LANCASTER COUNTY -- Northern Lancaster County Regional Police are warning Warwick Township residents to be on the lookout for an aggressive stray or feral cat that recently attacked two residents of the 200 block of North Oak Street.
According to police, the cat attacked an adult and child in separate incidents while the victims were in their in their yards or walking around the neighborhood. The victims suffered bites, cuts, and scratches during the attack, and required medical treatment.
One woman, who spoke with FOX43 anonymously, said her daughter was one of the people bitten.
She said over the weekend, the cat appeared in their yard, rubbing against bicycle tires and meowing.
She also said her daughter made no effort to pet or touch the cat.
“It was rubbing against her legs and she was just kind of standing still because she didn’t know the cat and it just bit her,” said the woman.
Aida May, animal care coordinator with the Humane League of Lancaster County, said it's rare for a feral cat to approach people.
“Usually, we think that maybe there’s something medically wrong with the cat,” said May.
The animal remains at large despite efforts by police and the animal welfare group ORCA to locate it for testing.
Residents in the area should not approach the animal due to the potential risk of injury or exposure to animal-borne disease, police say. Anyone who encounters the cat should call 911 and report the sighting to police.
“You never know what type of diseases the animal could be harboring. The biggest and most well known one is the rabies virus. That is a deadly disease if not treated. Anytime you’re bitten or scratched by a stray animal that you don’t know if it’s vaccinated, you should immediately go seek medical attention and speak with your doctor about what they recommend,” said May.
The woman who said her daughter was bitten by the cat said they are now giving her rabies treatment, as a precaution.
“There’s a lot of kids in the neighborhood so I would hate for it to bite and well, it bit an adult, too, so I’d hate for it to bite somebody else. It’s not very fun to go through those shots,” said the woman.
Animal experts say they can test the cat for rabies, alive or dead, as long as its head is undamaged.