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As far as viruses go, the one that causes feline rabies is one of the most well-known. There is no way to treat rabid cats or any type of animal, so they'll eventually pass away after the disease progresses. Many different types of animals can harbor the virus that causes rabies in cats like foxes, bats, and raccoons. If one of these infected animals bites or scratches your cat, then the virus will be transmitted.

General Cat Care #1: Before You Bring Your Cat Home
You will need food, food dish, water bowl, interactive toys, brush, comb, safety cat collar, scratching post, litter and litter box.
General Cat Care #2: Feeding
An adult cat should be fed one large or two smaller meals each day. Kittens from 6 to 12 weeks need to be fed four times a day. Kittens from three to six months need to be fed three times a day. You can either feed specific meals, throwing away any leftover canned food after 30 minutes or free-feed dry food (keeping food out all the time).

Feed your cat a high-quality, brand-name kitten or cat food (avoid generic brands) two to three times a day. Kittens can be fed human baby food for a short time if they won’t eat kitten food softened by soaking in warm water. Use turkey or chicken baby food made for children six months and older. Gradually mix with cat food. Cow’s milk is not necessary and can cause diarrhea in kittens and cats. Provide fresh, clean water at all times. Wash and refill water bowls daily.

Your pet won't display signs of the disease immediately after being bitten or scratched. The virus takes a while to make its way to the brain, at which point signs will start to appear. This time, known as the incubation period, can last anywhere between two and six weeks.

Feline rabies causes cats to change their behavior dramatically. If yours has always been shy, then he will become aggressive suddenly. Animals that aren't usually affectionate will become so. This stage of the disease only lasts a couple of days.

The next stage that cats can experience after being infected with the virus is the furious stage. As its name suggests, felines will become very irritable and furious. They will want to stay in a dark location away from all sounds and lights since both will cause issues with them. At this stage of feline rabies, cats can start to have seizures and may die.

General Cat Care #3: Grooming
Most cats stay relatively clean and rarely need a bath, but they do need to be brushed or combed. Frequent brushing helps keep your cat’s coat clean, reduces the amount of shedding and cuts down on the incidence of hairballs
General Cat Care #4: Handling
To pick up your cat, place one hand behind the front legs and another under the hindquarters. Lift gently. Never pick up a cat by the scruff of the neck (behind the ears) or by the front legs without supporting the rear end.
General Cat Care #5: Housing
Cats should have a clean, dry place of their own in the house. Line your cat’s bed with a soft, warm blanket or towel. Be sure to wash the bedding often. Please keep your cat indoors. If your companion animal is allowed outside, he can contract diseases, get ticks or parasites, become lost or get hit by a car, hurt in a fight or poisoned. Also, cats prey on wildlife.

If not, they will progress to the final stage of cat rabies, the paralytic phase. The virus will start to cause problems with various nerves and muscles around the body. The ones near the jaw and diaphragm are usually affected first, causing felines lose their ability to swallow or breathe effectively. Cats die as a result of respiratory failure within days of entering this phase.

There is no way to diagnose rabies in cats while they are still alive. Once the disease has run its course and the animal has passed away, the brain can be examined to determine if the rabies virus was truly the cause.

Even if feline rabies were capable of being diagnosed quickly, there is still no treatment for it. Cats almost always die from the disease. A few fortunate felines have lived through an infection though, but it's very rare.

It is very easy to prevent this fatal disease. Simply have your cat vaccinated. While the vaccination is still effective, there is a very little chance that your cat will develop the disease, even after being bitten by an infected animal.

Many, if not most states, have long had laws on the books making it mandatory for dog owners to have their pets vaccinated. Some are starting to make it a requirement for cat owners too. Even if it's not mandatory in your area, you should still have your pet vaccinated for feline rabies.

General Cat Care #6: Identification
If allowed outdoors (again, we caution against it!), your cat needs to wear a safety collar and an ID tag. A safety collar with an elastic panel will allow your cat to break loose if the collar gets caught on something. An ID tag or an implanted microchip can help insure that your cat is returned if he or she becomes lost.
General Cat Care #7: Litter Box
All indoor cats need a litter box, which should be placed in a quiet, accessible location. A bathroom or utility room is a good place for your cat’s box. In a multi-level home, one box per floor is recommended. Avoid moving the box unless absolutely necessary. Then do so slowly, a few inches a day. Cats won’t use a messy, SMELLY litter box. Scoop solids out of the box at least once a day. Dump everything, wash with a mild detergent (don’t use ammonia) and refill at least once a week, less frequently if using clumping litter. Don’t use deodorants or scents in the litter or litter box (especially avoid lemon scent).
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