I would like to keep the threat of getting rabies from cats in perspective. The problem with rabies is that people are frightened of it. They should be because it can be a fatal disease. Rabies does have a very bad image in the world. It kills tens of thousands of people in the world but most of them live in Asia and Africa.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a United States governmental agency, tell us that in 2009 the number of rabies cases amongst cats in the United States was 300.
I have to make a presumption that they’re referring to all cats, namely, stray, feral, semi-feral and domestic cats.
There are approximately 160,000,000 cats (estimated) of this sort in America. If every one of the 300 rabid cats bit a person, thereby threatening the transmission of rabies to that person, it would indicate that people have a 1 in 533,333 chance of getting rabies from cats in the USA.
However, I’m sure that not everyone of the 300 cats mentioned did bite people and therefore you could probably say the chances of catching rabies from a cat are somewhere nearer 1 in many million. About the same chance as winning a lottery!
Recorded human deaths from rabies in the United States, at present, is about one or two per year. I don’t know how many of those deaths were caused by a bite from a rabid cat but bearing in mind that raccoons, skunks, foxes and bats are by far the greater carrier of the rabies virus, it is highly unlikely that anyone has died by getting rabies from a cat bite.
Although 40,000 people receive a rabies prevention treatment annually due to a potential exposure to rabies most of these exposures are due to precautions or possible bites by the animals referred to above (other than cats). Bats are the biggest carriers.
There is an obligation in the USA to vaccinate a cat against rabies.
I won’t go on because I’ve made my point. My point is that nobody has died having caught rabies from a cat in the USA last year or the year before that, on my reckoning.
Despite this, the online newspapers continued to report incidences of rabid cats as if they some sort of monster. Let’s keep things in perspective, please.