When you own cats, you know that they can sometimes be rambunctious or can get frightened and become defensive and even aggressive. As such, bites can and do occur from time to time. If you have recently been bitten by one of your cats (or by somebody else's cat), you may be wondering what you can and should do about the situation. Even a seemingly small and minor bite can turn into something serious quite quickly. Get to know some of the steps you should take when you get a cat bite so you can be sure you are doing what is best for yourself and your well-being going forward.
Wash Out the Bite Thoroughly with Soap and Water
The first thing you should do when you are bitten by a cat is to thoroughly clean the wound. Even if there is not much blood or the wounds look small, you need to take this important step. Cats have relatively small teeth when you compare them to dogs or other animals, but those teeth are also long and very sharp.
Cat bites are most often puncture wounds, meaning the size of the actual break in the skin may be small, but the wound is deep. This means that several layers of skin can be penetrated and the risk of dirt, debris, germs, and bacteria getting in the wound when the bite occurs is high. Cleaning the bite and the area immediately surrounding it with soap and water will help to get some of the problem substances away from the open sore.
Go to Your Doctor or an Urgent Care Clinic
You may think that your cat bite is no big deal—and in some cases, you might be right. However, a great deal of the time, a cat bit will become infected. Cats' mouths are teeming with bacteria that can cause serious infections in the human body. And, because the wounds inflicted in a cat bite are so deep, those bacteria can get pushed deep into the body, making infection more likely.
If you cannot get in to see your doctor, take yourself to an urgent care or walk-in clinic, such as MED7 Urgent Care Center, to have the wound looked at as soon as you can. This is especially important if there is any redness or swelling or the wound area feels warm to the touch. These are all signs of infection and can sometimes appear within hours of the bite occurring. The doctors will be able to assess the wound and, if necessary, prescribe antibiotics to either prevent or treat an infection.
Now that you know some of the steps you should take when you have been bitten by a cat, you can be sure you do what is best for you and your health.