Cat bites and scratches may not seem much at the time, but they should not be ignored as they can lead to serious and complicated infections. Around 5-20 people out of every 100 attending A&E every year have been bitten by a cat. It is recommended that you see a Healthcare professional if the bite breaks the skins as cat bites will almost always require antibiotics.
Cats harbour a large number of bacteria in their mouths and claws including Pasteurella, fusobacterium organisms, streptococcus species and bartonella hensalae (which can cause a condition called Cat Scratch Fever).
What is Cat Scratch Fever?
Bartonellosis is more commonly known as “Cat scratch fever” and is an infection that both cats and humans can contract.
It is caused by a bacterial infection which can be passed from cat to cat or cat to human. The most common cause of cat to human infection is by scratch or bite. In cats, it is usually contracted by contact with flea faeces which can be ingested via grooming.
While symptoms of the condition usually become apparent within 7-14 days after infection, it can take several weeks for the symptoms to become apparent.
The condition is not fatal and generally not hugely dangerous to people, but it can lead to complications and be potentially serious in those with a compromised immune system.
What to Do if You Get Bitten/Scratched By A Cat
Run the wound under lukewarm/cool water and clean the area with an antibacterial soap for a MINIMUM of five minutes
Is It Infected?
Keep a close eye on your wound/s, and monitor for the following:
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