One of the most contentious topics in any cat group is the subject of vaccines and whether are not to vaccinate. Often someone will remark that they have to vaccinate because of the local law. Some people are unaware that the requirement for rabies vaccination depends on the locality. Where I live, rabies vaccinations are required by county law for dogs only. I have friends who live in areas where rabies vaccinations are also required for cats. The variation in requirements depends in large part on the incidence of rabies in wildlife in an area.
Please keep in mind that the rabies vaccine is NOT for the health of the dog or cat, but to protect humans from the rabies. This article, Rabies Postexposure Prophylaxis, by M. Gayne Fearneyhough, BS, DVM (p 557-572 in Vol 31, No 3, Vet. Cl. of NA: Small Animal Practice, May 2001) looks at the treatment of humans after they have been bitten by a potential rabid animal. As I do not particularly care about human medicine, this is a very brief summary.
One statement of interest in this article is "many parts of the western United States are free of terrestrial rabies", which, if you look at the 2010 CDC map for rabies infections in dogs and cats, my area, southern CA, has no cases (despite heavy testing) whereas a state like Pennsylvania is solid yellow in the east. This explains why my Eastern friends are so adamant about rabies vaccines and here it's a minor concern.
The chart below is the decision tree recommended for humans:
Perhaps the most interesting section had to do with post-exposure treatment in domestic animals. I have lived under the assumption that if a cat was bitten, that was a death sentence. Apparently not. At least 2 studies, one of 713 animals and another of 632 animals (dogs, cats, cattle, horses, sheep, goats, pigs, and 1 llama) were treated. The first study had a 99.7% survived and 99.5% in the second. So, yes, a cat bitten by a rabid animal CAN be successfully treated. The main problem mentioned is that the animal may survive but may not be free of rabies. I would think a second problem is to find a place that would quarantine the cat and provide treatment for several weeks.