How to Tell If a Cat Has Rabies

How to Tell If a Cat Has Rabies : Symptoms, Warning Signs and More

If you're a cat lover, the word rabies might be a familiar term. As pet owners, you're aware of the danger that it poses to you and your feline companion. We have all heard of the word rabies, but what is it exactly?

Rabies is a common viral disease that affects the nervous system of mammals. It is particularly common in cats, dogs, and also in humans. There are millions of animals affected by this disease, with a rising count of afflicted people in the last 20 years.

The most common means of transmission is from being bitten by an infected animal. Once the saliva of the critter enters the body, there is a 100 percent chance that you are going to be affected. Nonetheless, there are ways to spot if your cat has rabies. All it takes is a sharp eye and an observant aptitude.


Look Out for Alarming Signs: Rabies Symptoms Seen in Animal Behavior

cat has rabies

If you have suspicions that your cat has been infected, it is necessary to take action right away. An infected animal poses a risk to you and the other people in the community.

Unvaccinated cats that are exposed to wild animals have the greatest chance of being infected with rabies. It's less likely for an indoor cat to get this viral disease unless they had interacted with an infected critter.

The best way to assess if your cat is at risk is by observing its behavior. Look out for these alarming signs and bring the animal to your vet right away if you observe the following:

  • Seizures
  • Difficulty to swallow
  • Fever
  • Pica
  • Being more excited
  • Characteristic drop of the jaw
  • Fear of water or hydrophobia
  • Mood swings, rapid change in personality and attitude
  • Rapid change in behavior, aggression
  • Lack of muscle coordination
  • Salivation or excessive production of saliva leading to dripping

Once you notice these symptoms it is advisable to put your cat in a crate or a cage right away. This is a necessary preventive measure to ensure that it won't bite and infect another household feline.

Try to limit the interaction your cat and other members of the family. 


Take the Cat to Your Vet: Have Your Cat Tested for Rabies

injecting vaccine

After placing your cat under quarantine. the critter would be observed in a cage for a period of 10 days. Within this time, it is important to take note of the different symptoms of rabies.

It is also fitting to call a vet or a health inspector to examine your cat during the 10-day quarantine. Unless there is a clear indication that the animal has rabies, the health inspector will not order to put it down.


Post Mortem Diagnosis: The Antibody Test

rabies vaccine

If you take prompt action or you detect that your pet has rabies early on, you may not come to the point that you have to submit your animal's dead carcass for testing.

But if your cat has already passed onto the next life, chances are inspectors will conduct a fluorescence antibody test to confirm rabies.

The test would be performed by a laboratory approved by the state to make a rabies diagnosis. Vets will collect samples from your cat's dead body.


What to Do When Your Cat Has Rabies

cat with kid

Let's face it, no matter how careful you are with handling your cat, it may come in contact with animals that have rabies.

It may be a hard decision to make but when your cat begins to show symptoms of rabies, you need to accept that your cat has a slim chance of survival.

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