Often, when you think about animal bites, you probably think of dogs attacking people or larger animals getting violent. Littler animals like rats or pet mice don't cause too much concern, and when you think of the family cat, you probably think about scratches first and foremost. You might consider speaking to your attorney if you're attacked by a cat, though, because they can cause more harm then you may think.
Cat bites can cause serious harm to humans, and they're something you need to take seriously when they happen. They can lead to bacterial infections that are difficult to treat, often causing more risk of infection than dog bites.
According to a study in the Journal of Hand Surgery, close to a third of people who had to get treatment for a cat bite at the Mayo Clinic ended up being hospitalized. Two out of three of the hospitalized patients then had to have surgery; the surgery was used to remove bacteria and infected tissue surrounding the bite.
There's little ability to tell who will get a serious infection after a bite, but the most commonly affected people have bites on joints or tendons. If the bites swell, are painful or have redness around the wound, they're more likely to be infected as well. Anyone with disorders of the immune system could also suffer an infection that is more difficult to treat.
What makes a cat bite so dangerous? Cats have much sharper teeth than dogs, which means they can puncture joints or tendons. The punctured areas are ideal for spreading and allowing bacteria to grow, putting patients at risk of infections that could result in amputation or reconstructive surgery. Our website has more information on cat bites and what to do if you face these operations following an attack.