Rabid Bobcat Enters Florida Home, Attacks

Rabid Bobcat Attacks Family Dog, FWC Officer

Bobcats are common in Florida, but it’s uncommon to have one enter a home through the front door. Yet that’s what happened to one family in North Port.

Turns out it was a rabid bobcat that entered the home of Karen Morse.

“You could hear everybody screaming,” Morse told WFLA. “We we’re all in here, six of us, screaming.”

Morse had family visiting from North Carolina at the time. Her son and his family was getting ready to take their dog out for a walk when the bobcat entered.

“I thought it was an overgrown cat, like a really, really big domesticated cat, and, there was going to be a dog-cat fight,” Morse said to WFLA.

The rabid feline turned vicious then. The large cat went after the family’s dog, Sammie, a five-pound Italian greyhound that was terrified of the bobcat.

Sammie. Photo: WFLA

From there things got hectic. The cat ran through the house and out the back door onto the lanai, but the family didn’t know the cat was rabid at this time.

Luckily Morse and her family members quickly called 911 and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission sent officers to her home.

“They opened the lanai door, hoping the cat would go out. And, they waited and waited. And he wouldn’t leave,” she said to WFLA.

Instead the bobcat decided to attack a wildlife officer who had arrived on to the scene to help. The officer was scratched by the cat, but a ballistic vest prevented any serious injuries.

The cat was finally captured and taken out of the house. It was later euthanized humanely after the positive rabies test.

While on it’s rampage through the house, the cat marked its territory in the kitchen. Since Morse and her three grandsons didn’t know of the rabies at the time they cleaned it up with paper towels. They are all undergoing a series of rabies shots.

They had to visit four area hospitals to receive the shots, which will last over the course of two weeks. The wildlife officer is also being treated.

Sammie the dog suffered five puncture wounds and had to be revaccinated.

Further information about bobcats in Florida can be found here.