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



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...

Lump on boxer's neck. Hi, My six yr. old female boxer has a large AA egg size growth below the right tmj... (51530 views)

Regurgitating water. Hello, Dr Marie. My cocker spaniel just recently started regurgitating water. He... (11301 views)

Strange cat behavior. I've looked a bit online and have not quite found everything my cat is doing. I have... (46909 views)

Cat pawing at mouth My cat has been like this for 2 days now, he looked like he was chokeing at first,... (27068 views)

Sore pug. The first time we thought something was wrong was when we took him out for his usual... (5651 views)

Information on parvo virus. Hello dr., I am a senior in high school doing a senior project and my topic... (17104 views)

Swollen neck on a cat. my 4 month old male cat, desexed vaccinated and everything one more shot to go tho.... (5746 views)

Pregnant cat question. Back in March approx. around the 9th my cat Faith went into heat. During this time... (30474 views)

Surgery or rest for CCL tear. Dear Dr. Marie, My dog often limping recently and i've brought her to see a vet in... (8676 views)

Regular vs baby aspirin I have run out of baby aspirin so is it ok to give a dog just one low dose bayer... (20148 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.