Dog and Cat Bites: Are Cat Bites Just as Harmful?

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New studies show that a cat bite is just as critical as a dog bite. This means you may want to think twice when playing with the neighbor’s pet. Can a tiny cat bite develop into an injury that could be the base cause of a personal injury lawsuit? Some say you may have a case.

Cat bites seem non-threatening. After all, half the time you can barely see the marks that they leave. But because their teeth are so pointed, the probability of bacteria touching, staying and flowing through the bloodstream is a serious issue. On woman was infected from a cat bite bacteria that reached the tendons of her hands, causing immobility of her wrist, and requiring frequent antiseptic flushing to clean it out. Another gentlemen was in a coma for 27 days when a cat bite caused him to contract bubonic plague. While these cases may be extreme, it’s still a good idea to report and have treated any bite from any animal—cat, dog or other. Although harmless in many situations, here are some ways to prevent a cat bite:

  • Cats do not like to be scared or teased, unless it is on their terms. Be very careful if you jump on, grab, or pull a cat away from an area where it is resting or playing.
  • Stop doing what you are doing if the cat starts to hiss or spit at any time. Put the cat down if you are holding it.
  • Caution your children to refrain from playing rough with kittens or grown cats. Children’s reflexes are not as quick to pull away, putting them at higher risk for a bite or scratch.

Suppose you think you’ve done nothing to irritate the cat. If you do get bitten by a cat, what should you do? The first course of action is to rinse the wound. Regardless of how small or insignificant, seek medical attention. Cat bites carry loads of bacteria. When you are treated, take any antibiotics you are prescribed and take them for the duration of the prescription.

We often take our domesticated pets for granted, but they can be just as harmful—if not more so—if they attack or bite. Staying safe and out of the way of cats is your best course of safety and may help you avoid that dreaded trip to the emergency room