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A week ago I decided to adopt a friendly feral kitten (about 3-4 months old). He seems to be in perfect health, very playful, friendly, uses the designated toilet place, and actually tolerates baths to some extent.

However, as I bathed him, I discovered that there's a pretty serious bite wound on his leg. The "holes" due to the wound have pinched through his bones all the way into the blood stream. The wound was overflowing with pus before I cleaned it.

I'm going through a horrible financial situation now and I absolutely cannot afford to take him to the vet. Even though he absolutely shows no symptoms, I'm concerned that he may be rabid. Should I abandon him?

P/S: unfortunately where I live there aren't any functional animal shelters so my only option would be to put him back where I found him (or somewhere better such as a park).

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    There's no reasonable reason that it could have rabies from what you said, but te wound is concerning in terms of his health. – Journeyman Geek Jun 16 at 12:08
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    the last two lines of your question is not how you takes care of an animal,when you took the kitten into your home you comitted to taking care of it for the rest of its life.you have two options help it get well or help it die whitout suffering. – trond hansen Jun 16 at 14:11
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    if you put an injured kitten outside or in a park it will likely suffer and die and this is not a humane thing to do,you say this is your only option and if this is true then it is better for the kitten to be put down in a humane way,your suggestion of putting the kitten back where you found it is more than a lttle upsetting to me. – trond hansen Jun 16 at 16:16
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    it is impossible to say if your cat is infected with rabies but your description of the cat do not show any signs of infection petmd.com/cat/conditions/neurological/c_ct_rabies if it is infected you will put other people at risk by releasing it so this is not an alternative. – trond hansen Jun 16 at 19:26
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    @WantsToLearn If you cannot afford a vet, maybe our post I can't afford vet treatment, what are my options? can help. Even if you don't live in any of the listed countries, you might find similar solutions in your country. – Elmy Jun 17 at 11:25
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First of all, it is irresponsible to adopt any pet if your current financial situation is such that you cannot afford to provide for its needs, which includes regular veterinary checkups and the possiblility of medical emergencies or other medical costs if the animal turns out to be unwell. Especially in the case of a feral cat, your first act as a new pet owner should be to bring it to a vet to get it all its immunizations, including the rabies vaccine, and a health assessment.

As for the risk of rabies, rabies is transmitted in the saliva, and only transmissible after it is showing clinical signs. The most well-known method of transmission is through a bite by an infected animal, however, you can contract it in other ways such as through contact of infected saliva with an existing open wound.

Since you have said the animal does not have symptoms, and you have not mentioned getting bit, most likely your current risk is small or none. However, that said, I still recommend you contact a doctor immediately, as rabies is for all practical purposes one hundred percent fatal once symptomatic, and therefore all precautions should be taken, starting with getting an actual doctor's advice.

Furthermore, since we know nothing of the animal that bit it, and there is no test to determine if a live animal has rabies, it is impossible to say whether the animal has rabies or not. It is a greater than zero possibility the animal could develop rabies symptoms later.

It also seems irresponsible to me to release an animal because you're afraid it might have rabies, as if it does, you are now allowing the infected animal to go around spreading it, and also leaving it to suffer.

You should contact your local animal control services or a veterinarian about the procedure to deal with an animal with an unknown bite wound. The normal way that the possibility of a rabies exposure is handled is to quarantine the animal. How exactly the quarantine is done can vary. Some places use a special facility, others allow the quarantine to be done at home.

Therefore, I would say the most humane and responsible thing is to do is a proper quarantine and also attempt to rehome the cat with an owner that can afford its veterinary care.

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