ZocdocAnswersWhat should I do if a cat bit me?

Question

What should I do if a cat bit me?

My roommate's cat bit me. Should I have it looked at? It nmight be infected.

Answer

Hopefully you washed the wound thoroughly immediately after the bite. If not, do this immediately with soap and water. Yes, you should have the wound looked at as animal bites, especially cat bites, do carry a significant risk of infection unless the wound was very superficial. Schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor immediately or go to an urgent care if you are unable to get an appointment. If the cat's teeth punctured the skin your doctor will likely prescribe you antibiotics to prevent an infection. If you have already developed signs of an infection then your doctor will prescribe you antibiotics to treat it. Signs of infection include redness, swelling, pus seeping from the wound, and fever. Keep your hand elevated as much as possible to reduce swelling. Ask your friend to give you a copy of the cat's vaccinations to make sure they are up to date. It is also important to make sure that you are up to date with your tetanus vaccination, and if not that you get a booster shot. Again, please make sure to see a physician as soon as possible to have your wound examined.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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