Kitty Scratch Disease Can Seriously Kill You • MetDaan

Kitty Scratch Disease Can Seriously Kill You


If there’s one thing that’s literally everywhere on the internet, it’s cat memes.

I can fully understand why cat memes exist. They’re funny, cute and in my mind are designed to give people a bigger appreciation of these wonderful feline creatures.

Snuffling and cuddling with our cats often ends quite gory (thanks to those scratchy claws) but even then, we can’t help but nuzzle and pet the ever living fluff out of them.


However, not everything about having a cat and getting scratches and bites from them without paying too much attention is fun and games.

In the 10th Issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases, released in October 2016, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, advises that Cat-Scratch Disease (CSD) is on the rise in the United States and is slightly higher among girls and women.

Not good news…


The study was conducted by Christina A. Nelson, Shubhayu Saha and Paul Mead. Their report says that while CSD is preventable, it affects over 12,000 people on average in the US per year.

And out of those people, about 500 of them were hospitalized.

Although the number of diagnoses had decreased during 2011-2013; the study found that “the proportion of patients with CSD who were hospitalized increased from 3.5% in 2005–2007 to 4.2% in 2011–2013.”

So yeah, your cat really does want you dead. Shame really, mine has such an innocent face, but I know that he wants to kill me…


The disease is caused by a gram-negative bacteria, which cats receive through cat fleas. The transmission to humans occurs whenever the cat licks an open wound, or the usual scratches and bites.

The symptoms at first include fever, headache, reduced appetite, exhaustion and swollen lymph nodes.

If left untreated, it can cause brain swelling, heart complications, and in the worst cases – death.


Most of the reported cases happened in January. According to the study, this is likely because of the peak in the Christmastime adoption of shelter cats, for sentimental reasons or as gifts.


Don’t panic, though. If you have good flea control, keep your kitty indoors and wash your hands after every cuddle, scratch, and bite – then you’ll be fine.

And, if you’re unlucky enough to get infected, antibiotic treatment will do the job. Specifically, azithromycin. Just, ask your doctor about it first…


Who would have thought that cats can actually spread a disease that can cause death in the worst cases? Keep your cats healthy, people…


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