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How to Treat a Cat Bite

If a frisky kitty has sunk their fangs into a family member, this guide will show you how to treat that wound and avoid the dreaded cat scratch fever.


  • Step 1: Wash the wound Wash the wound immediately with soap and warm water. Scrub the area for several minutes to remove saliva and bacteria from the cat bite.
  • TIP: Don't scrub too hard, but be thorough. While it may be painful, an infection is even worse.
  • Step 2: Follow with an antiseptic Rinse all the soap from the wound and then follow with a good antiseptic such as iodine or hydrogen peroxide.
  • Step 3: Apply pressure Apply firm pressure to the puncture marks from the cat's teeth to stop any bleeding. Keep the wound elevated to prevent the wound from swelling.
  • Step 4: Cover with gauze Cover the bite with an antibiotic ointment and then wrap it in clean gauze once the bleeding has stopped. Apply clean bandages at least twice a day until healing starts.
  • TIP: A tetanus booster or rabies vaccine may be needed if the animal is a stray. Animal bites in humans can be deadly.
  • Step 5: See a doctor See a doctor if things get worse. Have a baby or small child checked out, even if the bite is minor. Swift action will make any pet bite less traumatic and painful.
  • FACT: Cat Scratch Disease, or CSD, is caused by a common bacteria, which 40 percent of all cats carry at some point in their life.

You Will Need

  • Soap
  • Warm water
  • Antiseptic
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Gauze
  • Doctor (optional)

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