believing that this is good for his protection and I wanted my bebe to be taken care of. He weighed in at 16.9 lbs, and is currently 19 months old (DEC 08). Very healthy, enough that the vet and his assistant had very nice compliments about him. Jojo is a sweet tempered cat and still a baby in personality, charming many who meet him with his baby-like face and personality. I was with him while he recieved his shots and he came home fine, bouncy as usual. The next morning was not fine, he was sweaty looking, clamped onto the sofa and fearful when I tried to pick him up, growling when I did manage to pick him up (I never heard him growl before) and the space between his shoulders appeared puffy and he "flickered" his fur there constantly. He actually trembled when I tried to pick him up again. I have never seen a reaction like this before and to say the least it is still distressing! I just tried to let him be still and tried not to scare him that I would touch him. I re-read the paper sent home about reactions to vaccines and the looked it up on the internet. Through "The Pet Whisperer" I came here on a link. I read some of the statements and was beside myself of what to do. I got the impression a regular vet would be extremely costly and still not effective. But I did read the Thuja remedy and an Activated Charcoal remedy. I wrote both down and went to Whole Foods Market and found both. I made the Thuja as described and started with that. Jojo accepted the liquid easily and gratefully. At this point he still stayed curled and hadn't moved from where I had left him. In about two hours Jojo got up on his own and went to his food bowl and ate a little. I gave him another dropper then and another before bed, a few hour later. He was impressively better. He was still a little shy and fearful of me petting his shoulders, but this next morning let me pet him as usual and appears to not have discomfort or pain. I will continue the droppers today and maybe tomorrow, if it appears to be neccessary. I do not believe I will be getting him vaccinated again! He is an indoor cat and I don't want this to happen again! I wish I would have known about this before. Now I am so grateful someone shared specific information and explained it so I felt it worth a try! My "monkey" is a part of my life, he came to me off the street and found my house somehow, as kindred spirits do. Thank you for being here! Through stories we tell we can help each other and someone's story helped me.

Replied by Patricia
(Tucson, Arizona)

Again I have used the Thuja remedy for a Bombay female feline, 1.5 years old, that I adopted from our local Humane Society at an adoption Fair at a local PetsMart. She had already been spayed and given shots to prepare her for the adoption, as their responsible practice dictates. I noticed her belly was firm and she was very shy, staying at the back of the cage, but she came to me when the volunteer opened the door for me and was very loving. She is jet black with gold and green eyes, with even her toenails being black. I took her adoption ID collar off at home and noticed her fur was rough and shorter where the collar had rubbed it. Her fur was thinned, although I didn't find bald spots, and it seemed dry. Her inner eyelids were showing at the corners, a sign of unwellness in cats. She would hiss when I would try to reach for her in her hiding places (normal for a cat who is afraid and does not know someone, but a reminder of my previous incident with Jojo) but she would be very affectionate as soon as I began to pet her and never applied teeth or claws. What a sweetie! I re-read the stories after a search for this remedy again because I felt inside that maybe her hissing was not all out of fear. I gave her 1 dose, crushing and melting the tiny tablet in 1/3 shot glass of bottled water and using an eyedropper to give the liquid under her tongue. I did not touch the tablet, just dropped it into the glass from the vial. She was out and about my home within a couple of days and has not been hissing since I gave her the remedy. I have only had her for about 3 weeks, her fur is glossy and jet to the skin and her eyes are clear and bright. She is bouncy and affectionate, since the second day she came home and I believe the remedy helped clean out her system from the vaccinations and surgery medications (they told me she had antibiotics after surgery). Although she was pretty then, Nola is shiney and smooth now! PS She adores Jojo, see my story from 01/01/2009. I am so grateful for the stories people share here! Thank you all!

Vitamin C

Posted by Suseeq (Sydney, Australia) on 07/31/2017

Before you take dog or cat for vaccinations, put it on vit c one week before.