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Cute But Deadly: Learn How Cat Bites Cause Life-Threatening Injuries

Why is a Wausau dog bite attorney writing about cat bites?

Each year, more than 800,000 Americans seek emergency treatment for animal bites. Most of these bites come from dogs, but about 13 percent of animal bites involve cats.

Cats are small and cute and fuzzy. They have small jaws. How can a cat do serious damage?

While dogs have crushing bites, most of the damage is on the surface. The bite doesn’t penetrate deep into the skin. Cats have long, needle-like teeth. Although small, a cat bite penetrates deep into the skin. And nearly 90 percent of cats carry the dangerous bacteria, Pasteurella multocida.

When Pasteurella multocida is introduced into the body, it can cause a potentially fatal infection called pasteurellosis. But this is not the only dangerous organism in a cat’s mouth. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), about half of all cat bites become infected. If the infection is not treated immediately, a cat bite can cause bone infection or even septic shock. The NIH suggests that anyone who suffers a deep cat bite go to the emergency room, even if the bite seems minor.

Since cats carry rabies, Wisconsin law requires that any cat that bites be quarantined for ten days to evaluate rabies risk. If the cat is unvaccinated or a stray, it is important to let animal control know about the bite.

How can you prevent cat bites? Here are few suggestions that will help keep you and your family safe:

  • Never corner a cat.
  • Never try to pet or pick up a cat that seems angry or frightened.
  • Don’t crowd a cat that is sick, injured, angry, or scared, even if it is your own pet.
  • Monitor children who are playing with cats. Teach children to treat cats gently.
     

It is very difficult to receive compensation for a Wisconsin cat bite. In order to win a case, you and you personal injury attorney will have to show that the cat was abnormally aggressive and that the owner knew there was a possibility that the cat might bite. If you believe the cat that bit you was abnormally vicious, contact Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5678.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham