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Old 04-19-2008, 08:12 PM   #1
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Cat Scratch, should I be concerned?

A neighborhood cat today was in near confrontation with my own cat, so I intervened. Not the smartest thing I could have done I realize, but I panicked in the moment. I picked up this cat and he ended turning around and scratching my face in few places. All cuts drew blood, but were not deep. I do not believe this cat to be feral, I believe he belongs to a family in the neighborhood.. He was nice enough to let me pet him. My question is should I be concerned about getting a rabies vaccine?

 
Old 04-19-2008, 08:20 PM   #2
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Re: Cat Scratch, should I be concerned?

I've always thought you could only get rabies through the saliva of an infected animal, not by scratches. You could call your local ER and ask them about this, or your doctor. I DO know you can get 'cat scratch fever' from a cat scratch. It's merely bacteria getting into the bloodstream from the unclean claws of a cat and you can run a fever and be sick. Hopefully, you washed off the scratches with either soap and water or alcohol. I would definitely call my doctor after an encounter with any animal. Be safe!

 
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Old 04-19-2008, 08:33 PM   #3
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Re: Cat Scratch, should I be concerned?

I called the on call doctor, but nobody answers, and the ER won't tell me anything over the phone I guess I'll just have to wait. I don't think I'm to worried, but it would be nice to be assured.

 
Old 04-19-2008, 08:37 PM   #4
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Re: Cat Scratch, should I be concerned?

Well I don't know that you should be too concerned yet. I have had enough cats to know that it is reaching the in heat season. So the stray might have been in heat cats tend to get very aggressive, male cats anyway, and I wouldn't assume right away that it was rabid. But if you are that concerned ask your doctor. Never hurts to ask! Good luck hun.

 
Old 04-19-2008, 10:08 PM   #5
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Re: Cat Scratch, should I be concerned?

rmv1983,

It isn't likely that the cat is infected with rabies. Anything is possible, of course, but I think it's very unlikely. Responsible cat owners get their pets immunized against rabies when the cat is going to spend any time roaming the outdoors. You can't know if this particular cat is immunized, of course, but it probably is.

More than likely, you'll just get a local infection at the site of the scratch (cat claws are pretty dirty!). Keep the skin clean, and your body will do its magic work of clearing up the infection.

Cats who are intent on defending their territory can be very single-minded. They often are not able to make a distinction between some third party who has come to join the fight, and their beloved slave (cats don't have masters!) who only wants to help. It's risky to step into the middle of the fight, as you discovered. I suggest two approaches the next time you feel the need to step in and rescue Fluffy from the neighbor cat (who is just trying to establish whose territory your yard belongs to).

First, it's safer to use something to distract them, like water from a hose or something thrown into their midst. When there is a pause in the action, you might be able to chase the other cat away.

Second, if you feel the need to wade in there yourself, then try using your "I'm the mom and I mean business" voice to clearly identify yourself to your own cat as you approach. Your cat might be willing to let you rescue it without turning on you, but you are still at the mercy of the other cat.

Otherwise, as someone who has received a lot of cat scratches, I can attest to the amazing ability of the human body to heal itself, as long as I remember to clean the wound immediately and keep it clean for a few days.

--Rheanna

 
Old 04-19-2008, 10:37 PM   #6
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Re: Cat Scratch, should I be concerned?

Thank you everyone You helped calm my nerves alot. I have gotten alot of scratches from my own cats, and learned the hard way this time. I know it wasn't smart, but I just didn't know what to do in the moment. Next time I will try what you said thanks alot!

 
Old 04-20-2008, 10:14 AM   #7
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Unhappy Re: Cat Scratch, should I be concerned?

Good reason to keep cats indoors, but, Cat scratch fever can make you very sick. The point of entry is what is called the innoculation. It might look like a raised bump and that is where the bacteria can enter. If any of your scratches get this raised bump please get to the DR as soon as possible for antibiotics. I know, it happened to me.

 
Old 04-21-2008, 04:40 AM   #8
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Re: Cat Scratch, should I be concerned?

Quote:
Originally Posted by twokatss View Post
Good reason to keep cats indoors, but, Cat scratch fever can make you very sick. The point of entry is what is called the innoculation. It might look like a raised bump and that is where the bacteria can enter. If any of your scratches get this raised bump please get to the DR as soon as possible for antibiotics. I know, it happened to me.
I have a slight allergy to cats (doesn't stop me owning two), and whenever I get scratched I always get the raised bump.

 
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