Department of Health officials in Baltimore and Frederick counties said they’ve recently found rabid cats, and now many counties in Maryland are reminding people to make sure their pets are vaccinated for the disease.

Baltimore County health officials said they captured the cat in a feral cat colony in the vicinity of Rhonda Court in Milford Mill. The cat was gray, tan and white and has since died.

Officials are asking anyone who had contact with the cat or thinks their pet may have had contact with it between March 28 and April 12 should contact the Department of Health immediately at 410-887-6011.

Animal control authorities said they’re going to try to capture and remove the other feral cats living in that colony in case they’re rabid, too. Residents who own cats should keep them inside to prevent them from begin accidentally trapped.

Under Baltimore County law, cats aren’t permitted to roam around at large, and they’re required to be licensed. Officials recommend all pets be microchipped and wear their licenses on their collars.

Authorities in Frederick County also confirmed that a rabid cat was picked up on April 11 in Ijamsville between Green Meadows Petting Farm and St. Ignatius Loyola after it attacked a person.  The cat was a large domestic short-haired brown tabby cat. Anyone who may have had contact with it should call their health care provider and contact the Health Department at 301-600-3342. If your pet came in contact with it, do the same but call 301-600-1717.

Meanwhile, the Harford County Health Department has listed dates and times for its annual spring rabies vaccination clinics here.

Health officials in Maryland said people can prevent rabies by following a few tips:

  • Consider the risk before taking in or interacting with any animal, especially if your home contains children, persons with certain illnesses, elderly or other pets.
  • People considering adopting stray or feral cats should talk with a veterinarian first. Contact your doctor and the local Health Department if you are bitten or scratched by a stray or feral cat.
  • Since rabies remains uncontrolled in the wild, avoid contact with wildlife and stray or feral animals, especially if they appear to be sick.
  • Do not provide food, water or shelter to wildlife or strays. For pets that are fed outdoors, do not leave food or water bowls out for extended periods, especially overnight. Contain garbage in tightly covered containers.
  • Keep your pet’s rabies vaccinations up-to-date. Do not allow pets to freely roam the neighborhood.