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Help! Stray Cat Bite

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
My neighbor has 6+ cats. The female of the bunch is CONSTANTLY pregnant. The neighbor is very irresponsible and allows her outside while she is in heat attracting every stray tom. There is one in particular tom that hangs outside my window. He is a rough looking muscular fellow. Torn ear, missing hair etc. I heard him calling and thought I would intercept his amorous ways with the cat next door. I walked outside and he rubbed against my leg. I pet him for awhile and he was enjoying it. Out of nowhere he bites me hard enough to draw blood and scratches me deeply down the side of my wrist. I think he bit down to the bone! Should I be worried about any disease/shots?


post #2 of 10
Thread Starter 
It is probably important to note that he had no tags.
post #3 of 10
Okay, here's a tough one....cat bites are usually much worse than scratches. There is more bacteria in the mouth. You can also get what they call cat scratch fever from a scratch. With Rabies it is somewhat rare that domestic cats have it. It is important that you are up to date on tetnus and keep the wounds VERY clean. If there is ANY sign of infection then you need to see the Dr. However, when you go they will take info on the cat. I dont know about the laws there but the Animal control officer will probably be contacted and try to catch the cat. They usually put it in quarantine for 2 weeks. Then hopefully it has an owner willing to take it back. If they think the cat may have rabies..they will euthanize it...take off it's head and send it for testing. That's the tough part...knowing a cat may die because someone didnt take the time to vaccinate and care for a cat.
post #4 of 10
Your main concern should be rabies. Cat scratch disease and bite-induced infections are not uncommon, but they are quite treatable. Rabies however is not treatable once symptoms appear and it is deadly.

It is a dilemma, because like Sandie said, the cat may very well be euthanized if it has no owner - but if rabies is common where you live, I would say you need to get the shots. There's a good chance that they won't catch the cat anyway.

I've faced a similar dilemma last year. One of my officers (a girl aged 20) was playing with a semi-tamed feral I was feeding next to our office (of course - strictly against military regulations). She didn't know much about cats so when he rolled on his back she assumed he wants a belly rub (like a dog would). Well, the cat bit her quite hard and I was very worried. My first responsibility was for her safety. Yet, military regulations are very clear about this - any biting animal must be captured - dead or alive - to be checked for rabies. She couldn't even go to the doctor, because that would have beem a military doctor and he would have to be told the whole story.... I would have got in serious trouble for being in contact with stray animals and for letting my subordinates do the same...

So, what did I do? I contacted the cat welfare society of Israel for consultation. They told me that there were no documented cases of rabies in the vicinity of Tel Aviv (where the whole thing took place) in the last 50 years. They said that there were practically zero chances that the cat had rabies. That and the fact that he was provoked into the bite, conviced me not to report the incident and so save the cat. The girl was fine and only had a minor infection which was cured with an OTC antibtioc cream.

I must say though, that ever since I ask for ferals to be vaccinated against rabies when we have any spayed/neutered - just to be on the safe side.

So, my advice would be to check and see if there are cases of rabies reported where you live (and if there are wildlife nearby - chances are there is some around). Then go to your doctor and ask to be vaccinated. I'm told it's a relatively simple procedure (no shots in the stomach - just one in your arm) and it will put you our of risk and at ease.
post #5 of 10

I would say: GO TO THE DOCTOR!!!!

A guy I worked with was bitten by a cat once. He got some weird black line that went all the way up his arm! It was pretty serious. Plus, the way that you describe this cat, who knows what other animals he has been fighting with! I am sorry that this might result in this cat being caught and put down, but I wouldn't want to see you become seriuosly ill!
post #6 of 10
Please go and see a doctor if you haven't already. Cat Scratch fever is a very real threat and I have known many people (including myself) who has wound up in the hospital because they did not take proper care of even the smallest scratch. My arm swelled up like a balloon, they had to lance the arm, I was on IV's it was really nasty. Now, whenever I am scratched (just like this morning) no matter how deep or whatever, I run the hottest water I can stand, I scrub with an antibacterial soap, I pour peroxide on it, and slather it with neosporin. I was laid up for weeks because I blew off the fact that I got scratched. I will never be that careless again. It may not look like anything now, but it could be very serious. If I can prevent you from learning that, then my day would be complete. Please tend to this. And check with your animal control officer to find out if there are any cases of rabies in your county. Rabies are usually pretty rare, cat scratch fever unfortunately is not.
post #7 of 10
I hope you have gone to see a doctor! This could be a serious wound. Not to mention you dont know if that cat has had his shots for rabies. The unpredictable behaviour like you have described is common in rabid animals. There are shots you can take so dont worry. But you must go and see about this.
post #8 of 10
thanks for that information, hissy, i did not know any of that, and i get scratched playing
with my cats all the time...

hope all is well n.c.
post #9 of 10
Just a note...most cats brought up indoors only and never go out have a slim to none chance of carrying the bacteria. They have also linked it to ticks.
post #10 of 10
NC.... I am worried about you....and I hope you DO go see the doctor! Let us know!!!
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