HILLSBOROUGH- A  laundry room full of bats lead to Orange County’s ninth confirmed rabies case this year. Officials from Orange County Animal Services say a Hillsborough homeowner reported that a house cat was bitten by a bat on Tuesday.

The owners then found half a dozen bats in the laundry room, which they sealed off from the rest of the house. Animal Services officers removed five of the bats; a sixth bat escaped outside. Tests confirmed the bat killed by the cat was infected with rabies.

The cat was up-to-date on its vaccinations and the family is being evaluated for possible exposure.

Bats and raccoons are the primary source of rabies in North Carolina, but bats pose a greater risk to humans because of their small, hard-to-detect bite marks.

Animal Services Director Bob Marrotto urges residents to contact authorities if a bat is found to have been in a home overnight, or if family pet has contact with a bat.

You can learn more about rabies in Orange County here.