The risk of getting rabies is one of the common concern when someone got bitten by animals. Either stray or even domestic animals may be exposed to rabies, which can be transmitted to humans through the animal saliva, so that animal bites usually become a threat. While dog bites, especially from those looking ill or rabid at the time of the incident are often suspected to carry rabies, cat bites remain questionable. A lot of people are not sure whether or not rabies shot is required after a cat bite.
Does cat bite cause rabies?
Cat bites or scratches, even from the kittens, should be a concern, since those can be harmful to the health. The bites and scratches are researched to carry a disease called CSD—the cat scratch disease, which in humans, causes the inflammation of the lymph nodes. This is a bacterial infection that is transmitted through the bites and scratches, as the cat’s mouth and claws are the harbor of various bacteria.
Although cat saliva is suspected to carry the bacteria causing the cat scratch disease, it is less connected to rabies disease compared to dogs, although the risk can still be found. Rabies is caused by a virus that is adapted to specific animal species. One of the species is dog, although in fact, major sources of rabies are skunks and raccoons, which normally lives in the wild. Although this fact may relieve some of you, who adore cats or live around them, do not neglect the fact that cats are not one hundred percent free of rabies. Although rabies infection through cat bites or scratches is relatively lower and rare, wild cats might carry this virus, and thus, their bites can be rabid. Rabid cats are commonly infected through a direct contact with the carrier stray animals.
How rabies spread inside human body after a cat bite
A couple of risk factors that may induce the speed of rabies virus for spreading inside the body include:
- The location of the incident. The closer the wound site with the brain, the quicker the thriving virus will spread.
- The severity of the bite. How long the animal’s teeth penetrate the skin also determines how high the risk of getting rabies is. Rabies virus will spread much more quickly if the teeth do not only penetrate the skin, but also the blood vessels beneath it, carrying the virus into the bloodstream.
- The type of animal involved. Wildlife is the greatest source of rabies, so that you might be exposed more to rabies if bitten by stray animals, such as the skunks, raccoons, or stray dogs and cats, although domestic animals can also possibly carry rabies.
- Whether or not the animal has been given rabies immunization. This also determines how quick rabies virus may infect a bitten victim. Rabies virus can be immobilized with rabies immunization, which is actually important for domesticized animals, such as home dogs, cats, or ferrets.
What to do if I’ve been bitten by rabid cats?
Rabies cannot be easily defined only by looking at the resulted wound. If you are bitten by a suspected-rabid cat, never attempt to catch the animal, especially if the animal acts strangely. Instead, call your doctor and explain the animal’s appearance and behavior to know your risk of being exposed to rabies. If you are bitten around the place where you live, call the animal control so that the animal cam be caught for quarantine. This is important, since rabies can be detected also by observing the involved animal behavior for at least ten consecutive days in quarantine. Meanwhile, you might need to talk to the doctor about getting the anti-rabies serum injection to inhibit rapid rabies virus development inside your body.