Q. Can rabies spread through food licked by a cat?

Answered by
Dr. Goswami Parth Rajendragiri
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jul 06, 2017 and last reviewed on: Nov 13, 2021

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

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.

For more information consult a general practitioner online -->

Hi doctor,

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

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 0 and 3 days for full protection, although you have been previously vaccinated.

Hope this will help you. Take care.

For further queries consult a general practitioner online -->

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