No foolin’…it’s cat scratch fever

By Connie Orcutt • Published: April 1st, 2014
Category: Animal Airwaves

“Cat scratch fever” is more than just the name of a hard rock album; cat scratch disease is a very real ailment.

Not surprisingly, most people who get the disease have been scratched or bitten by an infected cat. Usually the feline appears to be just fine. This is because the problem isn’t with the frisky kitty; instead, it lies in bacteria found in flea feces, which finds its way under a cat’s claws or into its mouth.

Small red bumps usually develop at the site of the injury. Before long, other symptoms can arise, such as fever, headache, fatigue, joint pain and swollen, painful lymph nodes. Occasionally, more serious complications can develop.

So avoid rough play that can lead to biting or scratching, and contact your physician if you develop any of these suspicious signs after a cat encounter.