Stray Kitten Seen at a Manhattan Veterinary Hospital Tests Positive for Rabies

Here is a very important reminder as to Why We Vaccinate (Even Indoor Cats):

On August 21, 2011 a stray kitten seen at a veterinary hospital in Manhattan tested positive for rabies.  The kitten was found in a parking lot in Livingston, New Jersey.

DOHMH encourages veterinarians to ensure that their clients' pets are up-to-date for rabies vaccination, and to educate pet owners regarding rabies prevention.

Veterinarians should consider rabies in the differential diagnosis for any patient with a history of exposure to a potentially rabid wild or feral animal and/or if presenting with progressive neurologic disease.

To date this year, a total of 10 animals have tested positive for rabies, including the kitten mentioned in this alert.

For current information on rabies and animals testing positive for rabies in NYC visit

September 14th, 2011
Dear Veterinary Colleagues,

On August 21st, 2011 the rabies laboratory at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) Public Health Laboratory (PHL) reported a positive rabies test in a stray kitten that had been found in a church parking lot in Livingston, NJ.  A series of three families cared for the four week old kitten over the course of two weeks, one of whom lived in Manhattan.  In addition, two veterinary clinics evaluated the kitten; the first a NJ hospital which examined the kitten while it still appeared healthy, and a second in Manhattan during the time the kitten was exhibiting signs of rabies illness.  Upon examination on Saturday August 20th, the kitten was recumbent, had tremors, and was easily agitated. At that time it bit a veterinarian and expired shortly thereafter. The DOHMH was immediately contacted and arrangements were made to have the kitten tested for rabies at PHL.  Results available on Sunday were positive for rabies.Concurrent investigations by the NYC DOHMH and the NJ Department of Health identified eight persons who had been bitten or otherwise exposed to the kitten and for whom rabies post-exposure prophylaxis was recommended.
                                                 -  New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene


  1. We have had numerous rabid bat/dog or cat encounters here in Oregon where I live. The dog or cat involved was seen playing with an sick bat in these cases. In one case, the cat involved had been vaccinated and in the other two I read about, involving one cat and one dog, they had not been vaccinated and the recommendation was for euthanasia.

    Rabies shots are not expensive. Even my indoor rescues are vaccinated, in case someone looking at the cat is bitten and because I have an outdoor contained cat yard, that is potentially penetrable by a bat.

    I feel it is a public health duty to vaccinate against rabies.


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