A feral cat is seen in Wilkes-Barre earlier this year in a file photo. This is not the cat that was euthanized, but an illustration from a story about the proliferation of feral cats in the city. – Aimee Dilger | Times Leader file photo
WILKES-BARRE — The city Health Department on Monday issued an advisory that a rabid cat was captured in the North End.
Wilkes-Barre Animal Enforcement Officer Adam Olver said the person who had the cat had it euthanized in order for it be tested for rabies. The Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed the cat was rabid, he added.
One person was bitten by the cat and has received shots for rabies, Olver said.
However, there is the possibility of other rabid animals at large, Olver cautioned. “We also have to remember something did infect the cat,” he said.
The advisory lists steps the public can take to minimize the risk of contracting rabies:
• Feral cats should be avoided, especially in cases when they behave abnormally.
• Do not feed or attempt to catch feral cats.
• Pets in the area should be monitored when left outside and caution should be used when walking dogs in the neighborhood.
• Children playing outdoors should also be supervised.
According to the state Department of Agriculture, “rabies is a virus of the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) that can affect any mammal.” Signs of rabies may include aggression, loss of fear, attraction to noise and human activity, excessive vocalization and biting at objects or other animals. More information about rabies can be found at: https://www.agriculture.pa.gov/Animals/AHDServices/diseases/Pages/Rabies.aspx.
If anyone has questions or encounters a feral cat that is acting abnormally, contact the Wilkes-Barre City Health Department at 570-208-4268.
A feral cat is seen in Wilkes-Barre earlier this year in a file photo. This is not the cat that was euthanized, but an illustration from a story about the proliferation of feral cats in the city.
Reach Jerry Lynott at 570-991-6120 or on Twitter @TLJerryLynott.