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Serious Cat bite/scratches

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone.

I am really upset right now, and I am hoping that this is the right place to talk about this.

I am currently taking care of my neighbours house while they are away on vacation. (watering plants, taking care of the pool, etc.) And they have a stray kitten that lives in their garage, that they have been caring for. He is a very young tom cat, and no one knows where he came from... we live out in the country. We have dubbed him Mitz, because he has extra toes on all his feet. Mitz is normally an absolute sweeetheart, and just flops down and begs for belly scratches whenever anyone is even remotely close to him. They have offered him to me, and I would keep him, but my cat is moody and would shread this poor little guy. Well now I'm not so sure...

Today when I was up at their place tending to their flower beds outside, Mitz came up beside me growling. Something I have never heard him do before. His ears were flat against his head and his body was in a completely deffensive position. This totally puzzled me, since he is normally a complete snuggle-bug. Then out of nowhere, he let out this awful howl/screech and full-out attacked my leg. I mean he did serious damage to it. you can see where all 4 of his paws sliced me, and I have an ugly purple bite, with 4 big puncture marks in it. Out of sheer reaction I turned the hose I was using on him, and he let go. Then he just layed there at my feet growling at me.

I am so upset right now. Why would Mitz just turn on me like that?? He knows me well, and has seen me up there caring for the house and yard for a full week now. I have never seen even a hint of agression in him before. Normally he just can't get enough lovin' from anyone.... Not to mention my leg is a mess.
post #2 of 18
You should go to a Dr.
Cat bites can get infected fast.
I have had cats turn on me before but they were ferals.
post #3 of 18
You need to get to a doctor. Cat bites are very serious things. It is because of the puncture nature of the wound. Bacteria gets trapped in there, the wound closes up on itself and traps all the nasty in there. You will need a course of antibiotics.
ETA: Cats, especialy ferrals are unpredictable. Something may have spooked him and he saw you as a threat. Don't take it personal.
post #4 of 18
I would agree...get to a Dr. The cat will have to be quarantined....it is procedure here, anyway. Even if a pet cat bites....it will be under 'house arrest' for 2 weeks.

I hope Mitz hasn't come in contact with a rabid animal. You are more important and please do get your injuries attented to. Do not wait!!

A friend of mine who lives on a farm was bitten by one of her pet, outdoor cats, and guess what....the cat was rabid.

Assure us that you will see a Dr. , please!
post #5 of 18
It sounds like something spooked him. If you were using the hose at the time maybe that was the issue.

Definitely go to the doctor. They will probably put you on antibiotics because cat bites are very likely to get infected badly.
post #6 of 18
As said, doctor NOW. Puncture wounds almost always get infected, so those are not odds to play with.

What will happen when you go to the doctor. They will want to know and have proof that the cat who bit you had it's rabies vaccination. I'm guessing this one hasn't, yet.
Either the cat will be put in quarantine or euthanized and tested for rabies.
If you lie and say a stray you hadn't seen before bit you then be prepared to get rabies shots unless you decide against it (pretty sure you'd have to sign a waver).

Either the stray smelled your cat on you or there is something wrong with him health wise. Since you said this is a complete change on his behavior I would actually be very concerned about this cat.


I'm sorry that this is a Saturday, that means you may have to go to the ER if there's no clinic open on weekends.
post #7 of 18
Just wanted to add....watch the wound on your leg....if you see, or suspect, a red line leading away from the wound....run, drive, as fast as you safely can to an ER or Dr. That red line is a classic symptom of rabies forming. Rabies is 100% deadly in a human unless treated immediately.

What Strangewing said about the cat being investigated is also 100% true. I forgot to add..... that my Mom was slightly bitten by their cat - he's neurotic - but he has been vaccinated against Rabies....and he was quarantined for two weeks at home. He was also reported to Animal Control who had full authority to come without warning to my parents house to check to make sure that he was in the house at all times.

When the two weeks passed, the cat was examined, and of course he was rabies free....and everything was 'closed'.

Good Luck, I hope all this turns out well for you and for the cat.
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone for the input. I would hate to see Mitz put down. I already feel guilty enough that I soaked him with the hose. I know that he has no vaccinations. He turned up one day in my neighbours yard, teeny-tiny, and starving. He is definately under 6 months old.... He may even be "wild". (If there is such a thing...)

I will go to the ER as soon as DH gets home from work. We live in a tiny little town in the middle of nowhere... no clinics here.

The scratches just sting, like any other cat scratch. The bite actually really hurts. I cleaned everything with peroxide as soon as it happened.
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleCJ-7 View Post
Thank you everyone for the input. I would hate to see Mitz put down. I already feel guilty enough that I soaked him with the hose. I know that he has no vaccinations. He turned up one day in my neighbours yard, teeny-tiny, and starving. He is definately under 6 months old.... He may even be "wild". (If there is such a thing...)

I will go to the ER as soon as DH gets home from work. We live in a tiny little town in the middle of nowhere... no clinics here.

The scratches just sting, like any other cat scratch. The bite actually really hurts. I cleaned everything with peroxide as soon as it happened.
The best thing to do with cat bites is let them bleed, it flushes out the bacteria. Kind of the horse out of the barn now, but good info for the future.
You dont have to tell what cat did this, but for your own saftey I would recomend that. I hate to sentence any animal to this, but you have to be sure you will be OK.
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleCJ-7 View Post
Thank you everyone for the input. I would hate to see Mitz put down. I already feel guilty enough that I soaked him with the hose. I know that he has no vaccinations. He turned up one day in my neighbours yard, teeny-tiny, and starving. He is definately under 6 months old.... He may even be "wild". (If there is such a thing...)

I will go to the ER as soon as DH gets home from work. We live in a tiny little town in the middle of nowhere... no clinics here.

The scratches just sting, like any other cat scratch. The bite actually really hurts. I cleaned everything with peroxide as soon as it happened.

I'm glad to see that you live in Canada...I was afraid that you might not have health insurance and would be reluctant to seek medical advice.

If this cat is usually so cuddly, would it be possible for your husband to try to capture it, and do your own quarantine of him...just to watch him and see what his behaviour is over the next few days. If he continues to be 'nasty'...then you would have to take him to a Vet and tell the story...for his sake and the sake of others. If he does calm down and go back to his usual self..perhaps you could get a rabies vaccine for him....just to make him safe..he's old enough for one now.

If he does bite again, rabies can be ruled out.....although other issues would be raised....one being...would you want a biting cat roaming free....but one step at a time.

Keep us posted on your condition.... going your way !
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxiecat03 View Post
Just wanted to add....watch the wound on your leg....if you see, or suspect, a red line leading away from the wound....run, drive, as fast as you safely can to an ER or Dr. That red line is a classic symptom of rabies forming. Rabies is 100% deadly in a human unless treated immediately.
Rabies doesn't cause that, streptococcus bacteria does. You can get this from any sort of wound that gets strep bacteria in it.

The bad bacteria to worry about from cat bites is called pasteurella (P. multocida iirc). All cat, and several other animals, mouths have this bacteria.


Early symptoms of rabies in humans are actually rather vague - fever, moodiness, headache, pain. In short, similar to flu symptoms.

To the OP: They'll give you instructions on wound care, generally it involves soaking the wounds. If the bites do get infected expect swelling and redness, and it will HURT!
Typical antibiotic used is Augmentin in a fairly high dose. Pick up some yogurt or some probiotics if you get diarrhea, as that antibiotic (and dose) can do a number on the good bacteria in your intestines. Good luck, hopefully you won't have too much trouble from this and it can all be straightened out.

If any of your scratches are wide enough you may want to consider using an antibiotic ointment and gauze pads to keep stuff off them and to prevent them from scaring too badly.
post #12 of 18
Thank you for correcting me. I was misinformed...should have looked up the symptoms myself...which I did. Rabies virus symptoms are much more vague. I guess that's why the animal is tested before shots are given, if the animal can be found.
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxiecat03 View Post
Thank you for correcting me. I was misinformed...should have looked up the symptoms myself...which I did. Rabies virus symptoms are much more vague. I guess that's why the animal is tested before shots are given, if the animal can be found.
Actually, one reason the animals are tested is because those rabies vaccinations for humans aren't cheap or pleasant. I'm glad you did double check, though, that's good information to know because something as simple as an infected cut on your hand or foot could get strep bacteria and it would be terrible to worry that you had something much worse.
Hopefully this is gained knowledge that you'll never have to use!
post #14 of 18
I hope not either....and did think of another possible reason for the red line......tetanus. If one puncture the skin with anything rusty, or otherwise dirty...look for the thin red line too. Most of us do get tetanus boosters.

I hope OP is feeling better now and has sought medical advice.
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hey everybody!

Well, I have an update to my run-in with Mitz. I did end up heading in to the ER and they took me right away. My leg was black and blue and just nasty looking, and swelling fast. I had also spiked a high fever. I was put on an IV of high-dose antibiotics because the wounds had become infected, in just 5 hrs. from the initial contact. The doctor told me that it was going to get worse before it started to get better, and let me tell you, it did. I was given a tetanus booster, and an Rx for Erythromycin, and had to spend the night. It still hurts, nearly 2 weeks later, and the swelling is still not completely gone.

Standard procedure at our hospital, (which I am sure is the same anywhere) Is to notify the police as soon as anyone reports to the ER with animal bites. I had to give a statement to the police about the incident, and the police had to notify the by-law enforcement officer (aka. Animal Control) Mitz was captured, euthanized, and sent for an autopsy to determine if he had rabies, which fortunately for me, he did not.

I wanted to thank everyone for their concern, and their replies to my original post! It really means a lot, the sense of community that can be found here! I also want to stress how important it is to seek medical treatment for any kind of animal bite. I was lucky that I went in when I did, because as bad as it was, it could have been a whole lot worse. Thank you all once again!!
post #16 of 18
I am glad you are better.
Why in the world did they not just quarantine Mitz to determine if he had rabies. That is so sad
post #17 of 18
Glad you are okay as well. But very sad that they immediately euthanized...

Leslie
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxiecat03 View Post
Just wanted to add....watch the wound on your leg....if you see, or suspect, a red line leading away from the wound....run, drive, as fast as you safely can to an ER or Dr. That red line is a classic symptom of rabies forming. Rabies is 100% deadly in a human unless treated immediately.
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxiecat03 View Post
I hope not either....and did think of another possible reason for the red line......tetanus. If one puncture the skin with anything rusty, or otherwise dirty...look for the thin red line too. Most of us do get tetanus boosters.

I hope OP is feeling better now and has sought medical advice.
I see someone else already corrected you on the "red line" - that simply indicates blood poisoning and is certainly no indication of rabies.

The red line is an indication of blood poisoning and not tetanus. Tetanus is a disease which produces muscle spasms, contractions and is commonly known as lockjaw.

It is true that when we get cut or wounded with something that may be rusty or dirty, or bitten by an animal, the medical profession will often inquire as to when you had your last tetanus shot.
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