What is rabies?
Rabies results in death among infected cats. Cats in the streets and even cats indoor can be potential sources of infection for humans and there is no treatment available against the disease – a reason why this disease has remained a major public health concern until now.
Rabies is caused by a virus. The disease is spread to other susceptible animals, not just cats but also other warm-blooded animals, through the saliva which contains the virus coming from an infected animal.
However, cats have been among the major concern because even the scratch from an infected cat’s claws can result to a spread of the disease. Why so? Because cats often groom themselves by licking at their coat and their paws, infected cats contaminate their paws with their infective saliva.
How can I and my cat get rabies?
Rabid animals, or animals that have been infected with rabies, can infect your cat through a bite or through the entry of the virus in the infective saliva in an open wound.
Humans can get the disease through a bite of an infected animal or even from another infected human. Wound contamination among humans with the infective saliva can also serve as method of infection in humans.
How do I know my cat has rabies?
The symptoms of the disease usually occur between ten days to several months following infection, depending on the location of the bite and how long will it take for the virus to reach the brain.
Of the forms of rabies, namely furious form and dumb form, cats most commonly experience the furious form. Signs and symptoms of rabies include:
- Change in behavior
- Restlessness and searching for dark areas for a hiding place
- Cat becomes vicious and attacks anything or anyone in its path whether humans or animals.
- Bright lights and loud noises can induce the so-called biting seizures
As the disease persists and progress into the paralytic state, the cat will show the following symptoms:
- Inability to swallow (even liquids)
- Severe salivation
- Frothing at the mouth
- Progressive immobilization of the body and the legs
- Lack of coordination
- Collapse and later, coma and death
Once your cat had been bitten by a stray animal or show any of the above mentioned symptoms, do not hesitate to call the vet in Naples. The vet will ask some questions and will give you instructions on how to deal with your cat.
By all means, avoid any contact with your cat without any instructions from the veterinarian. There is no cure for rabies so you might as well prevent yourself from being infected. Rabies vaccination, as a preventive, is highly recommended in all cats as required by law.
How can rabies be prevented?
The best way to prevent your cat from rabies is by vaccination. Cats are usually vaccinated after 12 weeks of age, again after 1 year and then every 3 years. Your Naples veterinarian can tell you the appropriate vaccination schedule for your pet.
Also, be a responsible pet owner and do not allow your cats to roam freely, especially if you live an area where there are wild animals (bats, foxes, skunks, raccoons).
An ounce of prevention is better than cure; this holds true to many cat diseases. Have your cats vaccinated against the common and often fatal diseases. There are vaccines which combine two or three or more disease in one shot and they are called combination vaccines.
The vet in Naples can tell you the convenience and the other benefits you and your cat will get out of these kinds of vaccine. Your vet can also assist you with issues regarding your cat’s health.