Can Cats Get Rabies? Learn how to detect and prevent rabies in cats

Can Cats Get Rabies?

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Rabies is a virus that is generally not associated with cats as it is very rarely seen in the small animal. But it can be fatal if not diagnosed and treated at the right time.

Cats are amazing pets, but they can also be a little bit scary. There are many things that can make your cat's behavior seem strange, like the way she likes to crawl into the laundry basket for no reason at all or how she's always really good about using the cat litter box.

But there is one thing that could mean something horrible for your cat: rabies. Rabies is a disease caused by viruses in certain animals (like dogs), and it can be transmitted through direct contact with an infected animal, like a bat or raccoon. It's usually fatal if untreated. Keep reading to learn more about this terrible disease and how you can protect your cat from it.

Cats Are Prone To Rabies

You may have heard that cats are immune to rabies. This is not true! While it's unlikely for cats to be bitten by a rabid animal and contract the disease, they can still get rabies. A cat can get rabies if it's bitten by an infected animal or eats infected meat, such as:

? Raccoons

? Bats

? Skunks

While rarer transmission cases occur through exposure to other animals like foxes or coyotes (or even humans), cats are at risk of contracting the virus from these species. 

Symptoms Of Rabies In Cats

Rabies is a viral disease that affects the nervous system. It causes inflammation in the brain and spinal cord, which can lead to a variety of symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms along with treatments are mentioned below:

  • An infected cat will experience a rise in body temperature and fever. To ease the same, the veterinarian may prescribe some antibiotics for cats.

  • The cat may also experience vomiting while suffering from rabies. It is best to get pet medicine prescribed for treating the vomits.

  • Anorexia is an eating disorder and can be a severe side effect of rabies in cats. It is important to keep track of their diet and ensure to feed them timely. Weruva cat food can be a good option to help your cat feed.

  • Dysphagia or difficulty swallowing is also developed in cats when infected by rabies. An automatic pet feeder can help in feeding your cat when it faces a problem feeding itself.

  • Ataxia or loss of coordination has also been observed in cats infected by rabies.  

  • An infected cat can develop diplopia or double vision when suffering from rabies. Using prescribed eye drops for cats can help them ease the symptoms. 

Rabies Virus (Type 1)

This is the most common type of rabies found in North America and causes aggressive behavior with paralysis and death within 10 days after symptoms first appear; it's spread through saliva or brain tissue from infected animals. 

How To Help Heal A Cat With Rabies

There is a treatment for rabies, but it’s only effective if it’s given before any symptoms of rabies appear. If your cat has been exposed to the rabies virus and you see any signs of illness, call your veterinarian immediately. Following is a list of treatments to help the infected cat:

  • Try to keep the cat quiet and calm. Acepromazine shots are generally administered by the veterinarian to help the cat calm down. Interactive cat toys can be used to indulge and entertain the cat.

  • Keep the cat's head elevated so that it does not have to strain to drink water or eat. An automatic pet feeder will be a good solution to help the cat feed easily.

  • Ensure to have a nutritious diet for your cat. There also are several brands, like Purina One, Nulo cat food, etc., to help provide the required nutrients.

  • Make sure that you keep up with administering fluids orally and through subcutaneous injections, as well as force-feeding if necessary.  

Avoid Contact With Sick Animals

Rabies is a serious condition that can be caused by a virus. The virus is passed from animals to humans, but it’s also possible for your cat to get rabies if they come into contact with a wild animal. The good news is that there are ways you can prevent your pet from being exposed to the disease.

It's always better not to touch strange animals because there's no telling what diseases they might have picked up. If there's an animal wandering around outside, call animal control. This way, there won't be any surprises later when trying to feed Temptations cat treats or petting them.

While taking care of your sick cat, it is also important to maintain a safe distance from the cat, and avoid any physical exposure, as around 59000 people die due to rabies each year as per a research by La Jolla Institute for Immunology.

Vaccination Is The Best Way To Protect Your Cat

Vaccination is the best way to protect your cat from diseases, including rabies. Cats that get bitten by an infected animal can contract the virus if they aren't vaccinated against it or if they haven't received their booster shots. However, rabies isn't as common in cats as it is in dogs: only one in every 10 million cats will get rabies.

Unfortunately, there are no symptoms until an infection has progressed to its final stages, which is why vaccinating your pet remains an important part of preventing them from getting sick at all! Your doctor will give them a vaccination called an anti-rabies vaccine in their shoulder muscle every one to three years until they are ten years old. 


The most important thing to remember is that rabies is a fatal disease and cannot be treated. The best way to prevent rabies infections in cats is by giving proper pet medicine and vaccinating them, and keeping them inside. If you suspect your cat may have been exposed to rabies, call your vet immediately for advice on how best to proceed.

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