The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Rabies in Cats

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Rabies in Cats

What are Rabies? Rabies is a viral infection of the central and peripheral nervous system in a feline. Rabies is a zoonotic disease that is found worldwide among carnivores and other mammals. This fatal disease is passed through the saliva of an infected animal with initial signs of a disturbance in the central nervous system. 

An infected feline will go through three symptomatic phases as the disease surges through the body. The feline will go from displaying a shy behavior to aggressive within ten days, dying after day ten from the initial sign of infection. Almost all infected animals die after being infected with the rabies virus, but a feline could survive if the pet owner takes the cat to seek veterinary consultation before the virus reaches the nervous system. Rabies is a viral disease that mainly affects carnivores, but can affect all mammals, including people. The rabies virus is actively spread through the saliva of an infected pet, transmittable through bites or scratches. In the United States, wildlife including; raccoons, skunk, fox, and bats are common vectors of the disease. However, stray dogs and cats are also carriers of the disease, as confrontation with wildlife is the norm. Rabies symptoms can appear as early as ten days after the feline was bitten and as late as a year. The virus affects the brain and nervous system, with initial signs of change in behavior. Rabies is a fatal, incurable disease that can easily infect humans if the proper precautions are not taken.   

Symptoms of Rabies in Cats Rabies attacks the brain, resulting in rather distinctive behavioral changes. From the initial sign of a rabies infection, your feline will go through a prodromal stage, a furious rabies or “mad-dog” stage, and finally a paralytic stage. Each of the three stages is characterized by different symptoms, as the virus slowly makes its way to the brain and turns the housecat into a vicious feline.  

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