Cat Scratch Fever – What is it, cause, protection

Cat Scratch Fever – What is it, cause, protection

What is cat scratch fever? 

  • A mild to severe bacterial disease that is transmitted cat to cat or cat to person.
  • Caused by bacteria Bartonella Henselea.

What animals can get cat scratch fever?

  • The only animals that are naturally infected by the bacteria are domestic and wild cats.
  • 40% of cats have cat scratch fever at some stage in their lives.
  • There have been unusual cases in horses, dogs, whales, seals, cattle, feral pigs and porpoises.

Cat scratch fever infographic I Love Veterinary

How does it affect my animal?

  • Cats do not show any signs of disease.

How can my animal get cat scratch fever?

  • The disease is spread from cat to cat is by vectors (fleas).
  • Feral cats have a major risk to be injected than pet cats.

How can I protect my animal?

  • Flea control.
  • Keeping the cat indoors.
  • Avoid other cats.

Can I get cat scratch fever?

  • Yes, the bacteria is passed from cat to human through bites and scratches.
  • Symptoms appear 3 to 10 days after being scratched or bitten and it usually heals on its own in 4 to 8 weeks.
  • The most common signs are blister, rash or ulcer at the wound site. Swelling of the lymph nodes may occur.
  • People with compromised immune system may develop blood and whole body infections and fever. 
  • 5-16% of patients have heart damage or liver infection.

How can I protect myself from cat scratch fever?

  • Avoid “rough play” with cats.
  • Wash any cat bites or scratches with running water and soap and do not allow cats to lick open wounds that you may have.
  • Flea control.

Who should I contact if I suspect the disease?

  • In Animals: cats do not show any symptoms.
  • In humans: contact your doctor

Infographic created by Arais Conde, find out more about her by visiting her Instagram or Portfolio.


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