Since Leo's vet appointment a few weeks ago, we have kept him in our holding cage downstairs, bringing him up and letting him stretch his legs a bit and play. Lately, he has been showing unusal signs of aggression which makes me extremely nervous. He had not been around the other cats and the vet told us to keep him quarantined for six months in the event that he begins exhibiting signs of rabies from whatever bit/attacked him outside before we had a chance to bring him in permanently.
He is a sweet kitty, but we must also look out for our other four fur babies as well. We have noticed as of late that he will rear at us and try to bit or swat us for an unknown reason while petting him or trying to pick him up at all. The other night, while trying to put him back into the cage, he grabbed my face and punctured me with his claws, drawing only a little blood as he could have done much worse. It is getting harder and harder to take him back downstairs, yet we can not simply keep him completely caged for six whole months!
There are no blood tests for rabies that our vet can perform, however, I have found some information on PetMd.com.
Symptoms and Types:There are two forms of rabies: paralytic and furious. In the early symptom (prodomal) stage of rabies infection, the cat will show only mild signs of CNS abnormalities. This stage will last from one to three days. Most cats will then progress to either the furious stage, the paralytic stage, or a combination of the two, while others succumb to the infection without displaying any major symptoms.
Furious rabies is characterized by extreme behavioral changes, including overt aggression and attack behavior. Paralytic rabies, also referred to as dumb rabies, is characterized by weakness and loss of coordination in the cat, followed by paralysis.
This is a fast-moving virus. If it is not treated soon after the symptoms have begun, the prognosis is poor. Therefore, if your cat has been in a fight with another animal, or has been bitten or scratched by another animal, or if you have any reason to suspect that your pet has come into contact with a rabid animal (even if your pet has been vaccinated against the virus), you must take your cat to a veterinarian for preventive care immediately.
The following are some other symptoms to watch for in your cat:
- Jaw is dropped
- Inability to swallow
- Muscular lack of coordination
- Unusual shyness or aggression
- Excessive excitability
- Constant irritability/changes in attitude and behavior
- Paralysis in the mandible and larynx
- Excessive, dripping salivation (hypersalivation), or frothy saliva
Is his aggresstion due to us secluding him for so long and thus confusing him not being fully adapted, or something, much, much worse? I am horribly worried about this and I truly pray that he is okay. We will continue to try to take care of him for as long as possible, but it breaks my heart to think of losing him. We lost Mr. Earl Gray, our last stray male we tried to rescue, and if we lose Leo as well I will seriously consider never taking in another one again. It is just too much to bear and extremely hard for me to deal with anymore.