How to Tell If a Cat Has Rabies

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

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f you have a cat, you may want to learn about rabies. As a pet owner, you may have heard what rabies is and the amount of damage that it can do to your pet and to you. If you haven’t it pays to know how to tell if a cat has rabies and what you can do to protect yourself.

Rabies is a common viral disease that affects the nervous system of mammals. This is particularly common in cats, dogs, as well as humans. There are millions of animals affected by this disease and there are about 50,000 humans.

The most common means of transmission is through bites from an infected animal. Once the saliva of an animal enters the body, there is a 100 percent chance that you are going to be affected.


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

cat has rabies

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

Unvaccinated cats and felines 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 animal.

The best way to assess if your kitty is at risk is to observe its behavior. If you spend endless hours with your pet, you are familiar with their normal routine. Hence, you can tell if there is something wrong with them.

Look out for these alarming signs and bring the animal to your vet right away if you observe these symptoms:

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

Once you notice these symptoms in your feline, place your animal in a crate or a cage right away. This is a necessary preventive measure so the animal would not scratch or bite another feline in your household which could lead to the spread of the disease.

Try to limit the interaction between the feline and yourself or the children in your home.


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

injecting vaccine

If you have suspicions that your pet has been infected with the rabies virus, your best choice is to place it under quarantine. You would have to take a drive to the vet's office for this but it is a necessary precaution.

The quarantine may be carried out in the premises of the owner or at another area. Under this method, the animal would be placed in a cage for a period of 10 days. Within this period, it is important to determine if there is rabies in the animal's saliva when it bit a person or another animal.

The health inspector will be on the lookout for signs and symptoms that are indicative of rabies during the confinement period. Unless there is a clear indication that the animal has rabies, the health inspector will not order that the cat is put down.


Post Mortem Diagnosis: The Antibody Test

rabies vaccine

There is another method that you can rely on if you want to know if the kitty had rabies. Unfortunately, this method is only available when your kitty is already dead. 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.

One of the most popular methods used in the U.S. to tell whether a cat has rabies or not is the fluorescence antibody test. However, this is only conducted on dead animals. This test would be performed by a laboratory approved by the state to make a rabies diagnosis.

Through this method, you vet will collect samples from your dead animal. This would be the case when your feline died while being quarantined or there were obvious signs that it has been suffering from rabies.

If the rabies is too far gone that there is no chance that your pet will be cured, the vet would need to be euthanized to prevent it from infecting other animals or passing on rabies to humans.


What to Do When Your Cat Has Rabies

cat with kid

Let's face it, no matter how strict and careful you are with handling your cat, it may come in contact with rabies. We can't be with our pets all the time and these animals can be quite naughty and mischievous.

It may be a hard decision to make but when you are suspicious that the animal has rabies, you need to have realistic expectations which mean that you need to prepare yourself for its imminent death.

The thing about rabies is that it attacks the nervous system and it erases the personality of the pet you loved and adored. The aggressive and dangerous creature you have with you is no longer Fluffy; it is a walking zombie ready to infect others including you.

As much as you hate it, do the right thing. Call your vet and confirm if the animal has rabies, this is the best way to on how to tell if a cat has rabies. If you have any experience about rabid cats, share and tell us about what happened in the comment section.

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