When you think of rabies, you may immediately imagine Cujo, that frightening Saint Bernard from the Stephen King novel and the 1980s film. However, would you ever think of Garfield when you hear the word rabies? The surprising truth is that cats can get rabies just as easily as dogs.
Cat rabies has three common stages of symptoms. The first is podromal, which causes the cat to be nervous and withdrawn. The second stage is known as the furious stage, because this is when the cat becomes aggressive. At this point, the cat will exhibit a number of warning signs, including irritability and intense excitement. The final stage is known as paralytic and it's name pretty well sums up what your cat would experience at this stage of the illness.
Rabies can also include more severe symptoms such as seizures, a lack of appetite, and deep breathing. The most serious symptoms are paralyzed muscles starting in the jaw and respiratory failure leading to death caused by weakness.
Cat rabies shuts down the nervous system and is caused when the cat is bitten by another infected mammal. Rabies is not seen in cats very often anymore, but knowing the symptoms is still essential for all cat owners. Rabies causes many other issues including the flu, distemper, infections, diabetes, etc.
Watching your cat for early signs of rabies is important to prevent the disease from progressing to respiratory failure. Cats can get rabies from being bitten by a carrier, but he or she can also get it from consuming an animal infected with rabies.
Rabies will attack the nerves and head towards the brain. This will take about two to six weeks when the symptoms will be progressing. However, the cat will show some signs before the disease reaches the brain. Loss of coordination is the main early symptom that becomes visible. If you see any of the previous symptoms in your felines, make sure to see a vet as soon as possible.
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