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Rabies In Cats – Signs, Precautions & Treatments

Rabies In Cats
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Rabies mainly damages the cat’s CNS or central nervous system. The most common way in which rabies virus gets transmitted is via a bite through a disease carrier. They are mostly bats, skunks, racoons, dogs, and foxes.

Once the rabies virus gets into the cat’s body, the virus affects all the nerve fibres, including motor, sensory, and peripheral nerves. They travel via fluid through the nerves, and the average incubation of the virus is normally between 1 to 3 months.

Can Rabies Virus Enter humans Via Cat Scratch?

The viral polioencephalitis consists of zoonotic traits, are easily prone to human intervention. They are passed via the infected animal’s saliva and are easily spread through animal bites.

Yes, it’s likely to get rabies through a cat scratch, although it’s quite uncommon.

Signs Of Rabies In Cats

There are at least two types of rabies

  1. Furious
  2. Paralytic

In the prodromal stage, the felines will display mild symptoms of CNS damage. This period usually lasts not more than three days on an average. The cats will now either enter the paralytic or furious stage, or a mix of both the types.

Furious rabies signs:

  • Attack behaviour
  • Overt aggression
  • Behavioural changes

Paralytic rabies signs:

  • Paralysis
  • Loss of coordination
  • Dumb rabies

Being a fast-growing virus, the cat will have very less chance of survival and the prognosis will be poor.

Some of the other signs of rabies in cats include

  • Frothy saliva
  • Larynx paralysis
  • Changes in behaviour and attitude
  • Excessive irritability
  • Above normal aggression
  • Lack of muscular coordination
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Jaw trouble
  • Hydrophobia
  • Seizures
  • Fever
  • Pica

Causes Of Rabies

The rabies virus belongs to the family Rhabdoviridae. It’s easily passed through infected animal’s saliva or blood. Contracting rabies via gases emanating from decomposing carcasses are quite rare but cannot be ruled out completely.

Diagnosing Rabies

If you find your cat behaving in an awkward manner, contact your vet without wasting any more time. Your vet will observe the animal in a cage for a period of 10 days. The infected animal’s urine, saliva, skin, brain, are tested. In America, the vet conducts a “fluorescence antibody test”  and at times he may decide to euthanize the cat.

Treating Rabies In Cats

Show vaccination document to your vet if your cat is actually vaccinated. Also, if someone comes into contact, ask them to meet a doctor for treatment. If the case turns out positive, the cat owner should inform the health department.

An unvaccinated cat may be kept under locks for anything close to 6 months. A vaccinated cat will be quarantined for at least 10 days.

How To Manage Cats With Rabies?

Clean the area the cat might have accidentally infected and do not come into contact. Suppose your cat has gobbled a ball, never remove it from its mouth without necessary precautions. Saliva can easily enter your body, putting you at grave risk of infecting rabies virus.


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