A Red Lake County man took in a stray cat days before Christmas. The cat was kept kenneled in his home where he attempted to feed and nurse it back to health. After escaping the kennel, the cat scratched and possibly bit the property owner. The cat died within 24 hours of the incident and tested positive for rabies on December 27.
The owner reported a history of skunk sightings around the property. He also reported that his currently vaccinated house dog was attacked outside by a different cat that he fears may have also had rabies. The cat since disappeared. The owner has been advised to receive post-exposure prophylaxis by the Minnesota Department of Health.
There have been 62 animals diagnosed with rabies in Minnesota this year. As is typical, wildlife comprise the majority of rabies cases in Minnesota with 36 bats and 20 skunks testing positive so far in 2013. In addition, two bovine, one caprine, and two equine tested positive this year along with this most recent feline case.