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How Can I Prevent And Treat Cat Bites?

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Patricia Devereux Profile
Cats bite only as a last resort, if we humans are not paying attention to their immediate needs.

Even with a stray, cats must be severely provoked to defend themselves with biting. People are bitten when they corner or restrain the cat -- and the animal panics.

If a cat bites you without seeming provocation, it may be sick. Isolate him, as the illness may be rabies, distemper, or tumor or virus. The cat may also be in pain from an undetected abscess, ear infection, or toothache.

Never play with a kitten with your bare hands as this teaches him that hands are a plaything (and stand-in for prey) which he can bite or scratch with impunity.

If you are bitten by a cat, wash the area with soap and water, apply antibiotic ointment, and bandage it. If infection sets in, call your doctor.

Be particularly careful about deep bites on your hands. I was once severely bitten by a feral cat, and waited several days before seeking medical attention. The doctor gave me a serious scolding, as cat bites can rapidly cause gangrene in the hand's tendons.

Lastly, do not declaw your cat for any reason. Most vets now consider the process immoral and will refuse to do it. A cat without its claws is like a person whose first finger digits are amputated. Deprived of its primary defense, the cat becomes psychotic -- and must use its only other (and much more damaging defense), biting.
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Anonymous
Anonymous commented
That's not true, not all cats have to be provoked. My son has a cat who will attack you even if you try to gently pet it. I tried to pet it's paw once and it attacked me so bad, I ended up on the emergency room 2 days later with a bad infection in my hand. Had to get a vaccine and antibiotics. My hand hurt for over a week and turned brown.

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