New study shows cats four times more likely than dogs to have rabies


According to Rabies surveillance in the United States during 2008, a recent study published in the 15 September 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, cats were four times more likely to be infected with rabies than dogs last year. The report suggests that this may be due to the fact that cats are less likely to be vaccinated, and they are allowed to roam outdoors unsupervised more often than dogs, which are much more restricted by leash laws.

The study also notes that 93% of reported rabies infections involved wild animals, while most post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) treatment for rabies in humans was necessary because of exposure to cats and dogs that had been suspected or confirmed to be infected with rabies.

(The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention collected the data, which is included in an AVMA rabies backgrounder published in recognition of World Rabies Day, September 28, 2009:   < > .)


Latest reports…………………………….. 

Rochester, New Hampshire  09/23/09  Two dead pet birds have tested positive for eastern equine encephalitis, according to City Manager John Scruton.The birds were indoor pets, Scruton said. The manager would not disclose the location within the city, but added it is not near a school. He said additional information would be provided by the state.

Rhode Island  09/23/09  A second sample from a mosquito pool in Rhode Island has tested positive for West Nile virus. State environmental authorities say the positive test came from a trap set in Pawtucket and from a species of mosquitoes that bites both birds and humans. Two mosquito pools have tested positive for West Nile virus so far this year, and two have tested positive for Eastern equine encephalitis.

Connecticut  09/23/09  Mosquitoes trapped in Voluntown have tested positive for eastern equine encephalitis virus, the state Department of Public Health announced Tuesday. EEE-positive mosquitoes were also found in South Windsor, Shelton and Darien in testing of mosquitoes caught in traps Sept. 14 to 16. EEE-positive mosquitoes have been found thus far this year in 16 towns, mainly in eastern and central Connecticut, including Lyme and Old Lyme. Mosquitoes positive for West Nile virus have been found in 11 towns, including Old Lyme.

Virginia  09/23/09  Virginia has confirmed a third case of West Nile Virus in a horse this year. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said Wednesday that the 20-year-old quarter horse from New Kent County was euthanized after symptoms began on Sept. 12. The horse hadn’t been vaccinated for the mosquito-borne disease. The earlier cases were reported in Pittsylvania County and Augusta County.

Washington  09/23/09  A 71-year-old Sunnyside woman may be the first West Nile virus death in Washington. The Yakima Herald-Republic reports Ruth Rosalee Rogers died Saturday at a Yakima hospital and her husband says doctors told him his wife died of the West Nile virus. Howard Rogers says his wife became ill after returning from a trip to Denver on Sept. 1. She entered Yakima Regional Medical and Cardiac Center on Sept. 4.

Virginia  09/22/09  The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has confirmed another positive case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis in horses for 2009, bringing the total statewide to eight. Most cases have been in the Tidewater area of Virginia, which is typical.

One response to “New study shows cats four times more likely than dogs to have rabies

  1. The news about cats makes sense, but it certainly contradicts the mental images of rabies in pets where the dog immediately comes to mind. Stopping cats from getting rabies will likely be quite a challenge in rural areas since keeping cats inside is a very difficult task and cats are always out hunting birds, mice and rats so increasing their risk of exposure to rabies and other diseases.

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