This article aims to promote a debate over the actual and (possibly) future increasing relevance of the domestic cat concerning public health, with emphasis on rabies (animal/urban) control. Scientific literature on the specific role played by cats, especially with respect to zoonoses is scarce. This species is becoming the most popular pet in the western urban context. This is particularly because of the lifestyle adopted by the population, who live in smaller houses and have little time available for pet care, relegating dogs to a less preferential position. Cats do not predominate as domestic animals in Brazil yet, but if these animals soon become the preferential pets in our country, strategies adopted during anti-rabies vaccination campaigns will need to be reviewed. Furthermore, the ethological features of the domestic felid will have to be considered, so that a more suitable approach for the vaccination of the recommended number of animals can be established.
Rabies; zoonoses; domestic animals; cat