A house cat in northern New Brunswick has tested positive for rabies after biting its owner.  

The cat in Balmoral was not vaccinated against the virus, which infects the central nervous system.

According to the New Brunswick Veterinary Medical Association, the cat was acting sick, bit its owner on the arm, and died the next day.

The cat tested positive for rabies after its death.

The owner sought medical attention and the incident was reported to Public Health.

The association says the disease is almost always fatal without post-bite treatment.

Animals infected with rabies may exhibit unusual, aggressive behaviour and attack people. Symptoms may also include excessive drooling and difficulty swallowing and moving.

Rabies is usually spread by bites from rabid animals and contact with saliva and drool. Animals typically die a short time after symptoms appear.

“This incident reinforces that rabies still exists in New Brunswick and underlines the extreme importance of preventing rabies, a fatal disease if contracted,” says the association in a statement released Friday.

“Visit your veterinarian on a regular basis and keep rabies vaccinations up-to-date.”