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Quick Tips For Taking Care of A Cat Bite

Updated on February 14, 2016
Cat bites can become infected very quickly
Cat bites can become infected very quickly

Cat bites can be serious

Cats for the most part are pretty gentle creatures, most of the time. But unfortunately like most animals, their feathers get ruffled so to speak. For example, stray and feral cats that are not used to human contact. And will on occasion react violently toward a person that tries to make contact, pick them up or tries to pet or comfort them.

And before you you see it coming, your wrestling with that screeching angry cat who you were only trying to give love to, but it would rather scratch your eyes balls out. What you are then left with, are some rather nasty bite marks for your trouble.

However, most cat bites come from cats you are most familiar with. Perhaps your cat doesn't feel like taking a bath. Or isn't in the mood to be gently petted and takes an unexpected bite out of your tender flesh. Or perhaps one of the kids is playing too rough and the cat takes a nasty bite out of your little tyke's face.

It is estimated that one million people are bitten each year by cats. And if you have been bitten, you know cats have a really hard bite. They strike fast, and bike deep.

Listed below you will find some quick tips to follow if you have been bitten by a cat. It is always a good idea to contact a medical facility if you are not comfortable taking care of the bite yourself, or if it is deep and the wound is bleeding badly, or the bite looks like it might require stitches. You can't be to cautious, having a serious cat bite checked out is more often than not in your best interest, especially if it's a stray.

Cat bites can become very easily infected. They usually are deeper than they appear and can rapidly turn into an infection. You may also need to get a tetanus shot if you haven't had one in 5-10 years. Because it is another viral disease that must be avoided because it is fatal.

Razor sharp teeth
Razor sharp teeth

Quick Tips For Taking Care Of A Cat Bite

  • Wash and rinse the cat bite thoroughly with a mild soap and hot water. Completely and thoroughly clean the wound area to make sure all the saliva and blood are washed away. Rinse sparingly with peroxide solution.

  • Apply pressure with a clean washcloth to the bite area to stop the wound from bleeding.

  • Put a bandage or apply a sterile piece of gauze to the wound.

  • Keep the wound area elevated if possible. Keep it above heart level to slow the swelling and prevent any infection that may occur.

  • Apply a good triple antibiotic ointment at least twice a day.

Report the incident to an animal control office or police if the cat was a stray or feral. It may have been infected with the rabies virus. It is extremely rare for domestic animals to have rabies, but if animal control can't find the animal and you show signs of rabies you may need to have a series of rabies shots as soon as possible. Every precaution should be taken with a stray or feral cat.

If for some reason the cat bite becomes infected you should call your doctor as soon as possible. Signs of infection may include extreme redness, hotness in the bite area, tenderness, swelling, oozing, or bleeding. These are serious symptoms and should be taken care of promptly. Once you are bitten, it is a good idea to take all necessary precautions.

Loving gentle creatures that can pack a serious bite
Loving gentle creatures that can pack a serious bite


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    • crazybeanrider profile imageAUTHOR

      Boo McCourt 

      6 years ago from Washington MI

      I am not a doctor, but if it persists for more than a few days I would go to the doctor. I wouldn't take the chance of an infection.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I got slightly bit by a cat it didn't break the skin but both of my ankles and calves are swollen. anything I can do minus a trip to the doctor

    • CarNoobz profile image


      8 years ago from USA

      Yikes! That cat looks evil lol

      Of course, all cats are actually evil. They just don't all LOOK evil. They're smart like that.

      Voted up =)

    • crazybeanrider profile imageAUTHOR

      Boo McCourt 

      10 years ago from Washington MI

      OH, I hope she is happy in kitty heaven.

    • Tammy L profile image

      Tammy L 

      10 years ago from Jacksonville, Texas

      I had her about 25 years ago so she's probably deceased now.

    • crazybeanrider profile imageAUTHOR

      Boo McCourt 

      10 years ago from Washington MI

      Poor thing. I hope she is happy wherever she is.

    • Tammy L profile image

      Tammy L 

      10 years ago from Jacksonville, Texas

      She, too, was a feral cat when she first came to live with us. I thought she might have gotten into a fight with a dog because I could see some scarring on her throat.

    • crazybeanrider profile imageAUTHOR

      Boo McCourt 

      10 years ago from Washington MI

      Aw that is sweet. I have also heard where cats will be laying on their owners lap, and out of nowhere bite them. I have heard this is out of love, don't know about that. But that is one awesome cat you had.

    • Tammy L profile image

      Tammy L 

      10 years ago from Jacksonville, Texas

      I once had a cat whose vocal chords were once severely damaged. How, I do not know. Her only way of communicating with me was to gently bite my foot or my toe. She didn't bite hard enough to break the skin. Just enough to let me know she was wanting or needing something.

    • thehands profile image

      Jorge Vamos 

      10 years ago

      Sometimes they're just full of so much explosive love for you, that they can't contain themselves and must latch onto you with their teeth.

      That's the way I look at it.

    • Waren E profile image

      Waren E 

      11 years ago from HAS LEFT THE BUILDING............

      Thanks for this informative hub,cats are sometimes really stressed out and react violently!

    • akeejaho profile image


      12 years ago from Some where in this beautiful world!

      Great advice! Pretty much the same for dog bites, except there is more pressure with them.

      By the way, who bit whom?


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