Warning for Fair Oaks pet owners as dead cat tests positive for rabies

A dead cat in Fair Oaks tested positive for the rabies virus, prompting health officials to warn area pet owners to be on the lookout for changes in their animals.

The Sacramento County Division of Public Health advised residents near Minnesota Avenue, between Sunset Avenue and Woodglen Drive, to call county public health offices if they came in contact with a sickly gray and black tabby between Nov. 26 and Dec. 2.

The cat died and tested positive for rabies at the public health laboratory.

Officials asked residents to make sure their pet vaccinations are up to date. They also recommend that pet owners monitor their dogs and cats for rabies symptoms, such as lethargy, aggressiveness, other changes in behavior and trouble walking.

Rabies infects the central nervous system. The most common way rabies is transmitted is through a bite in which the virus-containing saliva is transmitted from the host animal.

“We have been in communication with those identified as having direct contact with the animal,” said Dr. Olivia Kasirye, Sacramento County’s public health officer. “We want other residents in the neighborhood to be aware in case they came into contact with the cat and to remind people of the importance of vaccinating their pets.”

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews