Rabid skunk attacks cat in Catawba County

(Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images) 

A rabid skunk attacked a resident's cat in Sherrills Ford, marking the seventh case of rabies in the Catawba County this year, officials said. 

On Friday, July 20, Animal Services responded to a call from a resident whose cat got into a fight with a skunk that was showing abnormal behavior. 

The skunk was sent to the North Carolina Public Health Laboratory in Raleigh, who notified Catawba County on Tuesday, July 24 that the skunk tested positive for rabies. 

The cat was current on its rabies vaccine and received a rabies booster shortly after the incident occurred. Animal Services wants to remind pet owners that rabies is still present in the local wild animal population and is a threat to pets and humans year-round. 

Signs that an animal may be infected with rabies include loss of appetite, irritability and unusual aggression, lack of fear and restlessness, dilated pupils, seizures, trembling and unsteadiness, difficulty swallowing, and drooling or foaming at the mouth. 

Previous cases have been confirmed in Maiden, Vale, Newton, and Hickory.