Allegheny County health officials announced today that a rabid cat was found in the Oakdale area last month.
The stray black-and-gray-striped cat with a white face, belly and paws was in the Union Avenue Extension area of Oakdale between Jan. 9 and 19.
The cat tested positive for rabies after drooling on a woman while she was feeding it, possibly exposing her to the rabies virus. The woman is being treated with a vaccine and is not expected to develop rabies.
The cat was taken to a veterinarian's office and euthanized; it is the first rabid animal reported in the county this year.
According to officials, rabies exposures typically occur through a break in the skin that comes in contact with an infected animal's saliva. Rabies is almost always fatal when untreated.
The anti-rabies vaccine is administered in five doses and has a low chance of side effects, said Dr. Ron Voorhees, the Health Department's acting director.
"Getting the vaccine will greatly reduce the chance of getting rabies," he said.
The Health Department asks people who may have come into contact with the cat to call 412-687-2243.