Current Environment:

Cat Scratch Disease | Overview

Cat scratches and bites can cause cat scratch disease, a bacterial infection carried in cat saliva. The bacteria are passed from a cat to a human after the cat licks its paws then scratches human skin. Rubbing the eyes after petting a cat's fur can also spread cat scratch disease. Young kittens less than 1 year of age are more likely to scratch, increasing the likelihood of infection.

Cat Scratch Disease | Symptoms and Causes

What are the symptoms of cat scratch disease?

The following are the most common symptoms of cat scratch disease. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • A cat bite or scratch that doesn't heal or worsens over time.
  • They can be painful or swollen glands, especially under the armpits.
  • Your child may have flu-like symptoms, including headache, lethargy, decreased appetite, fatigue, joint pain or a fever.
  • Your child may get a body rash.

Cat Scratch Disease | Treatments

Treatment may include:

  • blood tests
  • antibiotics (to treat the infection)
  • supportive care (to treat the symptoms that result from the infection)

Cat Scratch Disease | Programs & Services