How to Treat Cat Bites

Cat bites may be dangerous for people, especially because of the cat saliva and its components. The saliva contains numerous bacteria which can get in the wound and cause an infection. Nearly 50% of cat bites get infected, and treatment is critical. The sooner the bite is treated, the better.

Symptoms of Cat Bite Infection

Most cat bites occur during playing or when the cat is agitated and aggressive. Some common symptoms of infections include from a cat bite include:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Fever
  • Pus and foul odor, in more severe cases

Cat bites that are left untreated may result in gangrene or bone infections in extreme cases, and may spread further in the body.

First Aid after a Cat Bite

Immediately after you get a cat bite, make sure to clean the wound and place it under cold, running water, to wash away the saliva.

Use a disinfectant to clean the area and wait for it to dry.


A cat bite can be treated with antibiotics. After washing and disinfecting the wound, apply some topical ointment that contains antibiotics. Your doctor may also recommend some oral antibiotics.

If a cat bite infection is severe and the bite hasn't been properly treated from the beginning, you will receive intravenous antibiotics. The type used will be determined according to the severity of the infection.

Natural Treatment

A cat bite may be treated with natural remedies, which have no side effects.

Antibiotics can have numerous side effects, including stomach irritation, vomiting or yeast infections.

Grated carrots can be placed on a bite wound and covered with a tight bandage. Change the carrots every 30 minutes until the bite looks less swollen and is not red anymore. Carrots have the property of extracting toxins.

Sterile clay may also be used as a natural remedy. Add some plants with antimicrobial properties such as berberis or hydrastis. Cut these herbs in small pieces and mix them with the clay. Apply the mix on the cat bite and the surrounding area and leave it until the clay dries. The clay will extract the impurities from the wound and the herbs will help the healing. You can apply this mix a few times per day.

If the infection is severe and if treatment is not applied on the day the bite occurs, antibiotics will be needed.

Anti-Rabies Shot

Cats can transmit rabies to humans. An anti-rabies shot is needed if you haven't received the shot in the past 5 years, or if you suspect that the cat that bit you might be stray or unvaccinated. Make sure you get a shot in the first 72 hours after the occurrence of a cat bite.

One shot is given on the day the bite occurred, followed by 5 more shots throughout the following month.