Pennsylvania Cats and Rabies
A common argument for the killing of feral cats is that they carry rabies. The truth of the matter is that of the 25 documented cases of human rabies in the United States between 2001-2007, not a single case was caused by cats. In Pennsylvania, the majority of rabies in animals reported are raccoons, skunks, bats, and foxes.
So why is this misinformation still being passed around? It’s because of the inherent nature of a cornered cat. When approached by a human, a feral cat (a cat who has grown up completely unsocialized to humans) will react in fear. This reaction is often hissing, spitting, and the usual posturing that is meant to show you she is more trouble than is worth. When given the chance, she will try to run away rather than go anywhere near you.
Unfortunately, many folks who have cats of their own, or worse, have no experience with cats, will try to approach a feral cat but then become fearful of her reaction and assume the worst, which is rabies. In reality, like any wild animal, she just wants to be left alone.