Dog ate chocolate?

ask a vet

Rabies from a feral kitten?

Species: Cat
Breed: Shorthair
Age: 2-5 years
Dear Dr. Marie,


Greetings and I hope this e-mail reaches you in good health. I apologize in advance for your troubles as my question today is more about myself rather than an animal, although it does have to do with an animal. I am aware this is not a usual case but I hope my case is relevant.


4 months ago I encountered a feral street cat that I approached and petted. The cat had a very relaxed body language and was affectionate, rubbing off my legs and showed no resistance to neither my approach nor my petting. It seemed healthy. Now a few months later I am very worried it might have been rabid. This worry is irrational, as I live in Abu Dhabi where rabies cases are nonexistent. I just have an anxiety about it because of the fatality rates associated with this virus and the bothersome fact that it can have an incubation period for years in humans.


I am also aware about how the transmission works and unless I was bit or there was direct contact to an open wound or the eyes there is no worry for any sort of transmission. What is causing my entire problem is that after petting the cat I rubbed my eye with my hand, which is causing me to worry that the cat's eye fluid may have gotten on my finger tips and subsequently the virus could've made contact with my eye.


I have heard that cats can only transmit this virus well into the latter stages of their illness where the symptoms are apparent. But I cannot confirm this and my ignorance about this topic has troubled me and lead me to seek help from someone like your good self. I have mentioned the situation clearly and accurately. Is there a chance for rabies transmission from a seemingly healthy cat? 


Once again Im sorry to trouble you with this question and I hope you can help me. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.


Thank you so much for your time, effort and dedication.



Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi

From what you have described it sounds close to impossible for you to have gotten rabies from this feral cat. There are a few reasons why.

The first is the timeframe. Rabies has a very short incubation period. Most animals that are infected with rabies will die within 10 days. I would assume that this is the same for people. Given that it has been four months, you would know by now if you had rabies.

Next, rabies is transmitted by a deep bite wound as the virus resides in saliva. Fluid from the eye would not be likely to transmit rabies.

And the third thing is that we rarely see young kittens transmit rabies. This is because in order for the animal to get rabies they would have had to receive a deep bite wound from a wild animaland in most cases this would be fatal to a young kitten like this.

Still, with all of this said, I am not a human physician. If you are at all worried about your health I would recommend seeing your doctor.

Dr. Marie.


Do you have a pet website? Interested in learning more about SEO for Wix?


Check out our dog age calculator and cat age calculator.

Want to receive pet coupons, vet advice and info on new pet products in your inbox?

* indicates required

We'll only send you great stuff, never spam. Unsubscribe any time.

Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Search for similar questions:

ask a vet

Popular questions...

My dog wants to sniff everything. I have miniature schnauzer who refuses to poop in “timely manner outside. I take... (10666 views)

21 year old cat is dying. THIS IS URGENt, BUT I DON'T HAVE 15.00 RIGHT NOW!! i THINK MY 21 YEAR OLD CAT IS... (12524 views)

Meibomian gland adenoma questions. Hello Dr. Marie, What is the typical procedure to removal meibomian gland... (16163 views)

Wobbly after anesthesia. Hello Dr. Marie, I just have a few questions about Snova...he got shaved for the... (15039 views)

Feline leukemia questions. Hi-Recently we discovered that a stray cat had kittens in our garage. Only 2 in the... (12535 views)

Dog with wound. My pup is 7 months old and two days ago she dug out of her kennel and I didn't see... (18991 views)

Tracheal collapse. I was wondering if a mild case of collapse trachea in a 5 month old puppy will... (6785 views)

Blood from bum. Her butt was bleeding bad (out of the hole), the blood was thick and bright red. I... (18118 views)

Is parvo contagious? I am sorry to have to ask this for free. I have been unemployed for over a year now.... (9104 views)

Infected spay incision? My puppy was spade last Thursday and I'm worried her incision is not healing... (57220 views)

See all questions...

Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.