Let’s begin with a rider. Consume this article with a pinch of salt. It is a simple guide on the steps to be taken once you are scratched or bitten by a cat. Nothing more than that.
Cats are typically gentle beings*.
*Conditions apply. They are prone to aggressive behaviour if provoked or when not in best of moods. After all, they have sharp teeth and pointed claws not without a reason. Beware of bites and scratches when you deal with cats! Scratches are, in fact, more common.
Animal behaviour experts opine the best way to avoid cat scratches is to steer clear from situations leading to that. Naturally. To start with, don’t play roughly with a cat or incite them. Dip your fingers into its jaws at your own risk.
According to Los Angeles-based holistic veterinarian Dr Patrick Mahaney, a cat’s claws are generally sharper than those of a dog and are more likely to cause significant trauma. The greater the trauma, the greater the potential for swelling, exposure to the blood supply, and chance of infection, quotes PetMD.
Once scratched, you may cleanse the injury spot with soap and water. Pet experts suggest application of an antibiotic cream, ointment or dusting powder and then, wrapping the wound with a dry, sterile dressing. The deeper the scratch, the higher the chances of you getting infected. Gashes in or around the eyes and lips warrant immediate attention.
Always bear in mind that scratches from a domesticated feline is less likely to lead to infects than the ones from a wild or feral cat. It’s important to monitor the person attacked by a cat for the ensuing days. Watch out for symptoms like inflammation, rashes or fever. Worst case, it might be the onset of cat scratch disease.
It is an infection caused by bacteria known as Bartonella henselae. One may contract the disease after being scratched or bitten by a cat that carries the bacteria. Cat scratch disease is also popularly known as cat scratch fever or subacute regional lymphadenitis.
P.S.: This article is intended solely at educating pet parents – especially of cats – about the effects of cat scratches and the basic first aid for that. It is not meant to be construed as professional medical advice nor does it deal with case-by-case scenarios. Exercise prudence based on your case and consult a veterinarian in case of persistent issues.