It appears to me that cats are very low risk in North America (I am prepared to be corrected). Bats are high risk. It seems that transmission of the disease might take place through airborne aerosols from bats (1). It is obligatory to vaccinate a cat against rabies in the USA and it applies to indoor cats as well.
|Place ||Major |
reservoir for rabies - these overlap
|Midwest, Southwest and |
|New England and East, USA ||Raccoon |
|New York, Eastern Canada, Alaska |
and Southeast, USA
|Texas, USA ||Coyotes and Foxes |
|Widely distributed in the USA ||Bats - 86% of cases between |
1980-97 caused by bats. Bats need not bite to transmit the disease it
|Outside the USA ||Dog or Cat |
|UK, Australia, New Zealand, |
Ireland, Taiwan, Japan, Hawaii, Mauritius, Barbados and Guam
|No Rabies. |
|Northeastern USA ||Raccoon |
Note: (1) Wikipedia. I am referring to North America when I say cats rarely cause rabies.