Being bitten by a cat is often taken lightly, especially when compared to dog bites. Although the latter can leave an appearance of greater danger or urgency, the truth is that cat bites have left more than one person in hospital for a few days.

Although the wounds they cause are more minor, they are still equally dangerous, regardless of whether the cat is vaccinated or not, especially when it is a stray cat. In this sense, it is worth learning to distinguish the symptoms of a cat bite infection and knowing the most appropriate treatments.

Cat bites

A common mistake is to consider a cat’s bites as something of minor importance for the simple fact of having them well taken care of. And, after all, even with all their vaccinations and up-to-date medical check-ups, cats have multiple bacteria potentially dangerous to human health in their mouths.

My cat has bitten me and is not vaccinated.

Rabies is not a disease exclusive to dogs; other pets can get it too, and cats are no exception. 

In this sense, if your cat has bitten you and is not vaccinated, you will have to go to the doctor and state your case immediately. In addition, you may need post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) rabies vaccine.

Rabies is a deadly disease for humans and is better safe than sorry. In any case, this is just one example of the many conditions that you can suffer from a cat bite, regardless of whether the feline has already been vaccinated and has optimal general health care.

Consequences of a cat bite

Cat bites and their consequences can vary according to different variables to consider. 

The clearest example is unvaccinated cat bites, which carry more dangerous risks (such as a tetanus infection or other diseases) from the bacteria present in these animals.

However, the most common consequence of a cat bite is an infection of the wound itself, which in most cases is the product of a combination of poor care (or total neglect) and the proliferation of bacteria in the damage.

Infected cat bite

An infected cat bite is life-threatening if the necessary medical care is not applied as soon as possible. However, it is relatively normal for this type of infection to require a hospital stay of approximately three days, depending on the severity of each case.

Medical supervision becomes crucial because antibiotics sometimes do not affect cat bite infections. However, there are cases in which specialized procedures for removing infected tissue and even reconstructive surgeries are needed.

Cat Bites: Consequences and Treatment

Symptoms of infection from a cat bite

Depending on the type of infection that occurs, which in turn depends on the bacteria carried by the cat in question, the symptoms of cat bite infection can vary between:

  • Swelling and redness around the bitten area.
  • The sensation of heat in said area.
  • Throbbing pain.
  • Reduced mobility of the joints near the area.
  • Expulsion of pus
  • Headache.
  • Confusion, fatigue, and dizziness.
  • Fever and malaise.

The last three symptoms are even more common in patients who have been infected with rabies from the animal. If any of these signs appear, go to a medical center urgently.

Treatment for a cat bite

Treating a cat bite with home treatments is not always the best idea. In general, the wounds caused by these bites are perceived as much more harmless than dogs, which results in some people not giving them the importance they deserve.

In reality, cat fangs are sharper and thinner, so they can go deeper, to the point that they can inject bacteria into the most suitable areas for their proliferation. As a result, it is more difficult to clean the wound with water, soap, and alcohol for immediate disinfection.