Scratched or maybe bitten by my friendly feral cat, who is sick. I don’t know what to do!

Jennah13

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I have a very friendly and affectionate 4-Mo kitten who has been pretty sick for a week. Lethargic, diarrhea, not eating. Put him in a kennel today to drive him to my apartment so I can take him to the vet tomorrow. He was quite distressed to be in the kennel and either scratched or bit my finger as I was holding the kennel steady while driving. I can’t tell. Barely broke the skin and I went home and washed it w soap and water and scrubbed w an alcohol wipe. He had one other episode of agitation once I brought him back to my place, but is otherwise his usual friendly purring self (of course still with the other symptoms of illness mentioned above).

I am hesitant to tell the vet at his appt tomorrow bc where I live there is a mandatory 10-day quarantine for animals who have bitten a person (Texas). The quarantine must be paid for by the owner of the animal. I don’t have a lot of money... barely enough to even take the cat to the vet. I’m already stressing about how much that will cost. Also the cost of the rabies treatment if I have to get that. Is it better not to disclose the bite/scratch and wait to see if he develops other rabies symptoms? He had already been sick for 7 days, but no behavior changes (beyond the lethargy) except the agitation in the crate. It could be so many other things. I wasn’t worried about rabies and didn’t even think of it til he bit/scratched me. Now I’m freaking out!
 
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Jennah13

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Should also say he is a stray I found a couple months ago. Lives outside. Not yet had rabies vaccine.
 

Jcatbird

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Try not to freak out. See what the vet says about his illness since it may be something easily recognized. Look up the county where you live and see if there have been reported cases. Mostly what I see is skunks, bats and coyotes. Any bite wounds on the kitty? It’s really up to you how you handle this or if you think it’s a scratch rather than a bite. You could show the vet where you got hurt and ask if it’s a scratch. If cases there are not occurring then maybe he will just ease your mind. It’s possible he will let you quarantine the kitty at home too if he knows you have been working with the kitty for some time and are adopting it. He may be sick from something like Coccidia. Common among young cats. Please do let us know how things go.
 

BBirdcat

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If you are having money issues and have no symptoms... I'd probably not mention it. If it's a forced 10 day quarantine (which sounds unfair) I wouldn't mention it. Thank you for taking care of the cat. That's very kind of you.
 
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