Cat Scratch Fever or Disease is real. It's a bacteria that is spread by cats to people through open wounds or bites from the cat. Over 40% of cats carry this bacteria called Bartonella henselae, although most cats with this infection show NO signs of illness. Cats get infected with Bartonella from flea bites and flea dirt. By scratching and biting at fleas, cats pick up by the infected flea dirt under their nails and between their teeth and pass it along to humans and other cats too. People that are infected typically get an inflamed, raised lesion filled with pus, have a headache, poor appetite, and exhaustion. Their lymph nodes closest to the wound can be swollen or tender. Although rare this can also lead to other more serious complications with the brain, eyes, heart and other internal organs. To avoid infection, wash cat bites and scratches well with running water and soap as soon as the wound occurs. Do not allow cats to lick other wounds you may have. Contact your doctor immediately if any infection develops at the scratch site. Use a YEAR ROUND FLEA prevention to prevent your cats from being exposed to fleas too.
Did you know? Dogs and cats mask their pain as a protective mechanism. They may lie quietly, wag their tail, and act like nothing is bothering them. Their behavior, here in the clinic, may be quite different from how they act at home too. You may make an appointment because Fido is limping and the second you get them into the car to come see us, he is jumping around like a gymnast. If you notice any change at home that "isn't like him" tell us. Often times, our patients try to lie to us saying I'm fine when we know "I'm fine" is the biggest lie told.
Cathy-Licensed Vet tech with 28 year experience.