When bitten by either wild or domestic animals, you are not advised to wait until the symptoms of rabies occur to get an anti-rabies serum shot, especially if the animal is potentially suspected of carrying the virus. By seeing the animal’s behavior before, while, and after biting you, you will be able to determine your risk of having rabies from the bite. If you see one or more rabies symptoms in a cat biting you, get the shot immediately, since when untreated, rabies can be fatal both for the animal and the victim.
Signs of rabid cats
Rabies, although may thrive inside various animals, is not really common in cats. Some wild animals, such as bats, skunks, foxes, and raccoons are some more common rabies carriers. Cats can possibly be infected by rabies when get bitten or have a direct contact with these animals. Hence, it is important to observe the behavior of the cat biting you to initially encounter your risk of developing rabies. Some symptoms of rabid cats include:
- The cat looks ill and may be paralyzed before biting you. This symptom develop into a worse condition once the cat bites another animal or a human. The cat may experience seizures and lack of muscles coordination.
- Most cats do not like water, but a rabid cat is almost always has hydrophobia—an extreme phobia of water.
- The cat may have a dropped jaw and hyper salivation or dripping salivation.
- The cat might be extremely shy and afraid of humans, but extremely aggressive at the same time.
Signs of rabies in cat-bitten humans
Rabies has varied incubation time, in that the symptoms of the infection may occur shortly after an animal bite or be delayed for weeks or even months. However, although do not show visible symptoms, rabies virus is thriving inside the body. Therefore, when rabies symptoms occur after animal bites, it is likely to be fatal. Some stage one symptoms of rabies from cat bites include:
- Fever, headache, malaise, or nausea that occurs within 2 to 10 days after the bite.
- Frequent vomiting and decreased appetite.
- Elevated pain, itching, or tingling at the wound site.
- Severe numbness at the wound site that hardly disappears.
In addition to these initial vague symptoms of rabies, the thriving virus may lead to more severe symptoms in stage two, such as:
- Severe difficulty in swallowing that may cause foaming of the mouth. As the victim may develop severe difficulty of swallowing their saliva, the sight of water might cause visible terror to them.
- Disorientation and agitation developed by the victim. Some others may become paralyzed after previously developing the initial rabies symptoms.
- Growling and strange vocalization as a result of severe hallucinations.
- Other health complications, such as respiratory failure and increasing paralysis that may result in coma or sudden death.
Can rabies from cat bites be treated?
In cats and other susceptible animals, rabies can be controlled, although eliminating the existing virus completely might be very hard. Rabies is more common in wild and stray animals compared to those domestic ones, and vaccination is required to inhibit the virus growth. In healthy domestic animals, rabies vaccination can be given when the cats or dogs are eight month or one year old. The vaccination is advised to be repeated once a year. This shot is extremely important and needs to be given when the healthy cat is bitten or scratched by other animals suspected to carry rabies virus. If the involved animals show obvious signs of rabies, immediate anti-rabies serum will be necessary. Almost similarly, rabies in humans from an infected cat bites can be controlled by injecting the anti-rabies serum once the incident occurs. It is not advised to wait for the symptoms to occur, since rabies from cat is one of the disease with long incubation period, which may reach months to years after the bite. By this time, when the symptoms occur in the bitten humans, the rabies will be too fatal to treat. In most cases, cat bite victims that have developed severe symptoms of rabies are not able to survive.