Cat Bites Should be Taken Seriously

Cats have sharp teeth that can easily puncture skin, transferring bacteria from the cat’s mouth into your body

Did you know that Cat Bite Patients sometimes require a hospital stay?
A study conducted at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, evaluated 193 patients who saw a doctor or went to an emergency room for a cat bite on the hand or wrist from 2009 to 2011. (The wrist and hand are common locations for cat bites, and are also prone to infection.)

Of the 193 patients, 36 were immediately admitted to the hospital, 154 were given antibiotics and sent home, and three received no treatment. Most of those sent home with antibiotics were treated successfully (86 percent), but 21 ultimately had to be hospitalized. On average, approximately 50% of cat bites become infected.

Accorind to Dr. David Maloney, “Cats have a high population of bacterial pathogens in their mouths, including Prevotella species, Actinomyces and Streptococcal species. They also have a very effective delivery system: sharp teeth. Getting bit by a cat is like getting an injection, but of bacteria.”

Twelve of the 21 patients who were later hospitalized, and 26 of those immediately hospitalized underwent procedures to flush out the wound or surgically remove infected tissue. Eight required more surgery.

Longer-term complications from infected cat bite wounds included abscesses and loss of joint mobility. People with bites directly over the wrist or joints were more likely to be hospitalized than people with soft tissue bites.

Cat Bites, No Matter How Small, Should Not Be Ignored!