The World Journal of Clinical Cases reports that a Canadian man died from complications from a Pasteurella multocida infection after being bitten on his thumb by his pet cat.
The unnamed 68-year-old man had visited the emergency room after falling at his home, complaining of weakness and abdominal pain. He reported that his cat had bitten him four weeks earlier, after which he had developed cellulitis. He ultimately went into septic shock and died, despite being treated with a course of intravenous antibiotics.
Although this is a rare case, animal bites in general, and cat bites in particular, can be highly dangerous. I should know. In April 2014, my Murphy bit me on my calf, and I wound up in the hospital for three days with a nasty case of cellulitis, a potentially serious bacterial infection of the skin.
Not long after that, I adopted Lily on the advice of Murphy’s vet, who suggested that I get him his own cat in order to alleviate his play aggression. Ironically, Lily bit Murphy, and he developed a severe infection. Talk about kitty karma!
In addition, several years ago, my mom developed a severe infection when she attempted to break up a fight between her cat and a stray kitty that bit her on her wrist and penetrated the bone. She had to undergo 24-hour infusion antibiotic treatment for three months!
Cat bites are especially dangerous because, unlike dogs, which will rip the skin when they bite, cats will pierce skin with their needle-like teeth, presenting a greater chance of injecting bacteria directly into the bloodstream or bone, depending on where they bite.
So never take a cat bite lightly. Thoroughly wash the area immediately with soap and water, wipe liberally with peroxide and then dab some antibiotic cream on the wound. I always keep the natural, powerful antibiotic colloidal silver in the house, for just such emergencies.
In the case of a severe cat bite, seek medial treatment ASAP. Your very life could depend on this.