Rabid cat found in Dorchester
The Boston Public Health Commission reports that a cat acting oddly at 132 Glenway St. in Dorchester around 3:20 p.m. on Monday has tested positive for rabies.
The commission says a concerned resident call Boston Animal Control, which took the unneutered orange-and-white domestic-shorthair male cat to Angell Animal Hospital for evaluation and testing - which showed the cat had rabies.
The commission is asking anyone who might recognize the cat - or who sees any "wild or unknown domestic animal that appears to be sick, injured, or behaving oddly," to call Boston Animal Care and Control at: 617-635-5348 - or to contact 311.
We also urge that if you have been in contact with a cat matching this description in the past 21 days or after the Thanksgiving holiday, especially if you’ve been bitten or scratched, please call the Boston Public Health Commission’s Infectious Disease Bureau at 617-534-5611 and your healthcare provider as soon as possible to report the exposure and obtain treatment if deemed appropriate. Rabies is a medical urgency. Decisions should not be delayed.
People who have been confirmed with rabies can be treated with a course of five shots over 14 days. Without treatment, the disease is usually fatal.
The commission adds that owners of cats, dogs and ferrets are required to get their pets annual rabies shots.
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Round up all outdoor cats
House them or euthanize them.
Well hold on now
There's such a thing as feral cat colonies, which are usually spayed/neutered and even vaccinated when possible. I agree that it is irresponsible for house cats to be let outside, especially in urban environments, though.
I really only care because
I really only care because they kill everything.
They do what they are supposed to do. By keeping the rodent population down, they provide a plus for humans. Anyway, cats have as much right to be outdoors as any animal, including you.
You really only "care" because you have an irrational hatred of cats, and you want to kill them.
You don't seem capable of estimating what happens when you remove predators from a situation, either.
Or maybe you are a rodent.
Swirly, you are so ridiculous
Swirly, you are so ridiculous.
How is it that you're still living and breathing, then?
How can you all be so
How can you all be so damnably stupid as not to know that cats are not natural predators in North America and that they kill song birds and other small animals. The decline in song birds is at least partially thanks to the predation of house cats. Isn't this concerning to you? They absolutely do NOT have any natural right to wonder the streets. They are a foreign and damaging pest if outside.
Rats are killing more birds than cats.
And they are the same problem unnatural invasion of non-native species. So I do not hate cats or feral cats. I haven't had many in my part of dorchester, just one kitten that I took to Angel. There is one cat on my street that spends time outdoors, and I wouldn't recommend it. It isn't safe for the cat, and it seems wrong to think they are happier when you think about how much longer indoor cats live.
The way you go on, you'd think that if cats were removed from the picture, the Americas would revert to a pristine state of ecological balance with no non-native species anywhere in the food chain. Get ahold of yourself.
you know what's really wild?
Have you ever seen a picture of European wildcat? It is a big tabby with a short tail.
other invasive species
Other invasive species in North America include wheat, cattle, sheep, chickens, barley, oats, sweet potatoes, and arguably horses. (Rice was domesticated twice in the eastern hemisphere and once in the western.)
Horses evolved in the Americas, but died out here about 10,000 years ago, before being re-introduced a few centuries ago, so there might be an argument that they're not an invasive species.
"Pest" is a subjective judgment call, being made by another species that isn't native to the Americas--us.
The animal rescue league estimates that there are 70,000 feral cats living in the streets of Boston alone. "Rounding them up" would require that people stop dumping cats - especially unspayed cats - outside - which they do continuously. Regardless of how you feel about ferals, it would be nearly impossible to get rid of them or house them. There are thousands of domesticated cats already that don't have homes. Vaccination, awareness, and support of the organizations that are continuously trapping, neutering, and vetting the animals is probably more practical (NOTE: I'm not posting this to argue about whether feral cats are a good idea - that's not an argument I feel like having. We have feral cats, regardless of how we feel about them, and no practical capacity to eliminate them).
TNR rescues are doing the
TNR rescues are doing the work and it is slowly making a difference but without widely available affordable accessible vet care, including low/no cost spay/neuter, the problem will never truly go away. And I don't begrudge vets at all - Vet school costs more than Med school and they have extremely stressful jobs with very, very high burn out and a suicide problem. The city/state/country needs to look at this issue systematically and help rescues/vets/owners come together to create long term solutions.
Can't house them if they're
Can't house them if they're feral since they haven't been socialized to humans.
Not entirely true
ARL and other shelters like it have programs to evaluate and ready feral kittens for adoption. Some feral-seeming cats aren’t completely feral. Our last cat was a street kitten who was able to adapt to people. The biggest thing with her was that she hated surprises (like loud noises or stuff being dropped), tall people, and kids. Former feral cats also tend to pick one person that they trust more than anyone else. Otherwise, they’re like any other cats. If you leave them food and don’t do anything that causes them to think you’re a problem/predator, they will come to trust you [as a source of food].
I got my cats from a shelter
I got my cats from a shelter that took adoptable cats who were living on the street, One of my cats, Eli, had his ear clipped but he was such a laid back cat and living on the mean HP streets (and was old) that they took him to live with final years inside. My Pumpkin girl is also from the mean streets of Dorchester. They found her six orange kittens around Halloween and they called her Pumpkin Mommy.
Your irrational hatred of cats does not and should not dictate public health policy.
If history is any guide, by
If history is any guide, by the time BPHC discovers one virus case, it is spread all over the city.
Depends on the species involved
The outbreak may be localized to a smaller area still. Animals don't necessarily move around like humans do - spreading patterns are not as rapid because they don't take planes or buses, etc.
Raccoons have historically been major carriers of rabies, along with skunks and bats. Domestic animals - even feral ones - less so. https://www.mass.gov/rabies
Cats that are "enrolled" in feral management colonies are typically vaccinated.
"Usually" fatal is kind of an
"Usually" fatal is kind of an understatement when there's been ONE person who survived without early vaccination/intervention. Rabies is a death sentence and while I understand they didn't want anybody to panic they should have been more serious about it.
An unneutered male cat probably got in a fight with something, maybe a raccoon. It's very very rare for domestic cats, even ones living in feral colonies, to contract rabies. TNR is important because neutered males are much less aggressive and fight a lot less so it cuts down on a huge amount of disease vectors.
Only a death sentence once symptoms start
Not to undermine what you're saying at all, but people should understand that while rabies is almost 100% fatal once symptoms start, getting the vaccine + post-exposure prophylaxis (immunoglobulin shots) is almost 100% effective if done in the days after exposure.
(The post-exposure treatment used to be very painful, and there's still some lingering cultural memory of that... but now it's just a regular series of shots.)
They're still pretty painful
Rabies immunoglobulin is the consistency of maple syrup, so they use needles the size of Q-tips to inject it. It's also dosed based on your size, so when I woke up in a room with a bat doing lazy circles around the ceiling fan a few years back, I got 6 bigass needles to the front of the thigh. Hurt like a bastard, but I'm still here, and for a while I was the only person in the room who could confirm that he was rabies-negative.