Cornelia City Planner Jeff Barron said the afternoon of Aug. 8 a “skinny, black cat” has so far, “attacked three people without provocation.”
Just hours later, the aggressive cat bit another person, Barron confirmed.
“This cat has bitten [three] people and scratched one,” Barron said. “The health department’s been notified and I’ve [also] called the local vet.”
Barron said, “we do not know at this point that it is rabid,” but confirmed the cat “is acting aggressively, so people just need to stay away from it.”
Still, those who have sustained injuries by the cat have been encouraged to seek immediate medical attention.
The cat has been seen near Hillside Baptist Church on Level Grove Road, Barron said, who urges residents to avoid the area within a half-mile radius.
“Anyone in the area is asked to please put their cats and dogs up, and advise children not to approach any animal that is strange to them,” Barron said. “That goes for adults just as much. If anyone were to see this cat acting strangely, do not under any circumstances try to capture the animal.”
Barron said city officials have actively pursued the cat “for the majority of the day” since early Wednesday morning, but have had no success thus far.
“There’s a lot of wooded area over there and a lot of place that a little skinny black cat can hide,” Barron said.
Barron said traps baited with cat food will be placed within the area of suspected refuge.
“I’m hoping we catch the cat very, very soon, but as we actively pursue it, it’s going to run,” Barron said. “But we know every day that goes by increases the chances someone else could be attacked. We’re doing the best we can.”
Those with information regarding the whereabouts of the cat, other incidents are asked to call 706-894-3067.
Barron said “once we have captured the cat, it will be sent off for testing to confirm whether or not it has rabies.
“We don’t know that it’s rabies yet, but aggression is a tell-tale sign sometimes,” Barron said.
Further details will be released when available.