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cat caught a bat in need of advice.

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Well, I feel at a loss. My maine coon, Nissa caught a bat lastnight and brought it inside. She dropped it at my feet and it as bats do flew around in a fit of panic.

To give some background she is an indoor cat, but has/had access to my back porch(second story). She's 2 years old, when we got her we were told she was good on vaccinations for 2 years, but we were told wrong, she was supposed to get her second rabies shot in february. I know what I'm supposed to do, but I can't do it, the cdc's site says she should be destroyed, but theres no evidence it had rabies, but theres no actual evidence it doesn't, because I let the bat go. We didnt think about rabies till this morning and since have been going crazy trying to figure out what course of action to take.

In regards to the bat, it was a brown bat, with about a 12" wingspan. happened at 12pm. The cat had it in her mouth but apparently did not injure it. I read that when they have rabies they fly erradically and stumble, aggressivness, fly during the day etc..... this bat flew just fine, it was in the kitchen for about 30 minutes flying around the room not hitting a thing, then it got in the living room and did the same thing. I proceeded to try to smack it with a broom, but it was impossible to hit, it would come right at me and I'd miss it every time; indicating to me it wasnt too sick. eventually it landed in a shirt in my hall closet, where I carefully folded the shirt and freed it outside......what an idiot I am, i was trying to be nice but did not understand the seriousness of a bat encounter +I'm scared to death of them. BTW I was obseving it for 2 hours before its release.

anyway it flew away without a stumble. No one besides the cat touched it, I examined her as best I could and cant find any bites, though I'm aware a lot of times you can't see them. What I'm wondering is, does the cat have to be destroyed or quarantined? Will a booster shot keep her safe? I'm hoping a vetinarian can tell me here, I'm scared to tell anyone yet, I love her so dearly and dont want her killed, when she might not be infected. I've since locked her inside and am contemplating showering her, though they say the virus cannot live outside a body for more then a few seconds. I hope someone can help, I know I'm extremely new here, but I intend to stick around.
p.s. it has been exactly 24 hours since the incident.
thanks for any help

-kush
post #2 of 9
You will definitely need to contact your vetrinarian. My cats received only the 1 rabies vaccination and was told that was sufficient. My recommendation (i'm a biologist with ministry of natural resources) is to contact your nearest department of natural resource office. They will be able to get you more information on the occurances of bat rabies...assuming your state has a monitoring program. I know in ontario the incidences of bat strain rabies is very low. They will give you a better idea of the behaviours that a rabid bat in the early stages exhibits etc. If you can't get in touch with them pm me tomorrow and i will get you some more information from our rabies research unit.

for now...take a deep breath and calm down. chances are if your cat had 1 vaccination then she/he has protection from the disease. you vet might want to test for the antibodies just in case.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the advice, I have looked up the behavior of rabid bats, and found some good info, I believe the incidence of rabid bats captured by trap was less than 1%. For all incidences, was 5%. I'm just afraid to tell a vet for fear theyl take her away, but am slowly overcoming what I must do. Did not know about the antibody test, makes sense though, I'm a junior biologist just received my bachelors in field biology.
post #4 of 9
This is what you do. (I run into the problem often here). Call your veterinarian and tell him or her what happened. Make arrangements to quarantine the cat. Once the required time passes and she shows no symptoms, get her her rabies shot and keep them updated.

My cats used to catch bats all the time, only thing is, the bats rarely had the privilege of flying away. I used to freak, and a few times sent the bats in to be tested for rabies. Also be sure that you check and see in your area the incidences of rabies and what the determining factors of the rabies is known to be
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hissy
This is what you do. (I run into the problem often here). Call your veterinarian and tell him or her what happened. Make arrangements to quarantine the cat. Once the required time passes and she shows no symptoms, get her her rabies shot and keep them updated.

My cats used to catch bats all the time, only thing is, the bats rarely had the privilege of flying away. I used to freak, and a few times sent the bats in to be tested for rabies. Also be sure that you check and see in your area the incidences of rabies and what the determining factors of the rabies is known to be
is that a 10 day quarantine or longer. I've been reading different things, been confused, some say 90 days some say 180 days and then some 10 days. makes quite a difference, ya' know. thank you for helping......again.

-kush
post #6 of 9
its 10 days. I was bitten by a stray cat and the spca took it away and quarentined her for 10 days.
post #7 of 9
It is 180 days if you are traveling and taking your cat overseas. They quarantine that long in certain countries to guard against rabies.
post #8 of 9
You should definately make her an appointment with a Veterinarian right away. I promise you nobody at the vet's office is going to turn you in or take your cat away. They are going to have your cat's best interest at heart. At the clinic where I work we have things like this happen all the time. We also always booster the rabies vaccine anytime something like this happens (even if it isn't due yet). I live in PA (and I'm almost certain NY law is the same) and after the initial rabies vaccine we are only required by law to booster it every three years. There are some Clients who chose to do their cat's rabies vaccine every year (because they feel that the one year vaccine is safer than the three year vaccine--which has never actually been proven). If your cat had her first rabies vaccine as a kitten maybe she isn't even actually overdue?? Cases like yours are exactly why we try to convince people that even indoor cats can be exposed to rabies. Chances are your cat is fine, but just to be safe you should never let her rabies vaccine become overdue again (besides it's the law--even for indoor only cats). A lot of clients at our clinic have no idea that rabies vaccines are required for indoor cats until we inform them.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Well, we went to a vet today and they gave her a booster and said she should be fine. It was the third vet we had called. Others were rather torn over what to do, considering cdc procedures. This vet asked if we had called the health department, but after hearing the story, she held back from turning us in so to speak. They believe she most probably was not exposed to rabies and that the likelyhood of transmission was very low. Here the vets vaccinate for rabies once a year, they said that they used to do the 3 year shots, but the county/state feels 1yr boosters are less likely to cause complications, such as scar tissue. At any rate thank you for all youre help, made decisions much easier talking to someone safely on the internet.

thanks again,

-kush
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