Cat Scratch Disease Symptoms, Treatments & More

Author
By shirley
Reviewed
Reviewed: dr. vanta
Article Sources Article Sources
  • 1. Klotz, Stephen A., et al. 'Cat-Scratch Disease.' American Family Physician, 15 Jan. 2011, www.aafp.org/afp/2011/0115/p152.html.
  • 2. 'Cat Scratch Disease (for Parents) - Nemours KidsHealth.' Edited by Raluca Papadopol, KidsHealth, The Nemours Foundation, Dec. 2014, kidshealth.org/en/parents/cat-scratch.html.
  • 3. 'Cat Scratch Disease Fact Sheet. Minnesota Dept. of Health, www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/bartonella/csd.html.
  • 4. 'Cat-Scratch Disease.' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 17 Jan. 2020, www.cdc.gov/healthypets/diseases/cat-scratch.html.
  • 5. 'Cat Scratch Disease.' Johns Hopkins Medicine, www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/cat-scratch-disease.
  • 6. 'Cat Scratch Disease.' Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/27/cat-scratch-disease.
  • 7. 'For Veterinarians.' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 23 Jan. 2020, www.cdc.gov/bartonella/veterinarians/index.html.
Medical Expert Medical Expert

Cat scratch disease is a bacterial infection caused by the bacteria Bartonella henselae. This bacteria lives in a cat's saliva but usually doesn't cause illness in the cat. The bacteria may pass to a person when a cat bites, scratches or licks them. Fleas carry the B. henselae bacteria from one cat to another, and flea and tick bites may also transmit the bacteria to people.1Klotz, Stephen A., et al. ‘Cat-Scratch Disease.’ American Family Physician, 15 Jan. 2011, www.aafp.org/afp/2011/0115/p152.html.

Children develop cat scratch disease more commonly than adults, probably because children play with cats more frequently and are more likely to be scratched or bitten.2‘Cat Scratch Disease (for Parents) - Nemours KidsHealth.’ Edited by Raluca Papadopol, KidsHealth, The Nemours Foundation, Dec. 2014, kidshealth.org/en/parents/cat-scratch.html. Most healthy people infected with the bacteria don't develop symptoms.3‘Cat Scratch Disease Fact Sheet. Minnesota Dept. of Health, www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/bartonella/csd.html.

1. Risk Factors for Cat Scratch Disease

Exposure to cats and kittens increases a person's likelihood of developing cat scratch disease. Playful felines may inadvertently bite or scratch, possibly transmitting the B. henselae bacteria.4‘Cat-Scratch Disease.’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 17 Jan. 2020, www.cdc.gov/healthypets/diseases/cat-scratch.html. A person who receives a cat bite or scratch and fails to thoroughly wash the affected area may develop cat scratch disease.

Flea infestations make it more likely for people to develop cat scratch disease, so pets and homes should be kept free of fleas.5‘Cat Scratch Disease.’ Johns Hopkins Medicine, www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/cat-scratch-disease. People with weakened immune systems are more prone to developing serious complications from cat scratch disease and need to take precautions when around cats.3‘Cat Scratch Disease Fact Sheet. Minnesota Dept. of Health, www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/bartonella/csd.html.

Cat Scratch Disease

Related Articles

Home | Privacy Policy | Editorial | Unsubscribe | | About Us

This site offers information designed for entertainment & educational purposes only. With any health related topic discussed on this site you should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, treatment, advice, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, treatment, or diagnosis. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.