Knowing exactly what is cat scratch fever? is very important to everybody. Whether you live with cats or not, you can still be affected by this DANGEROUS disease if you are scratched or bitten by infected cats and the complications develop. And all of us will meet some cats in our life, right?

Therefore, you need to read this article carefully to know more about this disease and how to protect you and your family from it.

Now let explore necessary information about this illness. Knowledge is never redundant.

What Is Cat Scratch Fever

Though these little fur friends look harmless, they can cause many dangerous diseases to people if infected.

What is cat scratch fever?


Short notionCat scratch fever or cat scratch disease (CSD) is an infectious disease that comes from a cat’s bite or scratch. This illness takes effect on swollen lymph nodes, which drain the inoculation sites.

Cause: Patients with CSD often have a history of getting scratched or bitten by a cat infected with Bartonella henselae bacteria (typically a kitten). These bacteria then enter the human body through the wound and cause the illness “Cat scratch fever”.

First symptoms: the initial symptom is the formation of a papule at the inoculation site, followed by solitary or regional lymphadenopathy (also cat scratch disease rash) within 10-15 days.

You can see some common symptoms of this illness in these cat scratch disease pictures.

Cat scratch fever symptomps
Cat scratch fever pictures.

How dangerous is it?

How dangerous is cat scratch fever
Is cat scratch dangerous?

– Can you die from cat scratch fever? The answer is yes. However, the cat scratch fever death rate is usually very low. It only becomes a serious risk when the patients do not find for diagnosis and treatment.

 – Some immunocompromised patients will develop severe systemic disease or various atypical manifestations such as encephalitis, pneumonia, eye syndrome, etc. 

– Lymphadenopathy in Cat Scratch Disease usually happens in the jaw, neck or arms. However, it can show up near the ear or the groin, too. Most patients will develop other symptoms such as tiredness, worse appetite, and pain all over the body, etc. It may take up to 7-8 weeks for symptoms to become visible.

– Sometimes, CSD can increase serious neurologic or cardiac sequelae such as seizure, endocarditis, encephalopathy or meningoencephalitis. Endocarditis in conjunction with Bartonella infection is quite likely to result in death. Oculoglandular syndrome is a common ocular manifestation of Cat Scratch Fever and is granular conjunctivitis with a simultaneous bump of lymph nodes near the ear. Neuroretinitis or ophthalmic neuritis is one of the rare appearances.

Fortunately, in most cases, the disease will naturally resolve without treatment in a few months (about 100 days on average).

How common is the fever?

Cat scratch fever is a sporadic disease. As reported, there are about 0,0001% of people in the world catching it.

You are more likely to become severely sick by CSD if you have a weakened immune system. Therefore, people who are living with: transplanted organs, HIV or AIDS, diabetes, cancer, pregnant women, and kids are usually at risk of catching this illness.

If you are in these categories or you have children who are under ten years old, you should watch out very carefully. Especially if you and your kids often play with cats, you are doubling the hoodoo.

What is cat scratch fever?
You should watch your children carefully if they usually play with cats.

How is cat scratch fever diagnosed

The diagnosis process of CSD is quite fast and simple.

It is not easy to realize CSD without a professional diagnosis because it often has the same symptoms as other illnesses. A doctor should ask about the patient’s private medical history and interact with a cat. Then, he should examine the scratched area and look for any tumid lymph nodes.

Though the doctor often just need to take the above actions, diagnosing cat scratch fever from only the symptoms sometimes does not bring about the best result. 

If the doctor believes that you are infected, he can perform a precise diagnosis by operating a blood test to check whether your body catches any Bartonella henselae bacteria.

What is the treatment for cat scratch fever?

How to heal wounds from scratches

First aid

  • Wash your hand with soap and warm.
  • Rinse the wound.
  • Wash then apply ointment to the scratched or bitten areas
  • Leaving the scratch uncovered (unless the scratch is deep and bleeding).

Further treatment

If the injury seems to become worse, you should meet a doctor for your own safety.

Antibiotics probably help in serious cases. Different antibiotics have various dose and treatment time, but they should take from 5 – 15 days. It is probably crucial for you to ask your doctor carefully when taking medicines.

Antibiotics can have good results on your cat scratch fever treatment

How to prevent cat scratch disease

You can keep yourself from cat scratch fever by:

  • Avoiding directly touch a cat.
  • Washing your hands or other contacted parts after touching a cat.
  • Trim your cat’s nails to reduce scratches. 
  • You and your pets should also avoid unknown cats.
  • Eliminate fleas on your cats, especially kittens.

Final words

Although this disease is not so popular or serious, it is always recommended to be careful. Caution is the parent of safety. 

Read more about cat diseases.

Finally, I have shared with you the most fundamental knowledge about “Cat scratch fever” or “Cat scratch disease (CSD).” After this article, you can also know what to do when getting scratched or bitten by a cat. 

Now, could you answer for treatment for cat scratch fever?” yet? Share this post with other people if you find it useful.

Thanks for reading!


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