How Concerned Should I Be if a Stray Cat Bites Me?

July 15, 2021

How Concerned Should I Be if a Stray Cat Bites Me?- AFC Urgent Care

Even stray, feral cats are cute, but they can be much more aggressive than household, domesticated cats. If you approach one (we’d advise you to not do this) and get bitten, will the bite be a threat to your health?

There’s a chance it could be, and our AFC Urgent Care Monroe Road team further elaborates below.

What Should I Do if a Stray Cat Bites Me?

In addition to doing basic first aid on the cut, which includes stopping the bleeding, cleaning the wound with soap and water and applying an antibiotic ointment and bandage to the bite, you should visit our AFC center to see if you are at risk of the below-mentioned health complications.

Because cat teeth are so sharp, they can puncture bacteria deep into the skin, which can cause a high risk of infection.

Possible Health Complications Caused by a Stray Cat Bite

  • Bacterial infection. Many cats, although they don’t have symptoms, have the Pasteurella multocida bacteria in their mouth, which can cause wound infections.
  • Tetanus. This has an even greater chance of becoming a problem if it has been more than five years since your last tetanus shot and the cat bite is very deep or is contaminated with dirt or debris.
  • Rabies. Surprisingly, more reported rabies cases in the United States involve cats than dogs, although those cases are still much lower than the incidence of rabies in wild animals.

How Would a Doctor Treat the Bite?

If it is indeed a stray cat that bit you, your doctor will likely give you a rabies vaccine as a necessary safety precaution. Additionally, your doctor will likely clean the wound again, apply antibiotic ointment and prescribe an antibiotic to fight against potential infection.

Also, depending on the wound, your doctor may recommend stitches, but those aren’t usually necessary unless the bite is on the face or another particularly vulnerable area. We’ve listed some common signs of infection to be on the lookout for below.

Common Signs of Infection

  • Localized redness around your wound
  • Warmth around the bite area
  • Red streaks leading away from the bite
  • A fever
  • Pus
  • Swelling
  • Pain

Have you been bitten and need medical care? Don’t hesitate to visit our AFC Urgent Care Monroe Roadteam today!

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