Humans love their feline friends and would not part with most of them. They love them as they do family, some, more than they love some members of their family, so it is no doubt that getting a cat bite is a common injury, especially for a child. When treating your cat bite, one should start by making sure everyone involved is safe, inclusive of the patient, rescuer, and if you can, the cat. The cat is going to want to be safe, especially if a child was carrying him around by the neck until he could no longer breathe, and the scratching was his last defense to live. I am sure that is what any accused cat would say. There are some steps you can follow while at home or anywhere else that the bite might have occurred.
No matter what, with any animal bite you get, always see your doctor or go to Emergency Care Near You as soon as possible to see if you need to do anything else. Almost all animal bites have the potential to transfer an infection.
Here are some steps to Treat a Cat Bite:
- Be safe. Catch the cat or your patient, best if you can get both. Get the two of them separated. If the owner of the cat is around, have them get their hands on their cat. If not, get the patient to another area that would be considered a safe location. Cats might continue to scratch or bite if they are scared their kittens are being threatened. Leave them alone. Do not try to start caring for the patient until you feel sure the cat will not begin to attack again.
- If you are the person treating the patient, you should use standard-based precautions and wear personal protective equipment like nitrile gloves, goggles, face mask if available so you will not encounter an unknown persons blood.
- You must work at controlling the bleeding by elevation and direct pressure to the injury site. Do not use tourniquets unless there might be bleeding so severe that you cannot control it in any way. That will not be likely (unless you are attacked by a mountain lion or bobcat, which has happened). If you can’t provide direct pressure and maintain it for an extended time, remember, direct pressure can also be achieved if you use a pressure dressing.
- Once you have the bleeding controlled, then clean the wound with some warm water and soap. Clean inside that wound making sure to get rid of all the soap, or it can irritate later. Any regular soap will suffice. You do not need to use an antiseptic or antibacterial soap.
- Cover the wound with a dry, clean dressing. You can place antibiotic ointment on this bite before you cover it, but it is not necessary.
You Should See Your Doctor if:
No matter how non-serious you think, the bite is, you need to go to 24/7 Emergency Care near you to see a doctor as soon as you can. The wound could need some stitches; especially those on your hands, forearms, and face because of the possibility of losing function due to nerve damage and the chance of permanent scarring.
Any cat that you do not recognize could be carrying rabies. If you can’t identify the cat and its owner cannot prove the rabies vaccine, the patient must see a doctor at Emergency Care Abilene, TX. Rabies is always fatal to humans if not treated early.
Cat bites and scratches are usually deep and more of concern for infection. So, watch for swelling, oozing pus, redness, and heat that could indeed indicate an infection.