What You Should Know 
About Cat Biting

It is said that cat bites account for 19% of all animal bites on humans. These bites can be serious, and can lead to several different infectious diseases, the most common being bacterial infections. These infections will enter the body through a cat's saliva, causing 80% of the people bit to become infected. It can be extremely serious for those that have immune-deficiencies as they are at increased risk of health problems already.

Symptoms to look for:

  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Headache

If blood comes out from the punctured area there is less risk of an infection.

Types of Infections

Pasteurellosis Infection - This is caused by the bacteria that can be found in a cat's mouth. When you are bitten by a cat, the bacteria will enter through the wound and spread to cause an infection.

It can take anywhere from 2 to 12 hours for symptoms to show up. A few signs to watch out for are pain, redness, or swelling of the area that was bitten, although other parts of the body can be affected. If the hand is bitten, the infection can develop into the tissues, spreading to the tendons, and possibly even bones.

Streptococcal Infection - This is a bacterial infection from a bite that can develop into a chronic illness. Infections can range from a simple sore throat right through to fatal conditions such as the flesh eating condition, necrotizing fasciitis.

Staphylococcal Infection This is a bacterial infection that causes the following: skin infection, blood poisoning, and pneumonia.


You can use the following steps to help control cat infections:

  • Use soap and water to thoroughly wash the infected area.
  • Use an antibiotic ointment on the infected area.
  • Cover the wound with a sterile bandage.


When it comes to preventing a cat bite, the best thing you can do is to use your common sense. Pay attention to your cat, and learn from his behavior to avoid being bitten. You should be able to tell when your cat isn't in the mood to play by watching his actions, like his ears twitching, tail up with fur bristled, and making hissing or growling sounds. 


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