Guides and articles

Are cat bites dangerous?

Some people think that cat bites are extremely dangerous, while others don’t worry about them at all. As it often happens, the truth is somewhere in between. The best practice is to treat every bite as potentially dangerous, even though it’s not always the case.
Cat bites can be potentially dangerous due to the bacteria that cats carry in their mouths. Cat saliva contains a variety of bacteria, including Pasteurella multocida, which can lead to infections if introduced introduced into the human body through a bite.

In some cases, a cat bite might not cause immediate pain or seem severe, but the puncture wounds can go deep, allowing bacteria to be introduced into tissues. Infections from cat bites if untreated can lead to cellulitis (a bacterial skin infection), abscess formation, or, in more severe cases, systemic infections. That’s why if you are bitten by a cat, it's important to clean the wound thoroughly with soap and water and then apply an antiseptic. It's advisable to seek medical attention, especially if the bite is deep, the wound becomes red or swollen, or if you develop any signs of infection such as fever.

While not all cat bites lead to serious consequences, it's crucial to take them seriously, clean the wound properly, and seek medical attention if there are signs of infection or if the bite is more than a superficial scratch.

For volunteers and cat rescue assistants, it’s recommended to always use protective gear when handling a potentially aggressive or scared stray cat. Thick gloves and long sleeves minimize the risk of bites or scratches.