Quick Answer: Can Cat Scratches Hurt You?

Is cat scratch disease curable?

Generally, cat-scratch disease is not serious.

Medical treatment may not be needed.

In some cases, treatment with antibiotics such as azithromycin can be helpful.

Other antibiotics may be used, including clarithromycin, rifampin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, or ciprofloxacin..

Does cat scratch disease go away on its own?

Cat scratch disease is rarely serious and usually goes away on its own in 2 to 4 months without treatment. Once your child has had cat scratch disease, he or she is unlikely to get it again. Treatment of cat scratch disease may include: Watching and waiting.

What happens if a wild cat scratches you?

Whether the bite is from a family pet or an animal in the wild, scratches and bites can carry disease. Cat scratches, even from a kitten, can carry “cat scratch disease,” a bacterial infection. Other animals can transmit rabies and tetanus. Bites that break the skin are even more likely to become infected.

Should I worry about a cat scratch?

Wash cat bites and scratches well with soap and running water. Do not allow cats to lick your wounds. Contact your doctor if you develop any symptoms of cat-scratch disease or infection. CSD is caused by a bacterium called Bartonella henselae.

Can cat scratches harm you?

Cat bites and scratches can spread a bacterial infection called cat-scratch disease (CSD) caused by the bacteria Bartonella hanselae. The disease spreads when an infected cat bites or scratches hard enough to break the skin or when it licks a person’s open wound.

Do I need vaccine for cat scratch?

You may need a tetanus shot if you have not had one in the last 5 to 10 years. You may also need to take antibiotic (an-ti-bi-ah-tik) medicine to help keep the wound from getting infected.

What can you catch from a cat scratch?

You can get cat scratch fever from a bite or scratch from an infected cat. You can also get the disease if saliva from an infected cat gets into an open wound or touches the whites of your eyes. Occasionally, you may get the disease from a flea or a tick carrying the bacterium.

How long does it take for cat scratch fever to show up?

The most common symptoms include fever; enlarged, tender lymph nodes that develop 1–3 weeks after exposure; and a scab or pustule at the scratch site. In the United States, most cases occur in the fall and winter and illness is most common in children less than 15 years old.

Can a cat scratch make you sick?

Cat scratch disease is a bacterial infection that a person can get after being scratched, licked, or bitten by a cat or kitten. In the United States, most cases happen in the fall and winter and usually affect kids, probably because they’re more likely to play with cats and be bitten or scratched.

Do indoor cats carry tetanus?

Although tetanus can be seen in dogs and cats, it is uncommon in both species. Dogs and cats are less susceptible to the effects of tetanus toxin than humans and horses.

Why are cat scratches so bad?

Cat scratch disease is caused by a bacterium carried in the cat saliva. The bacteria are passed from an infected cat to a human after the cat licks an open wound or bites or scratches human skin hard enough to break the surface of the skin.

Can you get cat scratch fever from an indoor cat?

If your cat is strictly an indoor cat, her chances of developing bartonella or “cat scratch fever” (as it is often nicknamed) are low, but you should still be aware of the risks.

What are the chances of getting rabies from a cat scratch?

Rabies in cats is extremely rare. According to the CDC, domestic animals, including pets, accounted for only 7.6 percent of reported rabies cases in the U.S. in 2015, the last year for which statistics were available. There has not been a single confirmed case of cat-to-human rabies in the U.S. in the past 40 years.

Can a small scratch from a cat cause rabies?

Rabies is usually transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal and is most commonly spread through bites. It is still possible to get rabies from a cat scratch or a scratch from any infected animal, but it is less common.

How do you treat a cat scratch?

Treating Cat Scratches When treating superficial scratches, it’s reasonable to wash the wound with soap and water, Levy says. “If the wound is bleeding, apply pressure with a clean, dry gauze pad,” he says. “If the bleeding doesn’t stop despite holding pressure, then medical attention should be sought.”

Do you need a tetanus shot after a cat scratch?

Tetanus boosters are required every 10 years, so it may well be you are overdue for one of these. Cat scratches do not normally require tetanus injections, but it is strongly advisable to be protected anyway.

Can you catch rabies from a cat scratch?

In the U.S., cats are more likely than dogs to have rabies. 10 A bite or scratch (because cats lick their paws) can lead to rabies. If you’re exposed, wash out the wound with soap for at least 5 minutes and seek medical attention the same day for vaccinations, antibiotics, and immunoglobulin as needed.

How do you train a cat not to scratch?

What to do If Your Cat is Scratching During Play. If you think your cat is actually just “playing” rather than trying to hurt you, you’re in luck. This kind of scratching behavior is the easiest to un-train. It’s a good idea to give your cat a variety of toys so she can touch, push, knead, and yes, scratch them all.

How do you tell if a scratch is infected?

Signs of Infectionexpanding redness around the wound.yellow or greenish-colored pus or cloudy wound drainage.red streaking spreading from the wound.increased swelling, tenderness, or pain around the wound.fever.

Do cat scratches need antibiotics?

Most cases of cat-scratch disease are self-limited and do not require antibiotic treatment. If an antibiotic is chosen, azithromycin has been shown in one small study to speed recovery.

What does a cat allergy look like?

Sneezing or a runny or stuffy nose. Facial pain (from nasal congestion) Coughing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and wheezing. Watery, red or itchy eyes.