Cats may have nine lives, but a new study shows they could take yours with just a scratch… or at least that is what recent headlines have been saying. But, luckily for cat lovers everywhere, cuddling up to your cat is more likely to leave you covered in fur then leave you in a hospital bed. Some may say cats are sinster, but they wouldn't try to kill you - then who would be their slave?
The study that came out alarming cat owners, was a study carried out by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That reviewed a US health insurance claims database and looked at how many people had been diagnosed with Cat Scratch Disease (CSD) over a period of 8 years (2005-2013).
The report itself states that;
“We estimate that each year, 12,000 outpatients are given a CSD diagnosis and 500 inpatients are hospitalized for CSD”
But what is it?
The disease, like its name suggests, is the infection caused by a cat scratch, especially scratches by kittens or stray cats. The symptoms after a cat scratch can include fevers and headaches although this is not common. If you do need treatment you will most likely recovery without complications and you can go back home to your loving (or indifferent) cat.
Although getting CSD is unusual, there are some precognitions that can be taken by cat owners, or any who get scratched by an animal;
- Make sure the cat is free of fleas and makes sure to have routine check-ups.
- Any scratchs or bites should be washed and cleaned properly as soon as it occurs. This is for both scratches humans may get, but also for any scratches the cat may get to reduce the risk of infection.
- Try to always wash your hands after touching your cat (or any animal).
All-in-all, these are quite common sense tips, and for the most part, CSD is preventable and rare. So no need to give your cat the cold shoulder, even if they don't give you the same courtesy.
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NHS Choices: http://www.nhs.uk/news/2016/09September/Pages/cuddling-a-kitten-almost-certainly-wont-kill-you.aspx