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HomeAnswersGeneral PractitionerrabiesWill the rabies virus die on heating the food licked by a cat?

Can rabies spread through food licked by a cat?

The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At July 6, 2017
Reviewed AtJune 20, 2023

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

I am having some doubts about rabies. Will rabies spread through food, which is licked by a cat? Will rabies virus die on heating?


Welcome to icliniq.com.

I am giving you my opinion regarding your doubts. Rabies can spread through the saliva of an infected animal, especially dog. But from saliva, the virus can spread if the skin is not intact or it can spread through mucosa contact. So, direct saliva contact to mucosa has more chances of getting infected with rabies. But, ingesting food licked by a cat has very fewer chances of spread. Yes. rabies virus is killed on heating. Take care. Hope your concern is solved. Thank you and take care. Regards.

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Thank you for replying. If a dog or cat bites, and if the animal is alive for more than two weeks, is there any need for treatment? I took Rabipur vaccination, four doses, 11 months back, and two booster doses one month back. Is there any need for further vaccination, if in doubt?


Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Here is my further opinion about your case. After a dog or cat bite, vaccination is recommended whether that animal is alive or not because we cannot take the risk of acquiring rabies infection. If you are fully vaccinated, then whatever the severity, rabies immunoglobulin is not needed. The protective antibody is also present to fight against rabies virus. But as per WHO criteria, it is better to take two doses of vaccine at zero and three days for full protection, although you have been previously vaccinated. Hope this will help you. Take care.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Goswami Parth Rajendragiri
Dr. Goswami Parth Rajendragiri


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