Rabies is transmitted by direct contact with the saliva of an infected animal.  Because humans can be infected by contact with a rabid animal, and because there is currently no treatment for rabies, domestic animals by law must be vaccinated against the disease.  Rabies laws are strictly enforced throughout the United States and Canada.  Some places including England and Hawaii, are free of rabies because of strict quarantine laws and natural protection, like a body of water which prevents migration of the virus from another area.
Reported Rabies Cases In The U.S. In 2004.
Source: Centre For Disease Control, Washington D.C.
Signs Of Rabies In Cats
Most cats will exhibit the furious form of rabies which, as the name implies, manifests itself as vicious behavior which makes the cat attack anything in its way.  The cat usually dies within ten days of the appearance of the signs of rabies.  If a cat is suspected of having rabies, he must be destroyed and his brain checked for presence of the virus; this is the only way of confirming the diagnosis.

Treatment Of Rabies In Cats
If examination of the cat's brain reveals that the animal did have rabies, any person who had been bitten by the cat or exposed to his saliva must undergo rabies shots.  The new human diploid rabies vaccine now used in people have replaced the painful shots that used to be given.  Early intervention is important.  If the diploid vaccine is given before the signs of rabies appear, the success rate is high.

Prevention Of Rabies In Cats
The cat must vaccinated, first at four months of age and then every year for the rest of his life.  Work is under way to produce a rabies vaccine for cats that will protect for longer than one year, perhaps for two or three years.
Signs And Prevention Of Rabies In Cats:
Rabies is one animal disease that everyone knows about.  It's caused by a virus that affects the brain and, while all warm blooded animals are susceptible, the animals most commonly affected in North America are dogs, cats, bats, foxes, and skunks.  The incidence of rabies is not as high in cats as in dogs, but it is increasing.
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