A homeowner in Polk County, who commonly feeds stray cats, noticed on May 19 that an eight week old kitten was unsteady, skittish, and acting abnormally. Both homeowners attempted to capture the kitten and both were bitten and scratched. This kitten is part of a litter of four. Three weeks earlier, two of the four kittens were killed by what is believed to have been a skunk. The homeowners noticed blood on this kitten after the attack. The kitten tested positive for rabies on May 23. The homeowners estimate they typically feed about 15 stray cats on their property and have an additional 21 outdoor cats, 10 indoor cats and three dogs.
This is the first cat to be confirmed with rabies in Minnesota in 2016. There have been 15 other rabies cases including two cattle, five skunks, and eight bats.
The Minnesota Department of Health advised post-exposure prophylaxis for both homeowners due to their exposure to the rabid kitten.
For information on rabies in animals and to view a map of positive cases in Minnesota visit the Board’s website and click on ‘Rabies’ under ‘Programs’ at the top of the page. For questions on rabies exposure to domestic animals call 651-201-6808. If you have questions on rabies in people, please contact the Minnesota Department of Health at 651-201-5414.