Rabid kitten bites child and pregnant woman in western MN

The kitten may have exposed more people and animals to the deadly virus.
Publish date:

A kitten in Otter Tail County tested positive for rabies this week. The animal was euthanized and examined after it bit three people earlier this month, including a 4-year-old child and a pregnant woman.

According to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health, the 6-month-old kitten lived on a farm with several other cats and animals. 

The farm owner reported she heard a commotion on her porch Oct. 16 and saw a skunk attacking the kitten. The kitten was able to escape but suffered bite wounds. 

A few weeks later, the kitten attacked the farm owner, her 4-year-old son, and her pregnant sister. There is no live test for rabies in animals, so the cat was euthanized and submitted for testing. 

Because the test came back positive, the Board of Animal Health is investigating to determine the extent other animals on the farm have been exposed to rabies. Those animals include two rabies-vaccinated dogs, nine unvaccinated cats, beef cattle, and a horse. 

The Minnesota Department of Health conducted a separate human exposure investigation and determined up to five people may have been exposed and should see a medical provider for postexposure prophylaxis (PEP). 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, PEP consists of a series of vaccinations that help people fight off the disease. 

To prevent the spread of rabies, the Board of Animal Health recommends vaccinating all dogs, cats, ferrets and horses. 

If an animal is bitten by a wild animal—especially a bat or a skunk because they're notorious for carrying rabies—confine the animal and contact a veterinarian immediately. 

Anyone with questions about possible human exposure to rabies can call the Department of Health at 651-201-5451.

For more information about rabies and to see a map of cases reported in Minnesota, click here.  

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-01-22 at 9.08.16 PM

Tributes pour in after MN Supreme Court justice's daughter found dead

Olivia Chutich died near the campus of Iowa State University.

Image from iOS (96)

Early Saturday fire damages Burger King in Richfield

The fire was reported around 1:15 a.m. Saturday.

Jamal Mashburn Jr. / Gopher Basketball

Maryland hands Gophers first home loss of season

The 17th-ranked Gophers fell to the Terrapins 63-49 on Saturday afternoon.

Alibi Drinkery in Lakeville.

Minnesota Department of Health files lawsuit against Alibi Drinkery

The Lakeville bar has been in the news for defying orders.

Iron Tap snowmobile delivery

This MN restaurant will deliver to your ice house... on a snowmobile

Just in case you work up an appetite fishing on Lake Waconia.

Klobuchar and Trump

Klobuchar reacts to report Trump plotted against his attorney general

The NYT story alleges further tactics to overturn the election.

snow, plow

Snowy Saturday: Here's how much snow is forecast in Minnesota

Snow will reach the metro area by the early afternoon.

Cam Talbot

Wild improve to 4-1 with victory over Dubnyk, Sharks

The 4-1 win gives the Wild four victories in five games to start the season.

Screen Shot 2021-01-22 at 9.08.16 PM

Daughter of MN Supreme Court Justice, Allina Health CEO found dead in Iowa

The 21-year-old was found dead in the parking lot of a sorority, according to police.


OMG kittens are planning to take over Minneapolis City Hall

They're going to campaign and "run for office." ????

OMG kittens are planning to take over Minneapolis City Hall

They're going to campaign and "run for office." ????

Two rabid bats found in Minneapolis in past 5 weeks

Residents are being urged to take precautions.

Pregnant woman saves husband's life, then gives birth to their 1st child

This story about a West St. Paul couple is simply incredible.

Kittens saved from junk car – right before it was crushed

These kitties were moments away from being sent to a car crusher.