My Cat Bit Me and Drew Blood (Now What? Preventable?)
If your cat has bitten you and done it so hard he drew blood, you may be shocked, concerned, and keen to know why it happened, and what to do next.
Why Did My Cat Bite Me and Draw Blood?
Your cat is trying to tell you something and he has no way to spell it out for you. Most cat bites happen when your cat feels backed into a corner. Fight, flight, or freeze, your cat will look for a way out of the uncomfortable position.
So, now you know why your cat bit you in this way. But, keep reading to learn, how you can prevent this happening, when you should be concerned about a bite, if it is worth considering abandoning your cat for this, and so much more.
Why an Escape Route is important
Your cat is overstimulated when he draws blood but it can be avoided completely by giving him an escape route. Cats aren’t stupid enough to think they can fight a human but they can give a quick bite as they out-run you or even run up a wall, you’ve all seen the videos of feral cats caught in an enclosed space.
Parkour geniuses, right? If you don’t want to be bitten then just get out of the way and let the cat get comfortable again before you attempt to pet him.
What To Do if A Cat Bites You and Draws Blood?
If you get bitten by a cat, depending on the severity, of course, you might just need to clean the wound gently with warm soap and water and put a gauze bandage with some triple antibiotic ointment lathered all over it.
Watch the wound very closely and if you have any fever or severe pain, throbbing, swelling or any other signs of infection then see your General Practitioner. He will prescribe antibiotics and assess the wound for infection.
For deeper punctures or multiple cat bites, you should seek help from an emergency room and get on antibiotics immediately. Cat bites are highly infectious so err on the side of caution.
How Can I Prevent My Cat From Biting Me?
By far the most important thing to do is prevent your cat from biting in the first place. You can’t really stop your cat from biting if you don’t know why he is doing it.
The 2 main reasons cats bite are assertion and communication. He is either trying to tell you that he wants you to continue doing what you are doing or to stop doing what you are doing. It’s really that simple.
When playing with your cat follow these rules to a healthy happy relationship:
- Be Consistent: Talk to your cat and reward him with praise and pets when he is being good. Never use physical punishment!
- Interactive toys: Give your kitty toys (Click here to see the reviews, on Amazon #Ad) that keep him physically and mentally challenged. The more exhausted your cat is the more he will just rest comfortably on your lap.
- Put him on the floor: If you are petting your cat and he begins to use his mouth to communicate, it is ok to put him on the floor so he realizes that you are not going to tolerate the bitey behavior.
- Push thru the bite: If your cat does happen to grab onto you push into the bite towards the cat. If you pull away from the bite it only makes him want to bite more.
Why Would a Cat Bite for No Reason?
The short answer is he wouldn’t, at least not in his mind. Cats get overstimulated easily. Have you ever seen a kitten chasing a hair tie on a hardwood floor? Then you know what an overstimulated cat looks like.
Avoid initiating play when your cat is in this state of heightened excitement to avoid unnecessary “love bites”.
They also can feel frustrated and aggressive with their human when they feel they have communicated effectively, their needs, and yet the food bowl remains only half full. Just like us that feeling of frustration and anxiety can manifest as aggression.
How Do You Know if a Cat Bite is Serious?
Personally, I go to my General Practitioner immediately following a puncture bite wound from a cat and I don’t wait for signs of infections. Cat bites should always be taken seriously as they can fester and develop serious infections overnight.
After working in the shelter industry I have learned that cat bites can get brutal if left unattended and to their own devices.
Possible signs of infection like pus, red streaking running up your arm, fever, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes should be taken seriously. Seek medical treatment immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.
When Should I be Concerned About a Cat Bite?
You should be concerned about a cat bite immediately. Wash the wound gently with hot water and antibacterial soap. Cover with a triple antibiotic covered bandage.
The puncture wounds could develop a serious infection within 24-48 hours. Pathogenic bacteria thrive and get trapped deep inside the wound. It is best to be on prophylactic antibiotics within 24 hours of the bite. If you cannot be on antibiotics, keep the wound clean and covered in the triple antibiotic ointment.
Is it Bad if My Cat Bites Me?
Yes, it is bad if your cat bites you. Even play biting should be discouraged. If you allow your cat to use his mouth to communicate to you that he is unhappy, scared, overstimulated, or just bored then you are setting him up to use his mouth inappropriately as well.
He will begin to think it is a game and then one day you will be playing with him and he will bite down hard and break skin causing you to seek medical attention.
Should You Abandon Your Cat for Biting?
You should not abandon your cat for biting. Try taking the time and working on good touch and bad touch with your cat. Spend time rewarding him ((Click here to see the reviews, on Amazon #Ad) for the good behaviors he exhibits and ignore the negative one.
You should never abandon a pet. If you decide that you no longer want your cat then call your local shelter and they will help you find a placement or they will walk you through some ways to get your cat to stop biting.
Shelters and vet clinics talk about animals all day long so it is nothing for them to help you keep your pet in the home if at all possible.
Why Can Cat Bites be Dangerous?
The main reason cat bites are dangerous is because they are so hard to get and keep clean. The shape of the toothy puncture makes the wound deep and as we previously discussed several dangerous bacteria are living on those razor-sharp fangs.
Cats can carry bacteria capable of producing Staphylococcus, Pasteurella, and Streptococcus as well as the Bartonella Henselae bacteria commonly known as Cat Scratch Fever. These are serious illnesses that require inpatient treatment in most cases so be content with a kitty that uses her paws to play. Discourage mouth play when interacting with your kitty.
What are the Signs of an Infected Cat Bite?
Because of the various organisms that have been found inside of cats’ mouths, it is important to watch for the following signs.
Signs to watch for include:
- Redness running up the arm
- Bad Odor
- Joint Pain
If you experience any of these symptoms either by themselves or with another it is best to make an appt with your General Practitioner.
Left untreated a cat bite can cause Sepsis or even much worse. Cat bites should be considered a serious injury and should be monitored by a doctor throughout the healing process.