It’s wonderful to play with your cat, but occasionally your feline friend could become violent and bite you. A cat scratch is even worse. All of us have experienced being scratched, but for some reason cat scratches appear to aggravate us more than other scratching. Therefore, why do cat scratches hurt?
Because itching is the body’s natural response to the damage, cats scratch itches. The person has an itching feeling as a result of the highly activated nerves in that location. A histamine reaction to the cat scratch may potentially be the cause of this. Itching in cats may also result from bacteria in their claws.
Whatever animal is doing the scratching, these are normal responses that will occur. Because cats’ claws can harbor germs, getting touched by one makes itchy feelings worse. Bacteria may cause serious infections. We’ll discuss what to do if a cat scratches you as well as how to distinguish between a minor abrasion and an illness.
Why do cats scratch?
When a cat senses pain on their skin, they will naturally scratch to try to get rid of the discomfort. Cats’ rough tongues may easily “scratch” their skin, and licking is a technique to get rid of any potential irritants. Nevertheless, a cat is also likely to groom that region of their skin as a second strategy to relieve the itching.
An issue that a cat can’t simply get rid of is likely to be the cause of their frequent or violent scratching, itching, or grooming.
Do cat scratches require medical attention?
Not all cat scratches require medical intervention. However, if the redness and swelling associated with the scratches do not go away on their own after a couple of weeks, an infection may be to blame. It might be wise to visit a doctor in these circumstances.
Despite the fact that cats are extremely clean creatures, they can nevertheless contain bacteria that can infect humans when they come into contact with them. The bacteria known as Bartonella henselae, which is transmitted by a flea bite and causes Cat Scratch Disease, can be acquired from a variety of sources.
When they scratch at a flea, bacteria may also get lodged on their paws because it will come into touch with the flea filth or droppings on their skin.
Similarly, these bacterium might enter their saliva as they groom or lick their paws. Therefore, if a cat has B. henselae in its claws and scratches or licks an unprotected human, the infection will transfer to the human and cause Cat Scratch Disease (CSD).
Fatigue, appetite loss, fever, enlarged lymph nodes, edema, and redness in the location where the cat scratched are some of the symptoms of CSD that may manifest one to three weeks after the first scratch.
Cat scratch disease or cat scratch fever will typically go away on its own in healthy individuals who do not have cat-related allergies, but visiting a doctor is the recommended course of action. Antibiotics are typically prescribed as part of CSD treatment to alleviate the symptoms.
As kittens prefer to play more and are thus more likely to scratch you and spread bacteria that might cause an illness, they are the main carriers of this disease.
It is advised to immediately cleanse the area where the scratch or wound occurred with soap and water, take antibiotics, and take some steps to prevent your feline pals from first scratching or licking you on an open wound.
Why Are Cat Scratches So Itchy?
Most cat scratches result in superficial wounds, and the body will begin healing itself right away. Your body does not, however, view the injury as substantial enough to cause the production of painkilling endorphins. The British Journal of Dermatology claims that the brain interprets itching as pain.
Itching is seen as having mild intensity. The brain will recognize the itching but ignore it until it gets unpleasant. Most of the time, the itching will disappear after a day or two. A bacterial or fungal infection may cause it to take significantly longer to pass in some instances. Some people have persistent itching brought on by an allergic response.
Can A Cat’s Scratch Make You Sick?
A cat scratch can occasionally leave a human seriously unwell. Cat scratch fever, often known as cat scratch illness, is an uncommon ailment. Your scrape won’t heal if you have CSD; instead, it may enlarge and perhaps turn into a sore.
Bartonella henselae, a bacterium that is spread from the cat when they bite or scratch you forcefully enough to break the skin, is what causes the sickness. Additionally, they can spread it to you if they lick an open wound on you.
Even if you take measures, you should still keep an eye out for illness symptoms. Exhaustion, fever, appetite loss, enlarged lymph nodes, headache, swelling and redness close to the scratch, and sores/lesions/pus close to the scratch are some of the symptoms of CSD.
If you discover you are having any of those symptoms, talk to your doctor quickly. Any effects would start to show one to three weeks following the occurrence.
For CSD, there isn’t really a test. It is diagnosed through a visual examination by doctors. Antibiotic prescriptions are not always necessary, although they do speed up the recovery from symptoms.
It can be more difficult for you to recover from cat scratch illness if you have other medical conditions or a damaged immune system. You might consider the area where the cat scratched while deciding whether or not to write a prescription.
Where Does the Infection Originate?
Cats serve as “reservoirs” for this bacterium, but another party is to blame.
Fleas. Yes, I’m back to sabotage the day.
The primary means of transmission for this bacterium are fleas. This implies that a cat may spread CSD to other cats through fleas very ease.
The germs are found under the cat’s claws, where flea feces gather when the feline scratches.
She consumes it while she grooms her paws. The contagious illness is carried by the bloodstream until it ultimately enters your cat’s saliva and comes into touch with you. Despite how adorable it may appear when your skin is being licked by a cat, letting her keep doing it might be dangerous.
Please be patient with us as we grow more technical. The bacterium will infect the endothelium cells if it manages to penetrate your skin, causing an immediate inflammatory response and an inflammatory cascade.
Although it doesn’t sound pleasant, the majority of infections are rather simple to treat.
Parasites and your cat
Your cat may start repeatedly scratching itself if it has a parasite infection or a parasite-related response. Many may not exhibit overt symptoms of parasite transmission, but if your cat is particularly susceptible to their bites, it may cause severe scratching.
Cats are often parasitized by fleas, but they can also have a variety of other parasites. Scabies is brought on by a different kind of parasite, a mite, which results in highly irritating sores on the forehead and ear margins of your cat.
What Causes The Bacteria In A Cat’s Claws?
The source of germs for an indoor cat is its litter box. Consider what you may find in a cat’s litter box. Even after thorough cleaning, some of that will still be present around their claws.
Each scratch they provide contains any germs from their package. Your cat, whether indoors or outside, is susceptible to catching germs from everything they tread on or into.
Again, cats are exceptionally hygienic creatures. But no matter what, a few particles will always remain. They now have bacteria and germs around their claws if they were present in the objects they walked on.
Different microorganisms are responsible for CSD. Bacteria are frequently spread via flea bites. Cats can contract the bacteria in their claws by rubbing their claws against flea excrement, stepping on any flea soil, or scratching at fleas.
They can acquire the bacteria on their claws by just scratching themselves after washing because the bacteria are present in their saliva.
At some time in their life, 40% of cats are capable of harboring the bacterium that causes CSD. Although most cats pass the B. henselae bacterium through their bodies without any problems, the infection can also make cats sick. In kittens or cats who have experienced flea infestations, it is more prevalent.
There is no justification for testing your cats for this bacterium or for pre-treating them with antibiotics. CSD is quite uncommon. When handling aggressive or wild cats or playing with your own cats, use caution. If you have a scratch, clean it straight away and get medical attention if sutures are required.
How often should you cut the cat’s nails?
Untrimmed cat nails may make it difficult for the cat to retract its claws, which may play a significant role in the cat’s desire to scratch you. They’ll scratch you even if they don’t want to because of this, and if they do, it will be simpler for them to do so.
If they are not frequently trimmed, a cat’s claws can develop rather quickly and potentially cause the animal severe discomfort.
Longer claws are also more likely to gather germs from the cat’s skin and come into contact with it, leading to scratches that may later become itchy or even infected. As a result, they require meticulous trimming every 10 to 14 days.
How Do You Treat A Cat Scratch?
You will eventually be scratched if you have had cats for as long as I have. You cannot escape a cat’s talons if you work at an animal shelter or a medical facility.
Accidents can happen and your cat may scratch you out of annoyance. For instance, if you try to scratch your cat’s tummy and they don’t like it, prepare for a paw strike. Another reaction to dread of cats is an attempt to scratch.
Cat scratches are often not a huge concern. Wash the area right away and apply an antibiotic ointment on the scrape to treat it. The itching you experience will lessen thanks to the antibiotic. To stop any bleeding, you might need to use gauze or a bandage.
You should get medical attention for the scrape if it is more severe and the bleeding won’t stop. If the incision is deep, stitches can be required.
The danger of infection is quite great when this occurs. Your doctor will most likely give you an antibiotic injection or write you a prescription for one. Do not omit this therapy step! To treat a deep cat scratch that has swollen, take antibiotics.
How to Get Rid of Cat Scratch Scars?
Even with the right care, you could still have a little scar. Because it depends on your skin’s capacity to heal, there is no magic solution to entirely eradicate it. It’s unfair that some individuals heal more quickly than others; nature!
However, we have discovered that doing so with natural vegetable oil is beneficial. Castor oil is a fantastic option in that case! Amazing oil that promotes the synthesis of collagen and elastin. Check out this magic cure!
Signs A Cat Gives You Before It Scratches
It’s critical to recognize when a cat is ready to scratch you in order to avoid an infection of the scratch wound that might result in Cat Scratch Disease (CSD). The majority of them are quite subtle, but knowing them and your cat’s behavior can help you and your feline buddy develop trust.
Contrary to popular belief, cats are not unpredictable, and their behavior may be fairly readily trained to minimize scratching. Cats frequently display their tummies to their owners, acting as though they would want belly massages.
However, given that their belly is their most exposed part, after a few minutes they could start to feel uneasy. As an indication of distress, cats could cease purring and twitch their tails; if this happens, they might start biting and clawing their owners.
As each cat may express body language differently, further warning indications your cat may give you before giving you scratches or bite wounds include narrowed eyes, a rigid body, growling or hissing, raised hair on its back, and many more.
How Can I Avoid Being Scratched By My Cat?
Being a cat owner can make this difficult. Anyone who has a cat can attest to the fact that you never know what will frighten them and set them off. A cat owner could get a few scratches as a result of its unpredictable behavior.
However, one of the most important things you can do to lessen your risk of being scratched is to refrain from acting in a way that you know would enrage your cat. Stop belly-rubbing your cat if they start clawing you when you do so and they don’t enjoy it.
You will be scratched if you let your cat struggle with your arm. You put yourself at risk if you poke fun at your cat with your hands or fingers.
You should wait until your cat has calmed down before petting them if they are unhappy. Make sure you take the necessary measures if this isn’t feasible (or if you work with animals in a rescue or veterinary context). To defend yourself from the angry cat, put on long sleeves and heavy gloves.
Some felines have a propensity to scratch, even if you don’t encourage it until they learn better. Redirect your cat to a toy when it seeks to play with your hand. This will enable you to stop the habit and keep you largely unscathed.