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Health Alert: Kitten Found at 902 West Seneca Street, Ithaca, Confirmed to Have Rabies

(ITHACA, NY, August 2, 2023) – Tompkins County Whole Health’s Environmental Health Division (EH) is alerting the community that a black, short-haired kitten found at 902 West Seneca Street (Ithaca) on or around July 14th was confirmed to have the rabies virus. Testing was conducted on July 30th after the kitten exhibited symptoms of the virus.

The kitten was estimated to have been around 3 months old and was polydactyl (had extra toes with larger than normal front feet). The black fur of the kitten had white fur speckled throughout its coat.

EH must locate and interview anyone who has had contact with a cat or kitten at any of the properties in the vicinity of 902 West Seneca Street in the month of July, or if someone has information regarding whether the kitten was transported from another location and abandoned at 902 West Seneca Street. Due to the kitten’s age and lack of injury, it may have become infected by its mother and any other kittens of that litter may also carry the virus.

The kitten was taken to the Tompkins County SPCA on July 14, 2023, where it remained at the Intake Center for five days before being adopted by the finder. There was no public contact with the kitten during its time at the SPCA.

Tompkins County Whole Health reminds everyone to:

  1. Avoid contact with any unfamiliar cats or dogs and any wild animals.
  2. All cats, dogs and ferrets must have initial rabies vaccinations administered no later than four months of age. Keep vaccinations current.
  3. Report the following incidents to Environmental Health, 24/7, at 607-274-6688:
    • All animal bites or scratches.
    • Any human or pet contact with saliva or other potentially infectious material (brain tissue, spinal tissue, or cerebro-spinal fluid) of wild animals or any animal suspected of having rabies.
    • All bat bites, scratches, or any mere skin contact with a bat, or a bat in a room with a child, or sleeping or impaired person.

Further information can be found at:

Tompkins County Whole Health (formerly the Tompkins County Health Department) envisions a future where every person in Tompkins County can achieve wellness. Find us online at, and follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter at @TCWholeHealth. Get Whole Health updates or other county announcements via email or text, sign up here.

Media contact: Shannon Alvord,