Many cat owners may never have to deal with a scratch or bite but should it happen here are five tips that may well come in handy.
- If bitten by a cat you should try and flush out as much bacteria as you can as early as possible by pressing on the wound to cause bleeding.
- The wound should then be washed with a mild soap and water. The wound can then be dried with a clean cloth or towel and if you have an antiseptic or over the counter antibiotic cream available it can now be applied and the wound is now ready to be covered with a sterile bandage.
- Whilst the second tip above may seem like common sense, what you may not know is that around 75% of cat bites may introduce staphylococcus, streptococcus or pasteurella bacteria into your body hence the advice and the importance of it.
- If the person bitten is immune compromised, has diabetes or any signs of infection appear then a doctor should be seen preferably within eight hours. Signs of infection include any redness, swelling, increased pain or fever.
- Most scratches may appear minor and basic hygiene methods as outlined above should be sufficient, but keep an eye on it for further infection. It should be noted that cat scratch disease, (CSD) or fever caused by the Bartonella henselae bacteria can be transmitted by a cat bite, small scratch or even the saliva of a cat.
This advice is not a substitute for medical attention which should always be sought in cases of infection by animals.