Rabies in cats, symptoms, forms of the disease, vaccinations


Rabies in cats is a disease manifested by fits of rage. It is caused by the pathogen Rabies virus. Under laboratory conditions, it is found in the internal organs of animals and their salivary glands. The pathology leads to damage to the nervous system and is very severe, in most cases ending in death.

Carriers of the disease are considered predatory animals living in the wild. Cats become infected with rabies after eating sick rodents or during fights with sick wolves, foxes, jackals. The incubation period of the disease in adult cats is long, up to 3 to 6 weeks. In kittens it varies from 5 to 7 days.

Forms of rabies in cats, their signs

The disease occurs in 3 varieties: violent, mild/paralytic and atypical. In the first case, rabies manifests itself by a change in the animal’s behavior. The cat becomes lethargic, loses its appetite, and shuns human society. But there are also the opposite cases, when the animal becomes annoying and constantly rubs the feet of the owners. As the pathology progresses, the pet becomes fearful and restless, and may scratch others.

The main signs of rabies in cats are abundant salivation and throat constriction, which prevents the animals from drinking. In fits of rage, cats are able to attack people, but then their condition changes to depressed.

In its mild form, rabies does not manifest itself at first. The animal may be affectionate and behave as usual, but its saliva already contains a dangerous pathogen. After 2 to 4 days, the cat becomes restless and may bite. Symptoms of the paralytic form include signs of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, large amounts of saliva, drooping jaw, and difficulty swallowing.

In the atypical form of rabies, all signs of gastritis and enteritis appear. The pet opens with vomiting and diarrhea, and exhaustion sets in. This stage is difficult to recognize the disease due to the similarity of its signs with the clinical picture of other diseases.

Treatment of rabies in cats

A reliable preventive measure against rabies is the vaccination of animals. Thus, if the cat has regular access to the outdoors, it must be vaccinated. Annual vaccination is also recommended for pets that do not come into contact with other companions.

If scratches and bites are noticed in a pet that frequently walks outside and behavioral changes are observed, the pet should be seen by a veterinarian. To prevent infection, the owner should wear thick rubber gloves and then take the cat to the veterinarian. Rabies cases should also be reported to the Animal Trapping Service, which will isolate the infected cat.

As for the drug therapy for rabies, unfortunately, it has not yet been developed because of the lack of appropriate drugs. Therefore, timely vaccination remains the only way to combat the deadly virus.