Tests come back from kittens whose mother had rabies

WASHINGTON — An outdoor cat whose kittens were recently adopted has tested positive for rabies.

The cat, a gray female tabby, lived in the Saratoga neighborhood of Springfield, Virginia. It has been euthanized.

A woman taking care of the cat was bitten on Aug. 4 and a rabies test came back positive on Aug. 6. The health department has recommended the woman get rabies vaccines.

The woman was cited for failing to vaccinate the cat.

“Anybody who has held the cat, been scratched or bitten should contact animal control,” says Tawny Hammond, director of the Fairfax County Animal Shelter.

The cat had 10 kittens that were given to animal control on July 30 before it showed signs of illness. Seven of the kittens have been adopted and the remaining three were euthanized.

Since then, three owners choose to turn the kittens back over to animal control for testing. Of the six kittens tested, five of the tests have come back. All were negative.

Animals can’t be alive for rabies tests.

Three other families who adopted kittens have been advised on how to quarantine them for three months.

“They’re working closely with animal control staff and the health department on the appropriate protocol for quarantining them for the next three months,” Hammond said.

The final cat is out of the area, and animal control is working on contacting the owner and deciding if it should undergo testing.

Animal control officers will be canvasing the Mount Vernon neighborhood this weekend to help neighbors understand the situation.

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