A Hudson Valley cat that was seen in contact with other local cats tested positive for rabies. Officials believe other cats could be infected with the, “potentially fatal disease.”

On Friday, in the area of Tanager Road and Wright Road in Mahopac, a gray tabby cat tested positive for rabies.

According to reports to the Putnam County Department of Health the cat was seen earlier in contact with other cats in the area.

Because rabies can be spread through the saliva of an infected animal, health officials believe other cats could also be infected.

“Rabies is a potentially fatal disease, but the only way to get it is through a bite from a sick animal or saliva in an open wound,” interim Commissioner of Health Michael Nesheiwat, M.D., said. “All animal bites or contact with wild animals should be reported promptly to the Department of Health. To reduce your risk for rabies exposure, it’s best to avoid going near wild or stray animals and keep pets up to date on rabies vaccination.”

Any person or pet who may have had physical contact wild cats in Putnam County should contact the Health Department immediately at 845-808-1390.

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