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How Dangerous Is A Cat Bite

January 26, 2023 6 min read

How Dangerous Is A Cat Bite
While most cats are friendly, there is always that one cat who decides to challenge your love for them! Thankfully, like with any animal, if you read their behavior before hand and know how to handle an attack, then it can be avoided or minimized.

Sadly, due to this article being written in April of 2020, many people may not agree with our new term – dangerous dog bite. Due to the epidemic spread of COVID-19, we have now rebranded “cat bite” as “non-dangerous.” Therefore, we will only focus on dangers related to dogs here!

If someone says they were bitten by a dog, chances are they will get some sort of first aid from emergency personnel or their own knowledge at the time. However, what happens after is often forgotten about unless you talk to others around the victim.

This article will go into more detail about the complications of a dog bite, such as infection, blood clots, and tetanus. We will also look at risk factors for a serious injury from a dog bite, as well as things you can do to help prevent one.

How to stop a cat bite

Gray Cat Playing with Girl's Hand

Sometimes before you can help someone that has been bitten by a dog or a cat, you have to first make sure their own body is safe.

This means checking to see if they are bleeding anywhere else besides where the animal’s teeth penetrated your friend’s skin. It also means making sure their mouth is protected by applying a tight bandage or using a product like Icy Bandages which contain alcohol as an ingredient.

Never pull on an injured limb unless under professional medical guidance because this could cause serious injury. If possible, try and shift the weight of the person so they are not lying on top of the hurt area.

It is very important for anyone who is being bit by a dog or a cat to remain still until emergency services arrive.

Medical concerns with cat bites

Person Holding Kitten

While most dog bites can be avoided by careful planning, there is actually much more risk involved for someone who gets bitten by a cat. This includes not only medical risks, but also legal ones!

Cat owners may feel that their pet has saved your life, but this isn’t always the case. It is very difficult to accurately assess whether or not a bite from a kitten or cat was intentional or not, so it is important to know what resources are available to you after a feline attack.

Your first step after any kind of animal attack should be to determine if the other person was at fault before calling the police. If they were, then they will probably already have their license and insurance information, making it easy for us to help them look up warrants and evidence against them.

Once we have all of this, then it’s time to talk about veterinary services and possible treatments. Fortunately, many hospitals offer free care to victims of serious injuries, which is great to note!

Sadly though, some do not, which is why it is important to make sure your personal health coverage is adequate. Animal attacks can pack a lot of stress onto people, even when things like rabies vaccinations exist, so having adequate coverage is crucial.

Rabies is deadly because it spreads through saliva, so even a nip to the back of the hand could be enough to transmit the disease.

Cat bite prevention

Crop content woman with curly hair caressing and touching with nose fluffy cat

Even though most cats are naturally shy, they can become dangerous when startled or provoked. When this happens, they may try to defend themselves by biting!

Mostly, dogs cause unintentional cat bites through actions such as chasing or pulling them. More than 50% of dog attack victims were walking their own dog at the time!

Unintentional cat bites happen for several reasons. Sometimes, a child comes across a kitten that has been abandoned in an area with access to food and water. If you find a young, hungry cat, it might be trying to eat it – even if it’s not its birth litter-mates!

If your cat is outside during thunderstorms, lightning could strike nearby and injure your pet.

Certain behaviors like purring, rubbing, kneading, and grooming are totally normal for felines, but if your feline seems agitated or fearful, take action immediately to prevent injury.

Never grab a moving animal, even if it’s just for a second. Try to distract the animal or talk it down until it feels safe enough to let go.

Cat owners often feel nervous about leaving their pets alone, so don’t forget what we mentioned earlier: if you must leave your cat, apply a protective spray or gel on their paws. This will help keep the skin soft and protect against any potential scratches.

Teach your kids about cat bites

Kids Lying On Bed with Black Cat

Even if you have no experience with cats, there is still something you can do to help prevent dog or cat bites. One of the biggest risk factors for someone getting bitten by a pet is being too close to the animal when it feels like it wants to attack.

That’s why it's very important to teach children how to recognize signs that their pet may need to be walked on a leash or needs to be separated from another animal they are friendly with.

Also, teaching them what to look out for when an animal seems angry or protective is a great way to avoid any potential conflict.

For example, dogs will growl or show teeth in response to things like bicycles, other dogs, or people walking past their home.

Tell your friends about cat bites

Women with Their Pet Cats

 

Before you worry too much about what kind of bite it was, or if they needed medical attention, tell your loved ones right away!

Cat owners often times feel protective of their pets, to the extent that they forget how scary a cat bite can be for others. When we are scared of something, our bodies respond by creating more stress hormones such as adrenaline.

These additional chemicals help us deal with an actual threat – like protecting someone from being hit by a car. However, when there is no longer a threat, these hormones simply keep flowing out and helping less than one minute later.

This is why people who get bitten by a dog may notice themselves becoming slightly crazy or irrational immediately after. They may also have trouble sleeping due to the fear of being bit again.

However, because cats aren’t inherently threatening, many people don’t realize how much danger their pet could pose. Not only does this make it harder for them to recognize potential threats, but it may even promote risk-taking behavior in certain situations.

That’s why it is so important to let other people know about the dangers of a cat bite. If someone you care about has been hurt by a cat, talk to them about how to reduce their anxiety and avoid further risks.

Get a bite bag

Three Short-fur Assorted-color Cats

 

As mentioned earlier, even if you don’t think your dog or cat has bitten seriously before, it is very important to get an adequate bite wound treatment immediately!

Bite wounds can become infected easily, so make sure you have some sort of sterile first aid item available.

We recommend using a pre-existing sleeve or piece of cloth as a bite pouch – this will help prevent fluid from escaping the mouth and soaking into the surrounding area.

It also helps protect the injured party from choking on their own blood due to saliva being displaced.

For more information, check out our article: Tips For Treating Dog Bites In The Hand.

Get a rabies vaccine

Orange Tabby Kitten Reclining on Floor

 

Rabies is a deadly disease that can spread rapidly through human contact. It’s important to understand how threatening a cat bite can be before deciding whether or not to take action.

While most cats are sweet and lovable, there are some who develop aggressive tendencies due to behavioral issues or health problems. These animals may perceive humans as threats because of things like territorial disputes, social stressors or hunger.

When confronted with an unfamiliar person, some dogs and even some cats will try to defend themselves or their territory by biting. For this reason, it is very possible for a dog or cat to get infected with rabies if they come into close contact with a human being.

Fortunately, rabies vaccines have been perfected so that only a small amount is needed to confer effective protection. People often feel uncomfortable having a needle go in their skin, but one shot usually does the trick!

Medical professionals recommend at least two doses of the vaccine to achieve adequate immune response. Fortunately, today many oral vaccination options exist. You can find rabies vaccinations at your local pharmacy or doctor’s office, online stores like Amazon, or veterinary clinics.

Assess the area for other injuries

Tiger on Snow

 

Although most cats are not particularly dangerous, there is no guarantee that every cat you meet will be a friendly animal. Some may growl or threaten when approached aggressively.

If this happens, attempt to separate the two so that your dog can escape any potential attacks. You should also keep an eye out for anything else, such as missing belongings or signs of struggle.

It is very important to know what first aid can be done for a cat bite if needed. Only apply first aid treatments under close supervision and only use the right one for your situation!

Never pull off skin or dressage clothing to see whether the wound needs help until you have confirmed that it is safe to do so.