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Preventing Cat Scratch Fever Bacteria Infection in Cats and Humans

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Cat scratch fever bacteria infection, sometimes termed cat scratch disease, comes from a bacterium that lives in a feline’s saliva. This disease tends to develop more often in children than adults. The bacterium transfers to a feline’s claws when the cat licks and cleans his paws. When a cat bites or scratches a person after licking their claws, the bacterium gets into the person’s body and can cause an infection in some people. Usually the infection is not serious, at most causing a slight rash around the wound and flu like symptoms. In these cases, many people may not even realize they caught cat scratch fever. However, for a rare few, especially those with compromised immune systems, the infection can progress to more serious medical complications. At the same time you don’t have to fear petting a cat or having a pet cat if you understand the disease. You can take steps to prevent cat scratch fever greatly reducing the risk of getting the disease.

Indoor Cats Are Healthier

Keep your pet feline indoors. Not all pet cats carry the B. henselae bacterium that causes the disease. The bacterium is transmitted from cat to cat by fleabites (although fleas are not known to transmit it to humans).Keeping your cat indoors or only allowing limited access to the outdoors will reduce his exposure to other cats that may be infected.

Prevent Fleas

Keep your cat and home flea free. Treat your cat with flea medication if they have fleas. Also, Wash your pets’ bedding in hot water and give the house a thorough vacuuming if you find fleas on your pet.

Don’t Encourage Biting or Scratching

Do not rough house with your feline, especially kittens that tend to transmit the disease more frequently.  Instead, play with your friendly feline by giving them a cat toy or stuffed animal to attach their mouths and claws to. This will prevent bites and scratches and teach your cat better manners. Click here for the top 10 cat toys to buy your kitten or adult kitty.

Treating Cat Scratches

Wash any cat bites or scratches immediately with soap and water and rub the area vigorously for several minutes. This will remove some of the bacteria your cat may have passed on to you.

Cat Scratch Fever Symptoms in Humans

Taking steps to prevent cat scratch fever will prevent many infections, but unfortunately not all. Therefore, it’s important to recognize cat scratch fever symptoms in humans. Symptoms include a rash or blistering at the site of the wound, followed by the swelling of lymph nodes. Some may also have a fever and feel overall ill. Contact your doctor if you or a family member has any symptoms of cat scratch fever bacteria infection and have had contact with a feline’s teeth or nails.

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