How to Prevent a Cat Scratch Disease? Learn Cat Scratch First Aid Tips

Cat Scratch Disease Treatment

A beginner’s Guide to Understand the basic concepts about Cat Scratch Disease Treatment

In the cat scratch disease, which is triggered by bacteria, the pathogen gets into the human body primarily through scratch injuries of the cats. The cat itself becomes ill or might be affected to some extent.

“The pathogens are also found in the saliva of the cat. To reduce the risk of infection, children should learn that if they allow the pet to lick open knees or other minor injuries, they can become sick.”

Table of Contents

1: What is cat scratch disease?

2: Causes

3: Symptoms, complaints & signs

4: Diagnosis & course of the disease

5: Complications

6: When should you go to the doctor?

7: Cat Scratch Disease Treatment & therapy

9: Prevention

10: Aftercare

11: You can do that yourself

What is cat scratch disease?

The cat-scratch disease is a very common infection. It is transmitted from infected cats to humans through scratch or bite wounds. Usually they are harmless. The pathogens include the bacteria Bartonella henselae and Bartonella clarridgeiae.

It is believed that the cat can also become infected through flea infestation, although the assumption has not been proven. According to studies, about every tenth cat carries the bacteria. The disease is not transmitted from person to person, but only from cat to person. Especially people with a weakened immune system are more and more frequently affected by the cat scratch disease.


Basically, the cat scratch disease can affect everyone, but cat owners are particularly at risk due to the transmission path. Because young animals are particularly contagious, the cat-scratch disease is more common in households with very young cats, but older animals can also transmit the disease. Most people affected by cat diseases are up to 21 years old.

The reason for this is that children often have intimate contact with the pet and, on the other hand, do not yet have a fully developed immune system. However, adult people with a weakened immune system are also more likely to contract cat scratch disease. They also often show a more severe course. The pathogen reaches the claws of a cat in various ways: When the animal licks its paws, the bacteria that are contained in the saliva and blood reach the claws.

Immune System

  • With poor health or a weakened immune system, for example in the context of an HIV infection or AIDS disease, the normally harmless cat scratch disease can result in blood poisoning, meningitis or inflammation of the heart valves. Caution should, therefore, be exercised in people with poor health or basic illnesses.
  • In people with a strong immune system and without a history of illness, however, no medication is usually necessary.
  • No medical treatment is usually required in healthy adults with an intact immune system.
  • Simultaneously, you should also exercise these cautions in children and aged persons because they have a weak immune system. In some cases, such subjects do not have a fully working immune system. It may bring an early catch-up of infection. Furthermore, you should not apply personal cat scratch disease treatment experiments. It can make the situation more critical.

Another option is when fleas settle and suck the cat’s blood. With the droppings of the fleas, they are excreted and are in the fur. As the infected site is itchy, the cat scratches and the fleas’ droppings get under the claws. If the cat licks a part of the human skin that has previously been scratched or damaged, the pathogen can be transmitted. Since the flea also bites people, direct transmission is also possible, although this is far less the case.

Symptoms, complaints & signs

The initial symptoms of cat scratch disease may start to appear after two to three days, but it is also possible that it may take two months. Therefore, the cat bite is often no longer suspected as a prevailing danger after such a long time. Possible symptoms include scratching or biting wounds in the cat, even if they may have already healed.

Red pustules or papules in the infected area of the wound become swollen and inflamed, sometimes painful lymph nodes on the armpits or neck are signs of disease. Possible side effects can be flu-like symptoms such as:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Limb swelling
  • sore throat and stomach pain
  • chills
  • nausea and vomiting

Diagnosis & Cat Scratch Disease Treatment procedure

Since the symptoms of cat scratch disease are often very different and can also occur in other diseases, the doctor must know the development of the disease. Of course, the crucial question is whether there are cats as pets at home. Following blood tests are carried in cat:

  • PCR
  • Biopsy
  • IFA

When the body comes into contact with the pathogen, it forms specific antibodies against the bacterium that can be detected in the blood.

The pathogen can also be grown using a blood test, which takes a few weeks. A clear result is then possible. If the diagnosis is difficult, tissue can also be removed from a swollen lymph node in order to reliably determine the disease. The cat scratch disease is usually harmless.

Counter drugs for cat scratch disease

  • Naproxen
  • Ibuprofen
Anti-biotic for cat scratch treatment
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Trimethoprim
  • Rifampin

Moreover, you can find useful Scratching Posts for Pet Cats Here:

Complications in Cat Scratch Disease Treatment

In most cases, the cat-scratch disease only comes to very late diagnosis. This disease can also show the first symptoms after a few months so that in most cases the treatment is also delayed. Generally, those affected mostly suffer from pain caused by the bite or scratching of the cat.

Complications rarely occur when the bacteria affect the heart, bones or lungs, for example, and cause inflammation. If the pathogens accelerate too much in the blood, this can lead to blood poisoning and anemia, which is life-threatening and must be treated in a hospital intensive care unit.

The affected areas can swell and cause pain too. It is not uncommon for those affected to continue to suffer from fever and fatigue. There are also symptoms that resemble ordinary flu. The patients also suffer from nausea, vomiting, and chill

To treat the victim, it may affect his/her normal routine. The treatment of cat scratch disease is carried out with the help of antibiotics. There are no further complications. Life expectancy can also be reduced if necessary.

When should you go to the doctor for Cat Scratch First Aid?

If people who are in direct contact with cats show health changes, they should consult a doctor. It is also necessary if you see any symptoms within a few days after contact with cats. Subsequently, under the following symptoms, you need to get medical assistance:

  • fever or an increased body temperature
  • swelling on the body
  • sudden changes in the skin such as red spot and the formation of pustules

If lymph nodes on the neck or armpits increase in size and sensitivity, this is considered a disease warning that should be followed up. In the case of flu-like symptoms such as repeated vomiting, nausea or dizziness, a medical examination is necessary to clarify the cause.

Chills, abdominal pain, digestive problems, limb discomfort, aching bones or head can be common symptoms too.

Cat Scratch First Aid is required if:

  • Existing infection spread
  • Tiredness, a drop in performance and a feeling of sickness.
  • With a cat scratch disease, the symptoms often appear after a bite or a scratch on the skin.
  •  The wound is poorly healed.

Cat Scratch Disease Treatment & therapy

Since cat scratch disease is a bacterial infection, it can be treated well with an antibiotic. Cat Scratch Disease Treatment can be carried if the patient is critical.  This is usually taken for four weeks. If the disease is accompanied by flu-like symptoms, antipyretic drugs or pain relievers can also be prescribed.


  • Prevention is to always clean and disinfects the wounds well after injuries from cats. After contact, it is recommended to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. The cats should also be reliably rid of fleas on a regular basis. Moreover, you should vaccinate the cat.


  1. Take follow up from doctor
  2. Adopt preventive measures
  3. Children and elders should make a Careful interaction with the pet
  4. You can maintain the distance from the pet too

There is no reason for long-term treatment, which can be part of aftercare. Usually, there is spontaneous healing. The patient can, however, be infected at any time. A blood analysis allows a clear diagnosis. With a long course, an antibiotic can ensure quick relief. Pet owners must consistently adhere to the preventive measures described. This reduces the risk of infection. The instruction regarding suitable preventive measures in everyday life replaces a scheduled follow-up examination.

 What you can do to prevent a Cat Scratch Disease?

  1. Cat scratch disease is a bacterial infection that has symptoms that are not unlike those of mild flu. Most of the time, those affected are not even aware that they did not simply catch a cold. Anyone who has been injured by a cat and fears that they have become infected with the cat can wait and see.

Less serious side effects such as headache and body aches or mild fever can also be treated with over-the-counter medication without hesitation. However, you should always consult a doctor if the symptoms become worse, especially if you catch a high fever with inflammatory wounds.

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