Cats and Rabies

Rabies has long been associated with dogs, but in no way does this mean that cat’s aren’t free from them.

Though most currently reported rabies cases hail from encounters with wild animals like foxes, bats, skunks and raccoons, 7 percent of reported rabies cases still come from domestic environments, typically involving cats and/or dogs.

If your child or a child you know happens to get himself/herself bitten by a stray or unknown, rabid looking cat, caution is still the best course of action, apart from administering first aid.

Cat Bites – What to do

All warm blooded creatures are at risk of getting rabies, cats included.

Though fairly low in terms of rabies risk, cat bites should be given serious attention, given the fact that no cure for rabies has yet been found, with death being the often encountered outcome.

Properly cleaning a bite wound would be the first course of action, ensuring that no bacterial buildup or infections would rise from the wound. If “rabies suspicions” are strong, it’s advised to have the cat in question quarantined and observed, to help animal experts verify if the cat actually has rabies or not, then take decisive action.

In cases where quarantining the cat is not possible (most likely it go away), doctors, healthcare specialists and animal control agencies recommend administering rabies shots (typically a series of five) and immune globulin (HRIG) in ensuring the safety of the bite victim.

Unprovoked attacks are often linked with rabies bites, and getting a firm grasp of the cat bite situation would help assess the potentials and possibilities of a rabies presence. Provoked attacks, however, don’t necessarily translate as non-rabies threats.

Attacks after petting a cat or trying to pick it up may be considered as less rabies suspicious (since, obviously, the cat didn’t want to be bothered), but it’s not a 100% assurance that it is not a rabies case in the making.

Bottom line, just because rabies more common in dogs doesn’t mean cats don’t have them too.

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