We all love our cats, but their bites can be more dangerous to your health than you might realize.

Our AFC Urgent Care Chapman Highway team provides some helpful information on cat bites and the potential impact they could have on your health below, so keep reading!

What’s the Problem With Cat Bites?

Although cat teeth are quite small, they’re generally very sharp. These sharp teeth easily puncture the skin, leaving small yet deep wounds. These punctures rapidly seal over, trapping bacteria from the cat’s mouth under the skin of the bite victim, where they can easily multiply.

Something similar happens with cat scratches, as the extremely sharp, curved nails penetrate deep into the skin, essentially injecting bacteria deep into the puncture wound. Depending on the location and depth of the wound caused by cat bites and/or scratches, bacteria can spread in the surrounding tissues causing a condition called cellulitis.

Common Symptoms of Cat Bite Infection

  • Redness or discoloration
  • Swelling
  • Inflammation
  • Warmth
  • A bump or blister where the bite wound is located

So What Should I Do If I Get Bitten?

Animal bites that don’t break the skin have a minimal infection risk and can be properly treated at home. The best thing to do for a cat bite that hasn’t broken the skin is to gently rinse it then wash it with soap and water. Be on the lookout for potential signs of infection, which we’ve listed above.

If your cat bite has caused a puncture wound, it’s best to visit your doctor or our AFC center. Cat puncture wounds have a high risk of infection and typically need medical care to be adequately treated. We’ve listed some additional reasons to seek medical care for your bite wound below.

When to Seek Medical Attention

  • You start having any serious symptoms of an infection, such as fever, chills, pus or fluid oozing from the wound, or swollen lymph nodes
  • The wound won’t stop bleeding
  • The wound appears to be deep or large
  • The cat that’s bitten you appears aggressive or acts strangely
  • The cat that’s bitten you is unvaccinated against rabies, or you’re unsure if the cat is vaccinated against rabies
  • You haven’t had a tetanus shot in the last five years
  • You have a weakened immune system

Recently sustained a cat or another animal bite? Don’t hesitate to visit our AFC Urgent Care Chapman Highway center today to get the care you need!