Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Cat Bites, What To Do If It Happens To You!

 I live on a busy street and have seen too many animals not make it across the road so I keep my cats inside all the time. This means that they are not worldly and get pretty scared if they manage to get outside. They always want out, but when they get out they don't know what to do. Somehow my cat Paint managed to get out yesterday. It's my guess he got out pretty early when the Mr. went out to work on the garage. He is usually pretty quiet and finds a corner or hole somewhere so not seeing him as I do the others never alarms me too much. So when I took the dogs out last night at about 10:30 P.M. and he started yowling when he heard my voice I was pretty alarmed. Some how he got up into the motor of my car and would not come out. I sent my son in law in to get keys and a flashlight, but with the dogs (chihuahuas) running under the car and me popping the hood to see if I could get him out. He took off and soon I heard him yowling from the back yard, luckily I was able to calm him enough to let me pick him up. But this is where it all went wrong...
He was covered in oil from his head to his white paws, everything was sticky and nasty. He needed a bath, so I took him in and let him roam for a few minutes to allow him to calm down some, then I took him to the bathroom. Normally he is okay in a bath, he doesn't like them but he cries a bit and lets us do what we need to. But this was not how it was going to go last night, the trauma of the day was too much for him. I was holding him when my son in law hit him in the face with water from our hand held shower head and he went berserk. I have never encountered such terror or fierceness in my life. In a flash of a second he bit me. I don't blame him, he was scared then my son in law hit him in the face again and there was no controlling him.  MEN! Then my son came in to help finish the bath because the cat was now wet and greasy. And Paint bit my son three more times, my son was not as forgiving as me and I called it quits, scooped the cat up in towels and decided to leave him as he was until today when I could deal with a calmer cat.

Today I went to the Vet and got a pill to sedate him and with a whiny tipsy cat I got the job done! My poor kitty!

But my son and I still have the bites,  last night I washed them and cleaned them up but today they are really swollen and sore. The pictures were taken last night. Today they look worse. So I went looking to see what I could about cat bites and what to do.  I was surprised that 80% of cat bites get infected. Plus the fact that I had chemo (because of the drugs) I am more susceptible to a really bad infection. Tomorrow I am going to the doctor. But for most people all you need to do is let it bleed a little that actually cleans out the wound, then you wash it using an antibacterial soap and flush it out well with water for at least five minutes. Use peroxide and or betadine on it, then bandage it.

Cat bites can transfer Staph or Pasteurella mutlocida bacteria so you really should see a doctor and get on antibiotics. Some people have to get tetanus shots also. In some cases if you don't know the cat like we do ours, you will need to get Animal Control's help to catch the cat in case of rabies (I don't want to be an alarmist because rabies from cat bites is really rare, still you need to be sure you are safe). If they can't find it you may need to get a series of rabies shots as well.

After you get treatment you still need to keep an eye on the bite for signs of infection. If you start running a fever or there is an increase in pain go back to your doctor right away!

 If you have lots of questions about cat bites you can call the National Poison Control Hotline at 1-800-222-1222, the local health department or Animal Control.