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Can Kittens Get Rabies From Their Mother?

Do you have a mother cat with recent exposure to rabies, and you are worried about the kittens?

Yes, your kittens can contract rabies from their mother. There are several ways for this to happen, and if you suspect their mother has rabies, you need to act quickly to save her kittens!

Here are some of the tell-tale signs of rabies, how it spreads, and how to prevent it.

Can Kittens Get Rabies from Their Mother’s Milk?

Are you worried your kitten’s mother may have rabies? Have you become concerned about her feeding them and whether or not she can pass the disease onto her offspring by breastfeeding? 

Well, in theory, yes, there may be a risk to the kittens of catching rabies simply from breastfeeding if their mother has the disease. It may not have been definitively proven, but just mere contact with their infected mother can cause the illness to spread to the kittens. 

Can Kittens Get Rabies from Their Mother's Milk?

Rabies is mainly spread through saliva, and if the mother licks her kittens while in contact with them, they can contract her rabies and if she becomes violent and bites or attacks them. 

Other ways they can be susceptible to the disease is from contact with other infected animals, like raccoons, foxes, and squirrels that may be in your area. 

If you suspect their mother has rabies, the best thing you can do is to separate her from the kittens for their own safety. Have her taken to the vet to be sure, and if she has the disease, she, unfortunately, must be euthanized. 

If the kittens are still too young and need milk to survive, they can drink supplemental milk or kitten milk replacer, which you can also learn more about from your local veterinarian. 

There are many options for you at this point, so try not to worry too much. However, you should treat this situation with swift action. Rabies is too deadly to let spread and can claim a lot of lives, sadly.

How To Tell If a Kitten Has Rabies?

You may be wondering about the signs of an infected kitten. 

One primary symptom is sudden behavior changes such as aggression and drooling. Having a dropped jaw is a clear sign that they are starting to lose control of their muscles, which is also a sign of rabies. 

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They may experience seizures, display symptoms of paralysis, have difficulty swallowing or being unable to swallow at all, and suffer from a fever. 

However, try not to worry, especially if these symptoms are not present, because kittens and cats rarely even contract rabies. 

That said, you should definitely be wary because rabies is dangerous to animals and humans, as contracting it can be life-threatening. So, if you suspect any of your pets of having rabies, you should immediately quarantine them from any other animals. 

The only way you can be sure is to take your pet to your local veterinarian for further investigation. Try not to jump to any conclusions, and do your best to be patient and wait for your vet’s diagnosis. Regardless of the results, know that the vet will do whatever is best for your pet.

When Can a Kitten Receive a Rabies Shot?

If you are looking for ways to prevent your cats from catching rabies, you should consider getting them vaccinated as early as possible.

When dealing with kittens, knowing when it’s safe even to get them vaccinated is best. 

The earliest a kitten can get a rabies shot is at 16 weeks old. It would be risky for them if you vaccinated them before they were old and strong enough to survive it. 

That’s not to say that vaccines are dangerous, and it’s very much the opposite! Vaccines are the best and only form of protection you can give your pets to protect them from catching this deadly disease. 

Is There Treatment for Cats with Rabies If They Are Already Infected?

The sad thing is, for kittens that have already contracted rabies, there is nothing you can do to help them besides putting them down. There is no treatment for a cat or kitten with rabies, so the best thing you can do is to have them taken to your veterinarian and get them euthanized. 

This will limit their suffering and also protect you and the rest of your pets. This is why staying up to date on your pets’ vaccines is vital. 

Forgetting to take them to the vet for a checkup can be the difference between you being in this situation or not having to worry about it ever! So as soon as your cat gives birth, mark a date on the calendar and schedule its first veterinarian visit!

Can I Get Rabies from A Kitten?

can I get rabies from my kitten

Now, this may have just dawned on you. “Am I at risk?” you may be asking yourself at this moment. Well, yes, you are most definitely at risk of catching rabies from your kittens.  

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However, once again, the likelihood of your kitten even having rabies is rare, although not impossible. If your kitten is infected, then you are definitely at risk of contracting the disease yourself! 

Like cats, humans with rabies can’t be treated; you can only try to prevent it. If an animal with rabies bites you, the best you can hope for is to get to the hospital fast enough and receive a series of shots to prevent the illness before it even begins. 

Sadly, when rabies spreads, surviving it is rare, unlikely, but not unheard of for most victims. You should definitely proceed with caution for your safety and others and seek professional help from a veterinarian for your infected pet before you are even bitten. 

Be careful of their saliva because that is the primary way this disease spreads. Wash your hands and take other measures to protect yourself and others at all costs. 

Call your local health department, and get professional help handling this animal. Keep track of all persons that your pet has come into contact with. 

If possible, try to limit your contact with this animal and its contact with anyone else who may live with you or visit you. This is a severe matter that needs to be handled properly to protect innocent people. The main people who need to handle this animal are the hospital staff, trained to do so.


It is definitely possible for kittens to catch rabies from their mother or even spread it to another! They can contract this disease while breastfeeding from their mother because contact with an infected animal puts them at risk. 

The best thing you can do to protect them is separate them from their mother until a vet clears her of not having the disease. However, if she does have rabies, then the only thing you can do is euthanize her sadly because there is nothing the vet or anyone else can do to save her. 

These actions can save her kittens, you, and any other pets or people she may come into contact with.  

There are ways to prevent your pets from catching rabies, such as getting a vaccination as early as 16 weeks old. Following the advice in this article you should be fine, best of luck, we wish you the best, thank you for reading!