An apparent stray cat that attacked a person in Lincoln has tested positive for rabies.
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management said Friday the cat attacked one resident and had contact with two others on April 17.
The three people have started treatment with rabies vaccines.
The cat is described as a brown tiger. It had been seen with three other cats: a black tiger, a gray tiger and an orange tiger. It's believed the cats are feral.
The rabid cat was caught on Lower Road near the following businesses: G&P Performance, a dance studio, a gun shop, a welding business, a machine shop and a chiropractor's office.
The Health Department is asking anyone who might have had contact with the cat before April 17 to call to arrange for evaluation and potential treatment.
If anyone believes their pets may have had contact with the stray cats, they can call Lincoln Animal Control at 401-333-0950.
State health and wildlife experts also make the following recommendations to protect people and pets from rabies:
- Make sure dogs, cats and ferrets are properly vaccinated against rabies. It is the law.
- Avoid all contact with stray, wild or free-roaming domestic animals.
- Call the Health Department if you have had any contact with a stray, wild or free-roaming domestic animal.
- Call your local animal control officer if an animal you own has had contact with a stray, wild or free-roaming domestic animal.
- Secure all trash so that animals will not be attracted to it.
- Do not feed animals outdoors, as this will attract other animals. This is especially dangerous when feeding large numbers of free-roaming cats.
- Do not leave pets outdoors loose or unattended.
You can find more information on the Department of Health website: http://health.ri.gov/diseases/rabies/