October 19, 2018
sleepy cat
Wellness Tip

Don’t Ignore Cat Bites

by Berkeley Wellness  

Don’t ignore a cat bite, especially if it causes a puncture wound on or near a joint or bone and starts to redden and swell. You should wash the area well with warm water and soap, but that may not be enough. Such bites, even if they look minor, can quickly progress to a serious infection and usually require antibiotics—and often hospitalization.

A study from the Mayo Clinic in the Journal of Hand Surgery in 2014 found that 30 percent of people who sought medical attention for cat bites to the hand were directly admitted to the hospital for intravenous antibiotics, with most needing surgery.

Cats’ mouths usually contain dangerous bacteria (Pasturella multocida), which their long, thin, sharp teeth can drive deep into soft tissue, reaching bones, tendons, and joints.