Cat Vaccination Requirements in Michigan

Keep cats indoors for safety.
Keep cats indoors for safety. (Image: cat image by maxthewildcat from

Michigan cat vaccination laws vary depending on the city, but most cities require a current rabies vaccine for all cats. While vaccines are available for many of the contagious diseases spread by and to cats, the surest way to keep your cat safe is to always keep it indoors.


In most cities in Michigan, a rabies vaccination is required by law for every cat over 6 months of age that is registered to your name. There are one year and three year vaccines available. Your cat can be vaccinated by your veterinarian at its annual examination, or at a clinic offered by the Humane Society. Rabies is often a fatal disease. It is transported through the saliva of animals and affects the nervous system. Rabies can also be transmitted to humans. If a human is bitten by an infected animal, he should seek medical treatment immediately. If your cat is not vaccinated and bites someone, it must be quarantined for rabies observation.

Feline Distemper

Panleukopenia, feline distemper, is a highly transmittable disease that travels from cat to cat. There are no laws surrounding the feline distemper vaccine, but it is highly recommended that your cat receive the vaccination annually when it is examined by your veterinarian. Panleukopenia is transmitted through infected saliva, urine or feces. If your cat becomes infected you might notice a loss of appetite, depression, weight loss, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, swollen lymph nodes or anemia. If your cat exhibits any of these signs, it should be promptly examined by your veterinarian.

Feline Leukemia

Feline leukemia, which is sometimes abbreviated as FeLV, is an immuno-suppressing disease that is spread cat to cat via any bodily fluid: saliva, urine, feces, blood and placental fluids. This disease is easily spread through mutual grooming, communal litter boxes, sharing food and water dishes and biting. A vaccine is available, and while it is not required by Michigan law, it is recommended that your cat be vaccinated annually by your veterinarian. While cats with feline leukemia can live long, relatively normal lives, they should be kept away from other cats so that they do spread the infection. Infected cats should not receive the FeLV vaccine.

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