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Rabies confirmed in feral cat in Canandaigua: Public health officials urge precautions

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

A feral cat captured in the city of Canandaigua, New York, was confirmed to be rabid on July 12 after biting two individuals, according to the New York State Department of Health.


Ontario County Public Health urges residents never to ignore a bite from any animal, owned or wild, and to report such incidents during normal business hours or after hours at provided hotline numbers.

Ontario County Public Health emphasized that feral cats and outdoor cats are vulnerable to contracting and spreading rabies, a deadly virus that affects the nervous system. Cats are the fourth most common species diagnosed with rabies in New York State. The public is advised to avoid contact with feral cats and not to attract them by leaving out food. Rabies is endemic in the state, predominantly among wildlife such as raccoons, bats, skunks, and foxes, but can also infect cats, dogs, ferrets, livestock, and humans if exposed.


To mitigate the risk of rabies, it is crucial to keep pet vaccinations up-to-date, even for indoor animals. Ontario County Public Health is offering a free rabies clinic on Saturday, August 5, 2023. In addition to regular vaccination, the department recommends securing garbage cans, boarding up any open areas in attics, basements, or garages, and teaching children to report animal bites immediately.