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Cat scratches and bites can cause cat scratch disease, a bacterial infection carried in cat saliva. The bacteria are passed from a cat to a human after the cat licks its paws then scratches human skin. Rubbing the eyes after petting a cat's fur can also spread cat scratch disease. Young kittens less than 1 year of age are more likely to scratch, increasing the likelihood of infection.

Cat Scratch Disease | Symptoms & Causes

What are the symptoms of cat scratch disease?

The following are the most common symptoms of cat scratch disease. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • A cat bite or scratch that doesn't heal or worsens over time.
  • They can be painful or swollen glands, especially under the armpits.
  • Your child may have flu-like symptoms, including headache, lethargy, decreased appetite, fatigue, joint pain or a fever.
  • Your child may get a body rash.

Cat Scratch Disease | Treatments

Treatment may include:

  • blood tests
  • antibiotics (to treat the infection)
  • supportive care (to treat the symptoms that result from the infection)

Cat Scratch Disease | Programs & Services