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What to do with a cat bite?

Medical expert of the article

Internist infectious disease
, medical expert
Last reviewed: 24.06.2019

If you are bitten by a cat, you can contact:

  • in the emergency room (this is the best option);
  • to the doctor on duty in the emergency room;
  • to the doctor on duty in the surgical or infectious department;
  • to an ambulance nurse;
  • to a paramedic or ambulatory doctor.

It is very important that the victim is able to inform the health worker about the circumstances of the bite, describe the animal (appearance, behavioral features, etc.).

First of all, when a human cat bites a person, a medical specialist should rule out the likelihood of being affected by the rabies virus (if required, the doctor will inject a rabies vaccine and the cat will be placed under quarantine surveillance). For prophylaxis, a special anti-tetanus serum will also be introduced, further treatment is prescribed (most often - antibiotic therapy).

How to treat a cat bite?

When contacting the doctor after the necessary diagnosis, the wound is treated (washing, using antiseptics). Stitching is possible only with fresh, uninfected damage.

If necessary, do vaccination according to the standard scheme. Prevention of tetanus is carried out if the victim does not have a confirmed immunological history.

Indications for hospitalization usually include these symptoms:

  • temperature rise;
  • sepsis;
  • progressive tissue swelling;
  • dysfunction of the joints, limbs.

Next, the doctor must prescribe prophylactic antibiotic therapy. Selection of antibiotics is carried out individually: usually use preparations of a wide range of antibacterial activity. The most frequently prescribed Amoxicillin-clavulanate (Amoxiclav) in the amount of 625 mg three times a day (dosage for adults). If there is intolerance to penicillins, then Metronidazole may be given in combination with Doxycycline (Erythromycin) or Ciprofloxacin with Clindamycin.

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How to treat a domestic cat bite?

If the bite is made by a domestic cat that you know well, which does not go outside and lives exclusively at home, then a visit to the doctor, although very desirable, but not necessary: you can cure the bite site yourself. However, seeking medical help is necessary in such situations:

  • if blood leaks from the wound and does not stop for fifteen minutes;
  • if the bites are multiple and deep;
  • if swelling appeared, the bitten place turned red, the temperature rose.

If the wound is superficial, the damage is minor, then you can deal with the problem yourself: wash the bite well with warm water and soap, dry it with a clean cloth, treat with Chlorhexidine, hydrogen peroxide or any alcohol solution. Then you should carefully observe the damage and listen to your well-being. You should also examine the nearest area of the lymph nodes: in the inflammatory process, they increase in the first place. For any negative changes, an urgent need to visit a doctor. Independent administration of antibiotics is unacceptable: their appointment is carried out only by a medical specialist.

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How to treat a wound after a cat bite?

Damage to the soft tissue when a cat bites can be accompanied by infection, so the first thing to do is to treat the wound surface. But not always at hand there are suitable means, or there are some in which a person doubts: can they be used to treat bitten wounds?

As an antiseptic, you can use two types of solutions - alcohol or water-based. Alcohol liquids are more preferable in this situation. However, if there are no such preparations on hand, use of aqueous solutions is also allowed: the main thing is that the cat's bite should be treated.

The most common processing means are:

  • Chlorhexidine;
  • Fukorcin;
  • Miraxidine;
  • hydrogen peroxide;
  • solution of potassium permanganate or furatsilina;
  • Miramistin;
  • medical alcohol, vodka;
  • brilliant green solution, iodine;
  • tincture of calendula, propolis, etc.;
  • Oktenidin;
  • Polisept;
  • Dekasan.

If there is nothing like this in the first-aid kit, then antiseptics can be considered as a spray:

  • Oktenisept;
  • İzaseptik;
  • Panthenol;
  • Diaseptik;
  • Amidin aqua;
  • Medonica, etc.

Processing should be carried out abundantly. However, we must not forget that any of the funds can cause an allergic reaction.

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Medications that the doctor may prescribe

The main drugs for cat bites are often antibiotics. They are used in combination with other drugs - for example, analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs, immunostimulants.

It is possible that the doctor will prescribe topical antibiotics - for example, in the form of ointments or creams. However, systemic drugs are most often used: their action is reliable, extensive and effective.

Antibiotics for cat bites are prescribed in tablet or capsulated form, as well as by injection. Indications for antibiotic therapy consider:

  • extensive and deep bites;
  • blood poisoning;
  • temperature rise;
  • purulent processes.

With the development of purulent complications, the use of penicillin-type drugs is most relevant - for example, Amoxicillin, Ampicillin, Ampioks, etc.

Amoxicillin for cat bites prescribed 1.5 g every 6 hours. Contraindications may be only hypersensitivity and allergy to drugs of this group.

The combination of Amoxicillin and Clavulanic Acid is considered effective. One of such combined antibiotics Amoxiclav with a cat bite is prescribed at 875 mg twice a day, or 625 mg three times a day. Side effects during treatment are usually transient. They are manifested by allergic reactions, dyspepsia, the development of pseudomembranous colitis.

Cephalosporin antibiotics have a bactericidal effect on many varieties of microbes. The representative of this group Cefuroxime can become the drug of choice: it is used for treatment for a week.

Macrolide antibiotics such as tetracycline and azithromycin are considered the safest in terms of side effects. However, they sometimes have an adverse effect on the work of the digestive and urinary systems.

Antibiotic therapy is always supplemented by the use of other medicines. For example, indomethacin, Celebrex, Voltaren, etc. Are prescribed to provide anti-inflammatory effects. Analgesics such as Baralgin or Ketanol are suitable for relief of pain.

To eliminate puffiness and prevent the development of allergies, antihistamines can be prescribed - for example, Loratadine or Suprastin.

With the threat of infection, rabies injections for a person after a cat bite are not held forty times, as is commonly believed, but only six times: the serum is administered on the day the cat bite is received, and then on the third, seventh, fourteenth, thirtieth and ninetieth days after. In no case should this course be interrupted: some patients believe that one or two injections are enough to prevent rabies, but this is not so. True, vaccination can be stopped if the bitten cat continues to live and live 10 days after the attack on the person.

Vaccination against tetanus after a cat bite is done if the patient has not had a routine DPT vaccination, or its action has already been completed. In such cases, DTP is again made to the person, which includes purified tetanus toxoid adsorbed. And the introduction of DTP, and the injection of rabies serum implies the patient's refusal to use any type of alcohol during the entire period of treatment, as well as for six months after the last injection of rabies vaccination.

If the doctor deems it necessary, the introduction of an rabies immunoglobulin may be added to the announced course of treatment. When a cat is bitten, immunoglobulin is administered once, during the first day after the bite, but not later than the third day after contact. Half of the dose is cut around the area around the lesion, and the remaining half is used intramuscularly (injection into the upper third of the thigh or buttock).

Such necessary immunization is usually well tolerated by patients. Allergic manifestations are found only in 0.03% of cases.

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Mats on a wound in the taste of a cat

If an active inflammatory process develops, it is better to use systemic drugs. Ointment remedies are relevant only at the stage of tissue repair, when the inflammatory response is already defeated. Such a tool is selected by the doctor, based not only on the sensitivity of bacteria to antimicrobial agents, but also at the stage of wound healing.

One of the most common ointment agents is Baneocin, a bactericidal drug. It is applied to a clean cat bite, several times a day. Contraindications to such treatment may be:

  • allergic mood to the composition of the ointment;
  • extensive bites in several places;
  • treatment of aminoglycosides;
  • period of gestation and breastfeeding of the baby.

Levomekol with a cat bite is also quite an effective remedy with a pronounced antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory property. The ointment accelerates the healing of even those wounds that have managed to fester. The period of use of the funds should not exceed five or six days, then it is replaced by another, contributing to the restoration of damaged tissues.

Vishnevsky ointment for cat bites also has a pronounced antibacterial and regenerating effect. It is used under the bandage, twice a day. If there is an allergy in the form of increased edema, the appearance of rashes and itching, then the ointment is canceled. UV rays should not be allowed on the places treated with Vishnevsky ointment, as it enhances the photosensitivity of the skin.

Tetracycline ointment for cat bites is effective due to its bacteriostatic action. Means is applied 1-2 times a day, for a long time (up to two or three weeks). You can not use this ointment for the treatment of children under 11 years of age, during pregnancy, as well as with fungal skin lesions.

Many patients are interested in whether it is possible to use Dimexide gel with a cat bite. In fact, such a gel is more appropriate for the treatment of bruises and muscle pain. For the treatment of bitten wounds, it is better to use other drugs with anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial action.

Alternative treatment for cat bites

Manually treating a cat's bite without going to a doctor is not recommended, since at home it is impossible to prevent the development of especially dangerous infections. After consultation with a medical specialist, it is allowed to conduct treatment with alternative means along with the drug therapy prescribed by the attending physician.

As auxiliary means there can be such:

  • Fresh juice from aloe leaves or cranberry berries (it has excellent bactericidal and anti-inflammatory properties) is used to wet the wound three times a day.
  • Grape leaves are passed through a meat grinder, the resulting mass is applied to the bite of a cat, and the top is strengthened with a dressing (like a compress). This dressing should be changed twice a day.
  • The juice from the foliage of lilac is used for setting lotions several times a day. Each lotion should be kept on the bite area for two hours.
  • The foliage of eucalyptus tree is kept for a quarter of an hour in boiling water, then the infusion is filtered, diluted with water 50:50, used to wash the bitten zone.

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Herbal medicine

  • Mix one tablespoon of fresh plantain leaves and yarrow, ground in a meat grinder. The resulting mass is spread on a gauze napkin, applied to the bite of a cat, fixed. Stand for an hour. Repeat the procedure several times a day, until complete healing.
  • They tear down a fresh plant with a shepherd's bag, chop it up and apply it to the bite site several times a day, fixing it with a tight dressing.
  • The foliage of a cattail (it is often called a cane) is ground in a blender or meat grinder, put on a wound, fixed. The dressing is changed every three hours.
  • The mullein plant has an excellent healing and antimicrobial effect. To prepare the tincture, take 100 g of mullein flowers, pour 250 g of alcohol or strong vodka, infuse for 20 days, shaking periodically. Next, the tincture is filtered and applied as follows: when a cat bites, you can attach lotions to the damaged tissues (gauze napkins soaked in the tincture), or immerse the bitten area directly into the tincture (this is convenient, for example, if you bit the finger). Procedures are repeated three times a day, until improvement.

trusted-source[15], [16]

Homeopathy with a cat bite

Homeopathic medicines have long been popular with many people, primarily because of their safety and effectiveness. However, we would not advise using such agents as first aid: the risk of losing time and allowing infection to develop at the site of the bite is too great.

However, in combination with further medical treatment, the use of homeopathy is quite appropriate. Many patients manage with this technique to speed up the recovery and repair of tissues.

When a cat bites, these homeopathic remedies are shown:

  • Calendula 6 - accelerates healing, relieves pain, prevents the development of purulent infections.
  • Gammamelis 6 - will help with bleeding wounds.
  • Hypericum 6 - facilitates healing in places rich in nerve endings (fingers, inner surface of the wrist, etc.).
  • Ledum 6 - prevents the development of the inflammatory process, soothes the skin.
  • Symphitum 6 - used in case of damage to the tendons and periosteum.
  • Arnica 6 - relieves pain, promotes the resorption of hematoma.

In order to determine the specific drug and its dosage, you need to contact an experienced homeopathic doctor. Moreover, the consultation should be personal, with the presence of the victim. "Absentee" purpose of funds in homeopathy is not welcome.

Surgical treatment for cat bites

Deep puncture wounds can easily fester because of infectious pathogens entering the tissue. Suppuration is the first indication for surgical treatment.

Already at the first consultation, the surgeon will conclude whether the patient needs operational assistance. However, at the first stage, primary surgical treatment of wounds is sufficient: it is carried out in the manipulation room of the emergency room or the surgical department. The doctor removes dead tissue, foreign objects, cleans the wound and disinfects. If necessary, drainage is installed or sutures are applied.

In the event of damage to the nerves and blood vessels, it is possible to place the injured in hospital.

With the development of an infection in the wound (the main signs are swelling, redness, pain, local fever), the doctor re-performs the surgical treatment. It removes inflamed tissue, cleans the wound, washes it with antiseptics and medicinal solutions, and establishes drainage. If this treatment was carried out correctly, the effectiveness of treatment is greatly increased.

In some cases, the surgeon’s help may be necessary if the cat’s bite fell on the face area: in such a situation, aesthetic and plastic surgery is performed as planned.

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