Ray King, district director of environmental health for the North Georgia Health District, said the three cats captured by Cherokee County Animal Control officers were found near the coffee shop in Canton where officials last week confirmed a rabid cat was picked up.
There is no evidence the three cats were related to the rabid animal, he said. However, because the animals were in the same area, the agency tested them.
So far, no other people who might have had contact with the rabid cat have come forward.
Seven people are undergoing treatment for rabies related to the original case. Those being treated include members of the family who first took in the stray and the veterinarian the cat later bit. Several were also scratched by the infected animal.
On March 1, a woman picked up the stray cat at the coffee shop, located on RiverStone Parkway, where the feline might have come into contact with other people, according to the North Georgia Health District.
On the same day, the woman took the kitten to her home in Canton, where it was handled by other people.
The woman brought the kitten to her place of employment at a veterinarian office in Canton on March 2 where it was given a clean bill of health.
The woman took the cat back home with her. On March 3, the veterinarian she worked for took the cat to her home in Lumpkin County.
The veterinarian was bitten twice by the kitten after it was frightened by her dog. The cat seemed fine until the veterinarian found the cat dead around 1 p.m. on March 4.
The cat was tested at the Georgia Public Health Lab. A positive result for rabies came back on March 7.
Health officials stressed that casual contact, such as petting, cannot transmit rabies, but scratching or biting can.