Wake County issues rabies notice after cat bite in Wake Forest

Wake County Public Health and Wake County Animal Control have confirmed that a feral cat tested positive for rabies after biting a woman over the weekend. Wake County Animal Control responded to the incident near the intersection of U.S. Route 401 and Pulley Town Road in Wake Forest.

The cat was deceased upon arrival and tested positive for rabies on Monday, June 3.

At this time, no other incidents have been reported in connection with the animal. However, the cat is believed to have come from a colony of feral cats living nearby.

A Wake County Communicable Disease nurse and an Animal Control officer canvassed the neighborhood this week to help notify the community and ensure there were no additional exposures.

Anyone in the area where the bite occurred and who may have encountered this cat, or any feral cat, is encouraged to call the Wake County Communicable Disease line at 919-250-4462. If you or your pets have been bitten or scratched, please seek medical care immediately.

“For incidents like this, proactive measures and community education are our strongest defense against more people or animals being exposed to rabies,” said Wake County Board of Commissioners Vice Chair Susan Evans. “We encourage all residents to protect themselves and their pets, as well as to always err on the side of safety and steer clear of unfamiliar animals.”

Rabies Vaccines for Pets
Wake County encourages anyone who has pets with outdoor access to make sure they are up to date on their rabies vaccinations.

To learn more about community cats, trap-neuter-release coalition or our feral farm program, check out our Community Cat webpage.

Anyone who sees an animal acting in an unusual manner is urged to call Animal Control officials. Please follow the guidance below:

  • Do not approach animals that you do not know. Exercise caution and maintain a safe distance.
  • If you have been bitten or scratched by an animal of unknown vaccination history, wash the wound immediately and seek medical attention.
  • Ensure your pets have a current rabies vaccination. If your pet is allowed outside, a booster vaccine is strongly recommended. Keep outdoor pets indoors until they receive the booster vaccines.
  • Do not feed stray or unknown animals, including cats and dogs. Avoid any interaction that may result in potential exposure.
  • Do not leave trash or food outside unless it is in a trash can with a tight-fitting lid. Prevent attracting wild animals to your property.
  • If a pet is fed outside, do not leave food out overnight to minimize the chances of attracting animals that may carry rabies.
  • If a pet comes in contact with an animal that might be rabid, contact a veterinarian immediately. Seek professional guidance to ensure the well-being of your pet.

For more information, please check out wake.gov/StopRabies.

Health & Human Services
Press Release