Always love a good scare story.
So what it's all about?
Cat scratch disease is an infection caused by a bug called Bartonella henselae that can be carried by cats. But dog and monkey bites, pins pricks, thorns, splinters, ticks and human to human contact have all also been suspected as sources of infection, so it's a bit harsh to blame it all on the cats...
Signs of infection are redness or swelling around a skin wound a few days after the injury, followed by swollen local lymph glands and in many cases a fever, headache and a general feeling of being unwell.
If in doubt you're best to see your doctor: treatment is likely to be a simple anti-inflammatory medication and sometimes antibiotics.
Cat scratch disease is nothing new - it's been around for years and we see it VERY rarely, so no need to panic
General advice for animal owners is quoted as:
- keep your cats free of fleas (but that's a good idea anyway).
- try to avoid getting bitten or scratched by your cats, and especially by kittens (also a good idea).
- If you do get bitten or scratched, wash the wound straight away (hmm, also a good idea)
- don't let your cats lick any open wounds you might have (you know this, surely).
- if you feel unwell, go to see your doctor (but that's quite good advice under any circumstances)
- err that's it