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cats have killed large bat - is rabies a serious worry?

27 replies

amateurmum · 12/08/2012 11:35

Have just gone into garden to find large dead bat on lawn. I'm pretty sure our cats have killed it.

Now, I know I may be over-reacting but is there a possibility that the cats have caught rabies from this? Recently, a colleague of mine had to have course of rabies injections after being bitten by a bat that flew into her room?

What should I do?

OP posts:
germyrabbit · 12/08/2012 11:37

poor bat :(

Schlock · 12/08/2012 11:37

Not sure that bats have rabies in the uk?

Sparklingbrook · 12/08/2012 11:38

Oh no. Aren't they all protected species and that? Your cats are going to be arrested. Sad

Are you in this country?

Nigglenaggle · 12/08/2012 11:41

It is a possibility that the bat has rabies. In the UK I think only Daubentons bats have been shown to have it so identifying the species may give you peace of mind. There hasn't been transmission to other animal species to my knowledge. To even stand a chance of transmitting it they would need to have bitten your cat and drawn blood - so think chances are very small really.

Nigglenaggle · 12/08/2012 11:41

If it was easy to transmit to other animal species I guess we would likely have it in foxes etc

PeriPathetic · 12/08/2012 11:41

Bats can carry rabies.

This site tells you more.

And here's what to do if you find a dead bat...

"If you find a dead bat please call the BCT Helpline on 0845 1300 228. We can then send you postage-paid packaging so that you can send the dead bat to the Veterinary Laboratories Agency for passive surveillance testing to check for the rabies virus."

amateurmum · 12/08/2012 11:42

Yes I'm in UK.

Actually think cats should be arrested - the body count in the garden every morning is quite shocking.

Bats can have rabies in the UK - I only know this because my colleague had to have multiple vaccinations after her contact.

OP posts:
Nigglenaggle · 12/08/2012 11:42

There has been proven transmission from bats to a person in the UK which is why OP is worried

Nigglenaggle · 12/08/2012 11:43

Cross posted there

Sparklingbrook · 12/08/2012 11:43

I didn't know that amateur. Sparkling cat has brought us a frog, and a snake lately but not a bat (yet).

Sad at envelope to put dead bat in.

amateurmum · 12/08/2012 11:45

Thanks for link. Have already called number but the office is closed until Monday.

I know I am being totally paranoid but my dcs play with the cats and am now having frantic mental pictures of cat biting a child, child contracting rabies ...

Surely the bat would have bitten the cats as they caught it?

OP posts:
edam · 12/08/2012 11:48

I should think it's ruddy unlikely otherwise we'd have a cat rabies problem in this country - the little buggers probably kill lots of bats we never know about because they only bring a tiny proportion of their kills home.

You could see it a different way and be impressed by their hunting skills or just be grumpy about having to deal with the aftermath. Loads of alternative emotions to take your mind off worrying!

Nigglenaggle · 12/08/2012 11:56

Bats have tiny teeth (they only eat insects!) and although they may have wanted to bite the cats I think chances are they werent able to - I worked with a wildlife researcher who said before the rabies case he used to find it hilarious to let bats try to bite his fingers because they were so ineffectual. And no reason for your cat to suddenly bite DC if they havent so far. And you are going to send off the bat and find out if it was infected way before the time when your cat may be affected. So on the whole do not worry! But understand totally why you do!

Ilovedaintynuts · 12/08/2012 11:58

I'm still imagining a bat flying in my room and biting me. I would need to be locked up in a secure unit after that

amateurmum · 12/08/2012 12:01

Thank-you for your reassurance. I will order the envelope tomorrow (yuk) and try not to panic.

OP posts:
amateurmum · 12/08/2012 12:05

Ilovedaintynuts - if you are thinking about my colleague the bat only bit her because she picked it up! She wasn't even sure that it had drawn blood but was advised to have rabies injections as a precaution.

Am sending DH out to put the bat in a plastic bag ready for posting as soon as he comes back from swimming.

OP posts:
Sparklingbrook · 12/08/2012 12:07

You will have to take dead bat into the Post Office and queue up with it. Sad

GetOrfMoiRing · 12/08/2012 12:09

Good lord I had no idea.

My cats have dragged in a couple of chewed bats (we live next to a graveyard as well so it freaks dd out Grin).

I didn't know that rabies was at all a possibility in the UK. I just picked up the dead bats and slung them back over the fence into the graveyard from whence it came.

I did shout at the cats for their bat homicide though. I must say though I was more disturbed when they brought a crow (alive) in through the cat flap.

MaggotMummy · 12/08/2012 20:16

Oh bloody hell, didn't know we were harbouring rabies in the end of our house!
When we build our extension we found bats in the end of the house, £36k (the cost of delays and extra work to accommodate them) later they have a bloody palace to live in and we will be mortgaging kidneys if the interest rates go up again.....

My cats catch the brown long ear bats occasionally, I had better keep your link, thank you PeriPathetic, and parcel one up the next time. There are also Daubentons bats here, they were picked up on a sonar survey flying over a neighbours lake...

Gotta love MN, something scary and new everyday

I'll be thinking of you OP in the postoffice queue!

BadgersRetreat · 13/08/2012 19:42

bats + rabies is quite a 'thing' here in Canada

to the point where if you wake up and find a bat in your tent you must go for jabs - whether you think it bit you or not

and the Cat has a rabies shot every three years as part of her regular shots.

BCBG · 13/08/2012 19:51

Blimey - we have an attic full of the brown long eared bats..... Shock

peggyblackett · 13/08/2012 22:52

Blooming heck. We have bats flying all over the shop in our garden. And we now have a cat....maybe cat will need to be an indoor cat and live on my lap and bed.

SrirachaGirl · 13/08/2012 23:01

Getorf You live next to a graveyard with bats? That's awesome Grin.

I live in Canada. All our pets have to be vaccinated against rabies and we're always told to never approach or handle bats as they are so often rabid.

I'm fascinated that cats can catch bats at do they do it? Bats don't really land on the ground like birds, do they?

FairPlayPhyllis · 14/08/2012 03:49

You do need to send it for testing. The chances of it having rabies in the UK is slim, but I wouldn't take the risk. Wear gloves to pick it up.

Rabies takes up to a couple of months to become symptomatic, so if the bat is shown to have rabies, there will be time for your family to get vaccinated if there is any worry about transmission.

Rabies is endemic in bats in North America and most cases of rabies in humans here come from people being bitten by bats and not realising it (sometimes the bites or scratches are too small to see). That's why if you find bats in your house or you've had any physical contact with a bat you are advised to be vaccinated. All pets have to be vaccinated annually in my state.

MaggotMummy · 15/08/2012 21:09

I watched my old cat catching bats sitting on the garage roof and swatting them from behind the security light when the bats came in to catch insects. He was so quick, nothing was safe!
Of our three current moggies only one of them is fast enough, she is mental enough too, she brought one into our bedroom from the roof at sunset a few weeks ago. There I was , peacefully thinking how beautiful her ginger coat looked in the light and she spat out a bat, fabulous

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