Rabies in cats is a viral infection that affects their central nervous system (CNS). This disease is deadly and can be transmitted to humans. To prevent it, it is important that you detect the signs and symptoms of the disease as early as possible. That way, you can prevent transmission and initiate treatment promptly.
Rabies in Cats: Symptoms and Treatments | Cat Symptoms Guide
What is Rabies in Cats?
Rabies is a deadly virus spread through the saliva when an infected animal bites. Sometimes, scratches, especially when nails contain saliva with the virus, can also spread the virus .
Statistics list cats as the most reported animal raised domestically. If a wild animal, cat, or dog has recently bitten your cat, make sure you know the classic symptoms of the disease. Take your cat to the veterinarian immediately.
The rabies virus does not survive outside a host’s body for long. Just remember, saliva carries high amounts of the virus in the animal’s saliva, and you can receive rabies through bites.
Symptoms of Feline Rabies
There are three clinical phases of rabies in cats, and they have different manifestations. The phases include prodromal, paralytic and furious.
In the early stage of the disease (prodromal), a cat may not exhibit any symptoms at all, or they may show only mild symptoms of central nervous system (CNS) abnormalities. Usually, this stage lasts from one to three days. The symptoms during this phase of the infection include anxiety, irritability, behavioral changes, and fever.
Some felines may progress to either paralytic or furious stages, or a combination of the two. The furious stage of rabies in cats is characterized by extreme irritability, viciousness, and aggression. Felines with this type of rabies are easily provoked and can attack anytime. Hence, when you observe your cat in this manner, make sure you protect yourself and avoid being bitten. In some cases, cats exhibit seizures that may lead to death.
On the other hand, in paralytic rabies the cat will have paralysis of the mouth and throat muscles. This type is also termed as “dumb rabies.” Your cat may drool excessively, because they can’t swallow saliva. Other symptoms include shortness of breath, slack-jaw, and an inability to swallow.
Treating Rabies in Cats
Unfortunately, there is no cure for rabies in cats, especially once the symptoms appear. The disease will eventually result in death. If rabies in cats is suspected, the animal should be kept in quarantine to prevent him from injuring other animals or humans.
The only way to prevent rabies in cats is through vaccination. When the cat reaches 3 to 4 months old, he can already receive the vaccine. Your veterinarian will usually give a booster when the cat is one year old. Vaccination is important not only for cats but for dogs, too. Also, if an animal infected with rabies has bitten you, seek a globulin shot, which is an antibody to fight the infection, immediately.
Learn more about rabies in cats through this video by Bayside Animal Hospital:
Rabies in cats is a deadly and scary disease because it has no cure. The best way to prevent this infection is to vaccinate your cats appropriately. Talk with your veterinarian about the vaccination schedule for your cat.
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