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Is Rabies Still a Threat to Cats?

We know you love your cat, and vaccinating avoids putting them at an unnecessary risk. Wild animals have been known to get in to houses through an open door, screen or chimney. And if your cat is exposed, the consequences can be grave. There is no cure for rabies, so not vaccinating your indoor cat for the disease can be a deadly risk. That’s why we encourage you to have all cats vaccinated, even if he/she spends all of the time indoors.

Ten percent of rabies cases are found in domesticated animals, and cats make up more than half of those cases, according to the Center for Disease Control.

Over this past summer in Hillsborough County there was a Rabies Alert issued after 2 cats were tested positive for Rabies, and issued the following advice:

  • Keep rabies vaccinations up to date for all pets.
  • If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately and contact the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center at (813) 744-5660.
  • Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals by leaving pet food outside, or garbage cans open.
  • Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home.
  • Teach children never to handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly.
  • Prevent bats from entering living quarters or occupied spaces in homes, churches, schools, and other similar areas, where they might come in contact with people and pets.

Persons who have been bitten or scratched by wild or domestic animals should seek medical attention and report the injury to the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County at (813) 307-8059.

For further information on rabies, go to the Florida Department of Health website.

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