Can cat bites lead to a more serious infection?

Cat bites are nothing to be taken lightly. Even a light bite or scratch from a cat may lead to severe infection in those susceptible feline guardians, particularly in younger or elder people.

First, we must recognize that the cat mouth is hardly a sterile environment.  There are thousands, if not millions of bacteria and various organisms in the feline mouth. All of which may potentially cause infections in sensitive individuals.  One of the most common zoonotic diseases seen in human hospitals is the development of Cat Scratch Fever in a person who has recently been bitten and/or scratched by a cat. This rapidly worsening infection may cause severe swelling up the affected limb or fingers, as well as swollen lymph nodes, fever, pain and malaise.  It any of these signs are noted after a cat scratch or bite, it is very important to go to a local emergency room as soon as possible for rapid assessment and like treatment with intravenous antibiotics.

Cats also carry another common bacteria in their mouth called Bartonellosis, which may cause severe systemic disease in both people, as well as other cats after an altercation and/or bite of an infected  at.   Both in people and animals, cat bites may lead severe swelling, pus formation and fever, which is often severely sensitive to touch, as the patient becomes very depressed with reluctance to move.  Unless the abscess is lanced and/or drained, as well as the patient put on broad spectrum antibiotics, a health threatening infection may develop. Unfortunately, this infection can also spread to other areas of the body.   In conclusion, with any significant cat bite or scratch to another cat or human being, the animal or person should receive a full medical evaluation as soon as possible in order to treat any early infections before they spread in the body.