CHERRY VALLEY, NY (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) — The Otsego County Department of Health has reported that a cat has tested positive for rabies in the village of Cherry Valley.

The cat in question belonged to a feral cat colony on Montgomery Street in the Village. The chances that other cats in the colony have rabies as well is very high. The Department of Health is urging anyone who may have had any contact with stray cats in the area to contact their offices in Cooperstown at 607-547-4230 or call 607-547-1697 after 4:30 pm or on weekends.

Rabies is a fatal viral infection that can be transmitted through bites from infected animals or contact with saliva to broken skin or mucus membranes. The Health Department is cautioning all people to stay away from any stray or wild animals and instructing children to do so also.

The Health Department also warned people that it is New York State law that all dogs, cats and ferrets be vaccinated for rabies. Unvaccinated pets in contact with wildlife that is suspected or confirmed to be infected must be euthanized or strictly quarantined at the owner’s expense.

For more information, Otsego County residents are encouraged to call the county health department at 607-547-4230 or visit the Otsego County website at this link.