The infection spreads when an infected animal bites or scratches a human being. However, the infection is not spread by touching or feeding the animal, or when the animal licks. A majority of the rabies cases are caused by dog bites. But other animals like cats, monkeys, bats, wolves, and jackals can also transmit the disease.
Rarely, the infection can spread when the saliva contacts an open wound or the mucous membranes, like the eyes or mouth. This may happen when an animal licks an open cut on the skin.