Dog ate chocolate?

ask a vet

Can rabbits carry rabies?

Species: Other
Breed: cat
Age: Less than 3 mon
I am wondering what the chances of a baby wild rabbit having rabies is. The baby is normal acting, though rather tame. My cat tried to pick her up and the rabbit scratched him on the nose. The scratch is light and hardly bled.

The cat is just a kitten so hasn't yet been vaccinated but has a appointment to do so.

I know they're mammals so they can technically have rabies, but I am wondering if it's likely in a baby or if rabbits are even able to transmit it. Like I said, the bunny was acting normal. It was tame enough that I could catch it and release it outside, but wasn't paralyzed or anything. We live in Colorado, and rabies is fairly prevalent in skunks and bats, but not rodents. Thanks.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Sorry to hear that your cat got scratched by a rabbit. While rabbits can carry rabies, the chances that this little rabbit had rabies and transmitted rabies to your cat are really small.

We rarely see bunnies with rabies and that is because in order for them to get rabies they would have had to have been bitten by a rabid animal. If this happened, then the bunny likely would have died and would not still be running around. Next, in order to transmit rabies, saliva has to be injected into the animal. In other words, a scratch would not transmit rabies, but a bite possibly could.

So, if your cat was scratched by a bunny I would not be worried much about the possibility of him contracting rabies.

The biggest concern I would have would be for infection. I wouldn't do anything for the small scratch at this point, but if you notice it getting red and sore or if your cat is lethargic and doesn't want to eat then you'll need to see the vet for some antibiotics. Most likely everything will be fine though!

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...

Chronic diarrhea. Hi, My 2 1/2 year old Siberian has had chronic diarrhea for the past 4 weeks.... (12217 views)

Worms in kittens. Hey there, I just got two 9 week old kittens. They have had their shots but they... (69002 views)

Weakness in legs and thirsty. Dear Dr. Marie, Sammy has been having weakness in hind legs,difficulty standing... (11703 views)

Can a dog adapt to a new home? Hello, thanks for taking the time to review my question. Ok, here it goes...The... (7779 views)

Pug died suddenly. My 8 year old female pug just died. My husband came home from work and she had... (24045 views)

Sore head from bow. Hello, My dog got her bow caught and it ripped the hair out of the top of her head.... (6614 views)

Golden Retriever Losing Weight. Hi my dog is 13 years old ,and tough he acts fine ,and goes walking everyday,he has... (16424 views)

Not eating or drinking because lonely? i have a puppy i've had her in the backyard now my sister had an inspection at her... (7869 views)

Cerebellar hypoplasia? Hello Dr Marie, I recently found an abandoned feral kitten in the street who was... (9050 views)

Cisapride to a cat that is not eating? My cat has mega colon and been on cisapride and lactulose for 2 1/2 years. She has... (9878 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.