9 Early Symptoms of Rabies In Cats (must know!)

When it comes to your cat, you ought to know at least one or two knowledge of common diseases that can influence the condition of your fluffy pet. In the worst case scenario, some of these illnesses may result in a fatal death. Rabies is one of the well-known diseases that is capable of bringing such thing to your beloved animals.

The reason why rabies can lead to a life-threatening event is caused by a virus called lyssaviruses. The viral infection targets the brain and the central nervous system of any affected mammal, human included. The virus itself is passed via the saliva of rabid animals, which spread to others over their bites or even their own claws that had been licked before. Although the rare occasion, the transmission can also occur through mucous membranes and a newly open wound.

Do not want this to happen to your cat, but you better prepare yourself. Knowing the symptoms and its prevention is the best thing you can do to minimize the probability.

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The nine early symptoms of rabies in cats

It takes one until three days after the infection before felines show their first symptoms, which lasts for three to eleven weeks as the symptoms get worse. However, it is quite difficult to diagnose this kind of disease in its early stage since many will perplex and relate it to other diseases.

Therefore, it is best to recognize some symptoms in cats that can be suspected as rabies disease. These are nine early signs of rabies in cats that you must know:


1. Behavioral changes

It is the most common and apparent symptom that may happen to cats who infected with rabies. This is marked by the sudden change of cats’ usual self, means it can vary according to the different cat. A relatively anxious and shy cat may suddenly beg for a rub and becomes hyperactive, while a cat that usually stretches his head against human may run away upon an attempt of direct contact and is often found in solitude. It can also affect their habit as a nocturnal animal since they begin to walk around during the daytime. Although it is clearly visible, some people may easily neglect it, as they reason it with a personal issue.

2. Loss of appetite

Although the lack of appetite is not an exclusive feature of rabies, you may check the possibility if this issue occurs. Cats’ reluctance to touch their meal might be a sign of this ailment. Besides, it can also be related to other different illnesses. Learn the further details here: Top Causes of Why Cat Won’t Eat and How to Treat It

3. Excessive vocalization

The immoderate and wild meowing, purring or crying can be marked as one of the early symptoms of rabies in cats. This symptom occurs as the cat makes too much sound without any obvious reason, often happens during the night or day. Though it may relate to pain or cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS).

4. Pupil dilation

If the cat’s pupils suddenly become wider and do not give any significant response to light, it might be a sign of the cat carrying the fatal disease. The strange enlarged pupils’ occurrence may also be caused by brain trauma and glaucoma.

5. Muscle weakness

Once a cat develops the early symptom of rabies, he might have to bear with the muscular weakness. This kind of symptom is noticeable because the cat can no longer sustain its own body, resulting in loss of balance and reflex as well as difficulty in breathing.

6. Seizure

Once the seizure initiates, the cat will quickly fall, jolt its feet and may become stiff in process. Furthermore, It may urinate, excrete and natter between 30 to 90 seconds.

7. Excessive drolling

Also known as ptyalism, this medical condition describes an overwhelming production of saliva that occurs as the result of an injury, either in the central of cat’s nervous system or within oral cavity where saliva stored.

8. Fever

You may take precautions when your cat is diagnosed with a fever as this disease is classified as one of the symptoms of rabies. Cats get a fever when their temperature reaches more than 102.5º Fahrenheit. It will get worse when it hits 106º F as it is possible to inflict damage to your cat’s organs.

9. Biting tendency

Cat’s new habit of biting objects is a major symptom in its early infection of rabies. As cat become aggressive, this animal will bite or scratch anything that comes on sight. It is best to keep yourself away because there is a chance you may become infected too.

Preventing your cat from rabies

Proven as a viral disease that can send the host to its own grave, it is best for pet owners to not taken this matter lightly. Hence, a pet that is allowed to roam outside has the greater chance of receiving the disease from the bites of stray or wild animals that have already been affected.

Therefore, the description below shows you how to prevent your cat from this life-threatening disease. You might need to take notes as you scroll down the page.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) strongly suggests the use of rabies vaccine as an act of preventing the disease, especially for the cat that allowed outside.  These are four points of how important the vaccine for your own cat:

  • Ask a vet for vaccination. Apparently, it has become a regulation in many areas in the US.
  • You are suggested to take the vaccine, as it will be taken as an evidence if your cat is proven to bite someone in the future. Otherwise, your pet will be quarantined upon local ordinances for a long time or even worse–your cat might be given euthanasia.
  • For that reason, the vaccination given to your cat can serve multiple purposes at once: protecting the cat from rabies as well as the authorities.
  • In some cases, where local government does not require rabies vaccination, the choice is best given to the veterinarian and the cat owner, especially for cats that suffer serious side effect to the vaccine.

Vaccination is probably the only best option your feline has in limiting contact with rabies. By giving it on a regular basis, your cat will be immune to rabies. A cat should receive the first vaccine around three months old. The next shot will be provided every one to three years.

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