What Should I Do If a Cat Bites Me?

What should I do if a cat bites me?

If a cat bites you, it is important to clean the wound immediately to reduce the risk of infection. Follow these steps:

Clean the wound

Clean the wound with soap and water for at least 5 minutes to remove any dirt or bacteria.

Apply an antiseptic

Apply an antiseptic, such as hydrogen peroxide or an alcohol-based sanitizer, to the wound to reduce the risk of infection.

Cover the wound

Cover the wound with a sterile bandage to protect it from further exposure to bacteria and to reduce the risk of scarring.

Seek medical attention

Seek medical attention if the bite is deep, if it is in a location that is difficult to clean, or if you have a weakened immune system. If the bite is near a joint or tendon, it may also need to be evaluated by a doctor.

Observe the cat

Observe the cat for any signs of illness, such as lethargy, lack of appetite, or other behavioral changes. If you suspect that the cat may be ill, contact a veterinarian for further evaluation.

It is important to remember that a cat bite can be serious and can lead to infection. If you are bitten by a cat, it is essential to seek medical attention promptly to reduce the risk of serious complications.

In addition, it is important to be aware of the risk of cat scratch fever (CSD), which is a bacterial infection that can be transmitted to humans through a bite or scratch from an infected cat. The symptoms of CSD can include swollen and tender lymph nodes near the bite/scratch, fatigue, loss of appetite, muscle aches, headache, and mild fever.

Most people who are infected with CSD recover on their own, but severe cases may require antibiotics. To reduce your risk of contracting CSD, it is important to avoid letting a cat lick your face, wash your hands thoroughly after handling a cat, and keep your cat up to date on their vaccinations.

The Bottom Line:

It is also important to keep in mind that cats can carry other diseases, such as toxoplasmosis and salmonella, which can be transmitted to humans through bites or scratches. If you are bitten or scratched by a cat, it is essential to take proper precautions to reduce the risk of infection and to seek medical attention if necessary.