A cat bite won't make a huge cut but it will run deep


  • Animals
  • Wednesday, 19 Jun 2019

What is it that makes cat bites so dangerous? It's the combination of two things: Cats have more germs in their mouths than other animals. At the same time, their teeth are long and sharply pointed. Photo: dpa

While probably quite sore, cat bites can often appear fairly harmless. But no matter how clean you think the animal is, a bite from a cat can quickly become serious for humans.

Ruth Schaefer, a specialist in hand surgery, warns that this also applies to feet, just as much with hands or other body parts. That means no matter where the cat bit you, it has the potential to get serious, and a doctor should take a look.

But what is it that makes cat bites so dangerous?

It's the combination of two things: Cats have more germs in their mouths than other animals. At the same time, their teeth are long and sharply pointed, meaning that while a cat bite won't make a huge cut, it will run deep.

That makes it easy for germs to get far under the skin, and a bite on your hand or foot can lead to bacteria getting into your tendons and joints. The same goes for other pets you think might have been bitten by a cat.

If a wound is not treated quickly, there is a risk of inflammation with serious consequences. If neglected long enough, an amputation may even be necessary. – dpa


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