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What is Cat-Scratch Disease (CSD)?


The Center For Disease and Control And Prevention has stated that CSD is a bacterial infection spread by cats. It is caused by a bacterium called Bartonella henselae. Most cats with this infection show NO signs of illness. Cats can get infected from flea bites and flea dirt (droppings) getting into their wounds. By scratching and biting at the fleas, cats pick up the infected flea dirt under their nails and between their teeth. Cats can also become infected by fighting with other cats that are infected. Therefore, it is important to apply a flea product approved by your veterinarian once a month. Keep cats indoors to decrease their contact with fleas and to prevent them from fighting.


CSD can spread when an infected cat licks a person's open wound, or bites or scratches hard enough to break the surface of the skin. Within 14 days after the skin is broken, an infection can emerge. Common signs are swelling at the source, red with round, raised lesions and can have pus.csd


The infection can feel warm or painful. A person with CSD may also have a fever, headache, poor appetite, and exhaustion. Later, the person's lymph nodes closest to the original scratch or bite can become swollen, tender, or painful.


To help prevent CSD:


cat clawsProper cat care includes keeping your cat's nails trimmed to minimize scratching. Wash cat bites and scratches right away with soap and running water. Also, do not allow cats to lick your wounds. Most importantly, contact your doctor if you develop any symptoms of cat-scratch disease or infection.

At The Hotel 4 Cats our pet boarding practices include assessing for fleas, however, we do require flea medication be applied to cats prior to check-in. In addition, to protect our staff from excessive cat scratching while they give the highest quality of cat care, we ask that you trim your cat’s nails also prior to check-in.


This blog was adapted from “The Center For Disease and Control And Prevention”


The Hotel 4 Cats: Cat Boarding Serving the Lake Norman Area.