Concern over rabid cat in Prince George’s Co.

Health officials in Prince George’s County, Maryland, are alerting community members about a cat with rabies — and are asking anyone who may have had contact with it to come forward.

The cat, which was described as a stray black domestic short-haired cat, was displaying abnormal behavior and bit someone on Jan. 8, according to a news release Monday from the Prince George’s County Health Department.

It took place in the 2400 block of Fairhill Drive in Suitland — northwest of the Washington National Cemetery and just across the D.C. state line.

A resident took the cat to an animal control center, where it was euthanized and then tested for rabies. On Jan. 11, the state health department confirmed the cat had tested positive for rabies.

According to the resident who took the cat to animal control, the rabid animal had been seen playing with another stray cat, described as a black, white and orange-colored short-haired kitten, that has not been seen since Jan. 14.

County health officials are now asking anyone who may have had contact with either of the cats between Dec. 28 and Jan. 8 to contact the health department, citing the risk of possible rabies exposure. The health department can be reached at 301-583-3751.

“The best method to eliminate the risk of rabies exposure is to avoid contact with unfamiliar animals,” the health department said in the news release.

“We encourage community members to report any unusual or erratic animal behavior they notice and to avoid handling and feeding any unknown animals in their community.”

You should also have dogs, cats and ferrets vaccinated against rabies and keep their vaccinations up to date.

Rabies is transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal. It is often a life-threatening disease, but is highly preventable if treatment is begun immediately following exposure, the health department said.

A person who is bitten or exposed to the saliva of a rabid animal needs to take four doses of a rabies vaccine over a 14-day period.

Each year, roughly 900 Marylanders receive treatment after exposure to a rabid or potentially rabid animal, the health department said.

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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