Idaho officials say cat has rabies, first case in decades

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho health officials say a cat has tested positive for rabies for the first time in 27 years.

The Department of Health and Welfare says the cat in Owyhee County was behaving aggressively and bit its owner. It tested positive for a strain of rabies normally associated with bats.

The department's state public health veterinarian Dr. Leslie Tengelsen says in a prepared statement that rabies is fatal virtually 100% of the time. She says the cat was likely exposed to a rabid bat, and that's how it became infected.

Tengelsen says pet owners should vaccinate their dogs, cats, ferrets and horses against the disease.

Ten bats have tested positive for rabies in Idaho this year.