VIRGINIA BEACH -- Health officials are warning residents of the Scarborough Square neighborhood of a rabid stray cat found in the area.

Last week a stray Siamese cat was seen following kids to the bus stop in the 1200 block of Warwick Drive.

A neighbor noticed something was off, and put it in a cat carrier for Virginia Beach Animal Control to take away to the shelter.

After several days at the shelter, the cat appeared to be suffering from rabies.

'It looked like it was in pain, it was suffering,' said Val Thompson with the Virginia Beach Department of Public Health.

'It was howling and the veterinarian that was looking after the cat knew that this was symptomatic of something neurological, possibly rabies, and it was rabies.'

When the results came in Thursday, the city says it immediately notified neighbors in the area using a reverse 911 alert system.

Health officials say the deadly disease is preventable, but only if caught early.

'If they [neighbors] were possibly bitten or scratched by this cat, contact their primary physician or go to the E-R department for immediate evaluation,' said Thompson.The cat has been euthanized.

The city says the neighbor who captured it, was accidentally scratched and is now receiving a series of rabies shots.

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