PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A Pittsburgh woman and her young daughter and nephew are being treated for rabies after police say they were attacked by a feral cat.
According to Pittsburgh Police, the incident happened Friday around 3 p.m. on Royal Street in the city’s Spring Hill section.
Authorities say the woman was outside with her 3-year-old daughter and 3-year-old nephew when the cat attacked them. The Allegheny County Health Department said the attack was unprovoked.
A neighbor who tried to help the family said it seemed like a scene from a horror movie.
Alyse Quigley says her neighbor, Nicole McGrady, was scratched and bitten on her legs. Her 3-year-old daughter was bitten on the arm, and her 3-year-old nephew on the leg and hip.
All three suffered deep puncture wounds.
Quigley says the cat was hiding under a car in the driveway.
“So, when they went to walk in the house, it came out of nowhere and grabbed onto the back of her leg. She tried to shake it off. It was so aggressive,” Quigley told KDKA’s Kym Gable.
“When they all ran, it was still trying to get in the front door,” Quigley added. “And when we went to get in the car to go to hospital, the cat tried to jump into the car, and the police officer came up and he even maced it and it was still coming after us.”
Quigley tried to distract the cat by kicking an empty can of cat food in its direction.
While they raced to the hospital, animal control officers captured the cat, which later tested positive for rabies.
“You have to worry about your kids, your pets and yourself, so it’s very scary,” said Quigley.
The McGrady family received rabies shots at Children’s Hospital.
According to the Health Department, the rabid cat has been euthanized.
The Health Department says anyone who encountered the animal, which they describe as a white cat with one blue eye and one green one, and was scratched, bitten or came into contact with its saliva should contact their doctor to get medical care.
Following the attack, police, animal control officials and the health department are urging people to use caution around stray cats.
Anyone who sees one behaving strangely is asked to stay away and call animal care and control at 412-255-2036.