Cat Adoption Checklist: Are You Really Ready for Cat Adoption?

The post Cat Adoption Checklist: Are You Really Ready for Cat Adoption? by Denise LeBeau appeared first on Catster. Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren’t considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com.

There are few things in life as rewarding as cat adoption, but it’s a commitment of 10 to 15 years, and many factors come into play. Scores of cats end up in shelters every year because pet parents failed to consider issues such as money, moving and other family members. We’ve asked some experts to help devise a cat adoption checklist to find out — are you really ready to adopt a cat?

A family in bed with their cat.

A family in bed with their cat. Photography by YakobchukOlena/Thinkstock.

1. Do you know what cat adoption costs?

Beyond the adoption fee, there will be regular vet visits, vaccinations, flea medications, kitty litter and food. Sharon Espinola, board member of Tampa Cat Crusaders, says, “Fiscal responsibility is a big issue. It is estimated that food alone can cost up to $200 per year.”

Gail Ventzke, executive director of Cats Cradle Shelter, echoes, “Are potential adopters willing to save money for medical emergencies? Do they realize they could be taking care of a cat for the next 20 years and all the expenses associated with that responsibility?” Having enough money to cover both the expected and unexpected costs is key to being ready to adopt a cat.

2. Are you ready to commit yourself to the cat for his entire life?

Richard Havens, director of Amarillo Animal Management and Welfare, says it’s imperative to be honest about why you want to adopt the cat. “Is it because your significant other wants a cat or because you are temporarily bored and figure a cat could be the answer?”

To help assuage impulse adoptions, Another Chance Cat Adoption has a 24-hour rule. Folks can meet their new cat but must wait until the next day to complete the adoption. This helps potential adopters to take a step back and rely less on emotions when adopting a cat.

3. Will you make the proper adjustments if a person or a pet in the home has an issue with your adopted cat?

Connie Welker, founder of ACCA, says the 24-hour rule helps with cat adoption returns because it gives adopters the opportunity to assess their entire situation. “We’ve gotten feedback indicating that it was a very good rule, with folks saying, ‘The cat we wanted would not have been welcomed by the cat we have.’”

The second most-cited reason cats are returned to the Amarillo Animal Shelter is because someone in the adopter’s household has spontaneously developed allergies to cats. You may be the person adopting the cat, but everyone who shares the space with your cat will be affected by his presence. If you’re willing to do what it takes to keep everyone involved healthy and happy — including your cat — then you’re ready to adopt.

4. Are you ready to take your cat with you if you move?

Karen Little of Alley Cat Advocates asks that potential adopters seriously reflect on what cat adoption means: “Consider the next 15 to 18 years of your life. Are you OK with adding a family member that will live with you through all those years, moves, changes and life experiences? Your new cat is not a sofa that can be returned and replaced.”

Potential cat guardians will have to take their new furkid into consideration with every life-changing challenge. Gail of Cats Cradle Shelter says, “I think the most common reason people return pets is because they find themselves moving and for some reason won’t take the cat with them.”

5. Can you provide a safe environment for your adopted cat?

Sharon of Tampa Cat Crusaders says, “Are there children under 2 years old? It’s probably better to wait until a toddler knows how to handle a cat gently, for everyone’s safety.” She also indicates that people must remember that they’ll need a back-up caregiver and should ask themselves, “Who will take care of my cat when I’m away?”

Then there’s the hot-button issue around declawing. Sharon says that not only is declawing cruel and inhumane, it also leads to serious behavioral issues. So, can you live with a cat who has sharp nails that might scratch your furniture? There are plenty of scratching post options, ways to protect furniture and cat nail trimmers out there, but cat guardians must be willing to make the effort.

While every person and their situation is different, the one thing every cat guardian will have in common is the responsibility to their fuzzy family member. If you’ve answered “yes” to the above cat adoption checklist questions, then yes, you really are ready for cat adoption.

Thumbnail: Photography by hamacle/Thinkstock.

This piece was originally published in 2017.

Read more about cat adoption on Catster.com:

The post Cat Adoption Checklist: Are You Really Ready for Cat Adoption? by Denise LeBeau appeared first on Catster. Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren’t considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com.

How to Introduce Cats Quickly

Cats are the notorious masters of the household. While living with dogs requires us to be master, or at least act that way once in a while, there is something about a cat that instantly transforms us into servants. We buy them furry mice and cuddle beds, and when they fall asleep, we don’t even like to disturb them. Therefore, the thought of introducing two cats into the household can be an intimidating prospect.

While raising more than one dog requires a lot of forethought and planning and might be a no-no if both are in the puppy stage, having multiple cat breeds in a household can be a plus for everyone. There are a few factors that make adding a companion cat a good idea:

  1. Cats are generally happiest with a playmate.
  2. Cats are good at entertaining each other.
  3. Cats’ running and chasing games can provide the aerobics every feline need on a daily basis.
  4. Cats will mutually groom each other.
  5. Your housing a cat provides a service to the pet overpopulation problem. You are saving lives!
  6. There may be no cuter sight than two buddy cats cuddling it up.

With all these factors in mind, you have decided to go for it and get your kitty a brother or sister. Experts suggest introducing the cats slowly, but what if you are on a tight schedule? If you are on an accelerated introduction program, there are a couple of ways you can introduce cats more quickly than you might otherwise.

As a precaution, make sure both cats have a handy place to hide and be sure to trim their claws before the introduction.

Ragdoll Cats Charlie and Trigg on a Bath Mat

 

Here is a schedule:

Set up a room for the new kitty.

Have a spare room ready, complete with litter box, bed, cat food, and water. Don’t forget the all-essential sisal-wrapped scratching post, as the new resident will certainly want to mark his territory with his paws and increases your chances of success. Let your current kitty see what you are up to. If he wants to use the litterbox and scratch the post, let him. After he has checked out the new stuff, take him out.

Choose a room that will allow contact that is minimal but immediate.

Try to pick a room next to a tile floor or one that has a little space under the door. Once the new cat moves in, the two kitties can spend a few hours playing paws or hissing at each other under the door.

Have some delicious treats on hand.

Your new cat may be too stressed out to eat for a couple of days, but your resident kitty has a favorite treat, and you know what that is. If a saucer full of tuna will tempt him, set that down by the crack in the door. If he prefers dry commercial treats, scatter them near and under the door. This will improve the cats behavior.

After the new kitty has been around for a few hours, remove him.

Once your new cat is all established in his space and knows where the best hiding places are, put him in his carrier, and take him out of the room. Put your resident cat in the room to let him sniff around, acquainting himself with the scent of the new kitty.

Give the new kitty his room back.

This may sound like musical rooms, but cats are very sensitive to their environments so separate the cats. Once you put the new cat back with your first kitty removed, the new one will know he has been invaded. He will have a chance to sniff around, getting a mental picture in his head about the current resident. This will also reduce cat stress and reduce the chance of cat to cat aggressive behavior.

 

Cardboard Cat Scratcher Cube by kittyblock and Charlie and Trigg

The final step: Open the door.

Once your new kitty is reestablished back in his comfort zone, simply open the door and let nature take its course.

This pet care process can be adjusted to the amount of time you have. If you have a couple of days, great. You can let the new kitty live in his cat home and get all the growling and hissing out of the way before they ever lay eyes on each other.

But if, for some reason, you have time constraints, you may be able to accomplish this introduction in a matter of hours. Just watch out for cat fights and feed the cats well with lots of treats.

Be aware that some cats never do adjust to having a companion cat. Unfortunately, you may not know that until they finally meet. However, most cats appreciate having a buddy, even if they do nothing but squabble for the first few days. Since they are the masters of the household, the answers are all up to the cats.

More reading on how to introduce cats:


Have you had to introduce two cats before?  What tips or tricks worked for you?  Did anything fail?  What happened, do you think and why?

The post How to Introduce Cats Quickly appeared first on Floppycats.

7 Ways Black Cats Bring Good Luck Around the World

The post 7 Ways Black Cats Bring Good Luck Around the World by Louise Hung appeared first on Catster. Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren’t considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com.

A friend in Hawai’i during dinner a few years ago mentioned that a black cat had crossed his path the previous day while he was en route to some big, math-related test for his big, math-related master’s degree. When he specified that it was a black community cat (the University of Hawai’i has a big community cat population), our group gave up three simultaneous reactions to black cats.

“Aww!” I said, because I’m me. And because I enjoyed the company of the University of Hawai’i community cats more than most students.

“Uh-oh!” my born-and-raised American friend said

“Oh!” said my Japanese friend — with a smile.

Most understood my American friend’s reaction — “Did you feel jinxed for your test?” some people asked — but I preferred my Japanese friend’s response: “But that’s good!”

Black cats and luck — an overview

A fluffy black cat looking up from her food bowl.

Black cats are lucky in a lot of cultures. Photography ©earth2015 | Thinkstock.

Unlike much of the western world, Japanese culture sees a black cat crossing your path as a good omen. In fact, black cats are generally seen as good luck in Japan and much of Asia. My Chinese mother, the Feng Shui master, specifically put her black cat’s bed on the north side of her home to ward off evil.

“Tiptoe is a very lucky cat,” she said. “Good luck follows her.”

I think Tiptoe just likes that her bed is nearest the coveted space heater in the winter.

So are black cats good luck? Let’s look at these good black cat luck superstitions around the world:

1. Black cats bless marriages

A black cat with green eyes.

Black cats are known to bless marriages. Photography by ueuaphoto / Shutterstock.

English superstition says that giving a bride a black cat on her wedding day will bring her good luck in her marriage. It’s also thought that newlyweds with a black cat in their home will have a long, happy life together, and the black cat will ward off evil spirits. In much of the UK, the black of a cat is a lucky color.

While I don’t necessarily condone giving cats as gifts, newlyweds or spouses-to-be should rejoice in sharing their home with a black kitty.

If you’re a woman still looking for that special someone, Japanese superstition says a black cat will bring a single woman many good suitors.

2. Black cats draw wealth and prosperity

You might have seen the “Fortune Cats” or Maneki Neko that populate Japanese culture. Those little cat figurines with the raised paws are meant to draw good luck, wealth and prosperity to their owners. Often they are white, but Lucky Cats also come in black.

A black Lucky Cat not only brings luck but also frightens away demons, evil energy, and stalkers. (Yes, stalkers.)

3. Black cats make safe homes and good harvests

Also, as my Feng Shui-inclined mom says, black cats possesses strong powers of good. If you keep your black cats happy and safe, they will keep you happy and safe. If you don’t have a black cat in real life to guard your home, a black cat figurine facing north will keep bad energy and spirits away.

And while we’re on the subject of gods and demons, in Norse mythology the goddess of love, fertility and beauty, Freya, rides on a chariot pulled by two black cats. To win favor with Freya, farmers would leave bowls of milk for her companions in their fields. Freya would then bless them with a good harvest.

4. Black cats in the audience help a play

Cats are excellent audience members. Just ask my cat Brandy when I am moved to dance when my playlist cycles through to “Build Me Up Buttercup.” To theater folks in many cultures, there is no better audience member than a black cat. If a black cat finds its way into your audience on opening night, your play will have a long and prosperous run.

5. Black cats lead to treasure

It’s also been long believed that black cats invite not only fortune in the way of good luck, but also in the way of wealth. French peasants long believed that if a black cat was released at a crossroads where five roads intersect, the black cat would lead them to treasure.

6. Respecting a black cat brings fortune

And in the south of France, black cats have been called “matagot” and are known as “magician cats” or even “money cats.” If shown the proper respect — like being given the first bite of dinner, having a nice bed to sleep in or having a home even after their owner’s death — the matagot will reward their person with wealth and good luck. (This belief does have some ties to black cats and negative connotations of witchcraft, but I choose to look at it as those who do not treat their cats well get their comeuppance.)

7. Black cats give sailors safe travels

English sailors could probably have used a matagot in their home to bring them some extra wealth. In ye olde times, black cats were thought to be so lucky and such and assurance that sailors would return safely home from sea that many black cats cost so much as to be unaffordable for seafarers.

Black cat or not, I’m sure most of our feline family members would agree that having the first bite of our dinners is well within their rights.

Plus, check out the reasons there are myths about black cats in the first place >>

Tell us: How has your black cat brought YOU luck?

Thumbnail: Photography by Vincent Mounier / Shutterstock.

This piece was originally published in 2015.

About the author: Louise Hung is a morbidly inclined cat lady living in Hong Kong, with her cat, her man, and probably a couple ghost cats. You can follow her on Twitter or drop her a line at IamLouiseMicaela@gmail.com.

Read more about cats and luck on Catster.com:

The post 7 Ways Black Cats Bring Good Luck Around the World by Louise Hung appeared first on Catster. Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren’t considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com.

Young Kitten Found Wandering Streets Alone By Dog Shelter Volunteers; Now Needs Furever Home!

One shelter in Serbia found themselves in the right place at the right time to save a needy kitten.

Volunteers for the Dog Rescue Shelter Mladenovac were on their way into the shelter one morning when they came across a lonely little kitten trying to cross the street.

Photo: Screenshot from video @ Facebook/DogRescueShelterMladenovac

Even though their organization primarily works with dogs, they are more than happy to help whenever an animal is in need. And this little kitten was!

Wandering in an intersection, the black and white fur-baby paced back and forth. Although it is not a busy location, it is certainly not a safe place for any animals.

Photo: Screenshot from video @ Facebook/DogRescueShelterMladenovac

As they approached the kitten, he thankfully didn’t run off to avoid his rescuers.

Getting closer, they noticed his right eye was infected and perhaps the kitten’s vision was impaired.

Photo: Screenshot from video @ Facebook/DogRescueShelterMladenovac

He allowed them to near him, only flitting off a few feet away.

One man cautiously and slowly crouched closer and surprisingly, was able to simply reach out and grab the little boy.

Photo: Screenshot from video @ Facebook/DogRescueShelterMladenovac

 

The poor kitten was clearly very hungry and even began “testing” their fingers for a tasty treat.

Photo: Screenshot from video @ Facebook/DogRescueShelterMladenovac

He happily accepted their kitten formula eventually and was given medication for his eye. 

Photo: Screenshot from video @ Facebook/DogRescueShelterMladenovac

 

They do have some other cats at the shelter, but this 4-week-old boy was too young to be placed into the population there. So they have set up a foster family to care for him until he can be adopted out.

Photo: Screenshot from video @ Facebook/DogRescueShelterMladenovac

 

A video of the entire rescue and little sweetie, now named Fabio, is being shared in the hopes to help him find his fur-ever family.

Photo: Screenshot from video @ Facebook/DogRescueShelterMladenovac

If you want to adopt little Fabio, please contact them at: www.dogrescueshelter.org.

Remember to Adopt Don’t Shop and Spay/Neuter your pets! 

Photo: Screenshot from video @ Facebook/DogRescueShelterMladenovac

The post Young Kitten Found Wandering Streets Alone By Dog Shelter Volunteers; Now Needs Furever Home! appeared first on Cole & Marmalade.

30 Cats With Special Needs Who Haven’t Gone Viral YET

Here are 30 handicap and special needs cats from Instagram. Most of these cats don’t have viral videos so you probably won’t know who they are.

  • Some are missing legs.
  • Some are missing eyes.
  • Some require more care than others.

All are lovable and more than capable of giving love right back!!!

If you have a special needs cat please share pictures in the comments below.

God bless special needs cat mamas and papas.

Did you know the last week in September is Adopt A Less Adoptable Pet Week? Share a special needs or less adoptable pet on your Facebook wall to help them find a home and raise awareness that these wonderful kitties need loving forever homes.

Related Article:

8 Special Needs Cats That Have The Internet Falling In Love With Them

The post 30 Cats With Special Needs Who Haven’t Gone Viral YET appeared first on CatTime.

Kensie – Ragdoll Kitten of the Month

Kensie - Ragdoll Kitten of the Month Kensie Sleeping on Back

Submitted February 24, 2018

This is Miss Kensington – “Kensie” for short. How Kensie came to me begins as a rather sad story, but ends quite happily. I left the Navy nine years ago and found the transition to civilian life difficult and lonely. I needed a companion so I started perusing the adoption sites until I eventually stumbled onto something I couldn’t believe. Southern Hope Humane Society was fostering a litter of four snowshoe kittens. I was bewildered when I found out how that came to be. They had been dropped off at a high kill shelter!

As I flipped disbelievingly through the pictures, I couldn’t help but to keep looking at one in particular. She was a seal point; wide eyed and gorgeous. Before I knew it, I was filling out the application and 48 hours later, “Suzume” was home. For nine wonderful years she followed me everywhere, constantly chatting, hunting toy mice and bringing them to me, and snuggling contently at my side. In those 9 years, she was never once ill. All of her vet visits were routine annuals. That changed right after Christmas. It started with an unkempt coat followed by loss of appetite and then the chatting stopped.

Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) – I’d never heard of it and when the word “fatal” was uttered, I was shattered. Saying goodbye to her was one of the hardest things I’d ever had to do and so I swore I’d never adopt another animal. It didn’t take me long to realize, however, that I needed someone to follow me around. I needed the chatter. I needed someone to bring me polyester mice!

Kensie - Ragdoll Kitten of the Month Kensie First Day
Kensie First Day

I didn’t jump wholeheartedly into a search. I looked through the rescue sites here and there, but just couldn’t muster the enthusiasm to go through another adoption. I have two other cats – domestic shorthairs that I rescued from shelters and I worried they might not accept a kitten anyway. I talked about Suzume often, describing her quirks and personality and how I missed her constant shadowing. A couple of people, including my husband, suggested looking into ragdoll cats stating that their personalities and characteristics might be to my liking.

Kensie - Ragdoll Kitten of the Month Kensie 2

The research alone was thoroughly enjoyable. I loved the stories, pictures, and videos and firmly came to the decision that a ragdoll would be a wonderful addition to the family. The search was on, but it didn’t last long. On a cold drizzly day in January, I decided to stay home as I was feeling under the weather. This was the day I first saw my sweet Kensie. I’d sifted through quite a few breeder pages, but that day I found myself on a particularly “loud” page featuring several adorable kittens. As was the case with Suzume, however, one managed to steal my heart instantly – a tiny ball of white fluff with the most gorgeous blue eyes I’d ever seen.

I contacted the breeder right away (Cats by Francy, and yes I recommend!) and learned that she was having an open house to meet the kittens, sires and dames on Friday, so that night I informed my hubby that we’d be taking the 1.5 hour drive on Friday. Fate can be a great friend sometimes, but also a terrible adversary. I woke up on Tuesday morning feeling terrible and was diagnosed with flu that afternoon.
Luckily, I have a fantastic hubby. On Friday morning, he made the drive. When he arrived to Francy’s, he turned on Facetime so I could see all the cats and kittens. They were all so beautiful and the breeder kept an immaculate and fun facility. I laughed as I watched the kittens play. I could have watched all day, but then one sweet face popped up in the frame. It was the kitten I’d seen online. “That’s her” I exclaimed. “You got it” replied my husband. Two hours later, Kensie was curled up comfortably on my lap. She was so beautiful that she didn’t seem real to me. I couldn’t take my eyes off her and a month later I still can’t!

Kensie - Ragdoll Kitten of the Month Kensie in a suitcase
Kensie in a suitcase

While no one will ever replace my Suzume, Kensie’s arrival was the perfect patch for a broken heart. She follows me to the bathroom, to the kitchen, to the bedroom. I think she’d follow me around the world if I decided to take the hike. She brings me her polyester “kills”. She chats with me and even jumps in the shower with me on occasion. It took me all of one day to teach her to play fetch; my friends are absolutely amazed by that.

Kensie - Ragdoll Kitten of the Month Kensie in the Bath Caddy
Kensie in the Bath Caddy

The question I get asked most often is how I came up with her name. That story begins last summer. I was in London and decided to take a stroll through Kensington, a posh neighborhood near West End. Many of the houses in Kensington have large bay windows jutting from brick walls and it seems that the entire pet population of Kensington lives in those very windows. As I watched Kensie on her first night home, I couldn’t help but think of some of the fancy long-haired cats that lazed in the bay windows of Kensington homes. Miss Kensington seemed quite a suitable name for my own floppy fancy girl.


Do you have a Ragdoll Kitten or Cat?  Consider submitting your kitty!  Ragdoll of the Week submission guidelines

Read more Ragdoll Kitten of the Month submissions.

Getting a Ragdoll Kitten? Check out our book: A Ragdoll Kitten Care Guide: Bringing Your Ragdoll Kitten Home

The post Kensie – Ragdoll Kitten of the Month appeared first on Floppycats.

How to Treat Cat Bites and Cat Bite Infections

The post How to Treat Cat Bites and Cat Bite Infections by Andee Bingham appeared first on Catster. Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren’t considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com.

I had never been bitten by a cat before I started volunteering at a cat shelter last summer. I’d been nipped at, sure, but never to the point of broken skin. However, none of the cats who bit me meant to do me harm — which is an important thing to remember in my position of continuing to care for them, even with fresh wounds. All had simply been overstimulated. They’re living in an environment with the ever-changing sounds and smells of 130 other cats, so it’s easy to see how cat bites happen.

My experience with cat bites

Cat bites on a hand.

Cat bites on a hand. Photography courtesy Andee Bingham.

The first cat to bite me was Miles, an enormous black beauty who had been caged for health issues. While cleaning his cage, he was rubbing against my hands and headbutting my elbows. He was new to my area of the shelter, and I was excited to have some good bonding time with him. Then, behind me, there was a scuffle between two free-roaming cats. I turned my head to see what all the fuss was about, and Miles bit me on the back of my neck. This bite was mild; he barely broke the surface of my skin. It was more of a deep scrape, really. Still, it startled me, and, of course, OUCH!

When Miles bit me, I didn’t know anything about cat bites. And because that cat bite didn’t get infected, I stayed oblivious about cat bites for a while. Then, about a week later, Rigel bit me. I was scratching him on his sweet orange-spotted head, behind his ears. He was loving it, loving it, loving it, until he didn’t love it anymore and sunk his teeth into my hand like a snake would.

One tooth went into the palm-side of my hand, at the base of my thumb, and another tooth punctured a similar spot on the other side of my thumb. I knew it was bad the second it happened, as pain shot up my arm and made my hand throb.

My instinct with the cat bite was to wash it, smear it with an antibiotic ointment, and bandage it up.

When cat bites get infected

Cat bites on a hand.

This cat bite wound might be infected. Always see a medical professional if you suspect your cat bite wound is infected. Photography courtesy Andee Bingham.

I wasn’t concerned about the cat bite until the next day, when I removed the bandage. What I found was that the base of my thumb was a bit swollen (nothing too dramatic, but certainly noticeable), the area was pink, warm to the touch and painful. As a freelancer who often struggles to eat, let alone see a doctor, I don’t have health insurance (I play emergency-roulette every time I leave my apartment). I kept the punctures clean and smeared with a triple-antibiotic ointment, and I changed the bandages twice per day — keeping a close eye on the brewing cat bite infection to make sure it didn’t get worse.

After a few days the swelling went down, the redness receded and the area became less tender. I was lucky.

Treatment for cat bites — how to prevent cat bite infections

“Because cat bites carry the risk of infection, they shouldn’t be taken lightly,” Dawn Quinn, a registered nurse, advises. “You can lessen your chances of developing an infection by washing your wound with antibacterial soap thoroughly and immediately. If you have peroxide or Betadine on hand, you may use either to disinfect your wound.”

Quinn says that deep-puncture wounds from cat bites might bleed, and that you should apply pressure to stop the bleeding, then apply a clean bandage. She also recommends visiting urgent care or an emergency room.

“A course of oral antibiotics is almost always prescribed in the case of deep-puncture wounds,” she says. “Depending on the circumstances of your bite, you may need to think about rabies or tetanus infection, and a health-care provider can help you evaluate your level of risk.”

What to know about cat bite infections

“Cat bites are highly infectious,” says Quinn. “The deeper the bite, the greater the chances are that it can become infected.”

Cat bites are exceptionally dangerous and prone to infection because a cat’s needle-like teeth can push bacteria deep into flesh, tendons and joints. The small but deep puncture wounds are hard to thoroughly clean and tend to trap bacteria inside, where it quickly spreads.

Signs of infection from cat bites

According to Quinn, cat bite infections will be red and painful, and might have some drainage. You might see bumps or blisters. Late stages of infections from cat bites might result in fever, weakness, swollen lymph nodes, headache and a general feeling of being unwell.

What are the signals that a cat might bite?

Catnip can cause cats to act aggressively.

This cat is showing signs of aggression, which means he might bite. Photography by Alun Marchant / Shutterstock.

It’s not uncommon for cats to get overstimulated during play and lash out from excitement (though it is rarer for a family cat to lash out in a way that breaks skin). In nonplayful situations, though, there are some signals you should heed.

According to Hannah Curtain, certified veterinary technician, “The biggest red flags are the vocal signals, such as yowling or hissing. Always watch for signs of fright and offensive or defensive behavior when handling a cat. A cat in danger-mode will probably be crouched with his ears and whiskers pinned back, tail down, dilated pupils; he might be growling or yowling as a warning to stay away.”

Why do cats bite?

Remember that cats don’t inflict injury based on whether or not they “like” the person they injure, and their behavior shouldn’t be taken personally. When it comes to cat bites, they’re simply acting in self-preservation, striking if they feel threatened.

Curtain advises that “people who handle animals should approach them in a calm, confident manner, but they should be prepared to back off if the situation is too stressful for themselves or the animal. Animals can sense when a handler’s energy is off and can interpret this as a threat. Just like people, animals sometimes just need a break to cool down and then the situation can be approached again.”

Tell us: Have you ever had a rough run-in with a cat or dealt with cat bites? What about cat bite infections? Tell us about it in the comments.

Thumbnail: Photography by Bogdan Sonjachnyj / Shutterstock.

This piece was originally published in 2015.

Read more about cat health and care on Catster.com:

The post How to Treat Cat Bites and Cat Bite Infections by Andee Bingham appeared first on Catster. Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren’t considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com.