Cat scratch fever is often referred to as Cat scratch disease. It gets its name because it is a bacterial infection that people can get from cats if the cat is infected with a bacteria called Bartonella henselae. Usually, people with cat scratch fever have to go to the doctor to get treated and a limited amount of people actually become hospitalized from it.
Usually, people only get the disease from a bite or a scratch from an infected cat. But it can also be transferred if there is a flea or a tick that is also carrying the bacteria disease or if saliva from the infected cat gets into your open wound.
Cat Scratch Fever is a risk for any and all cat owners but it is found more in children aged between 5 and 10. The largest outbreak of cat scratch fever usually takes place in January or between August and November. This is due to how many kittens and cats are adopted between those times.
You have a much better chance of getting cat scratch fever if you have a weak immune system. If you are taking a certain medication that lowers your immune system, if you were previously diagnosed with other health-related issues or are pregnant, or if you just have a weak one, to begin with then you have a better chance at getting it than someone with a stronger immune system and is completely healthy.
There is not really any solid way of knowing if your cat is carrying this disease. They don’t usually get sick from it, even if they just recently became a carrier because they were bitten by an infected flea. Any cat can be a carrier just as much as any cat can be healthy and clean.
Around 40% of cats carry the disease at some point during their lifespan, more common in kittens and stray cats than an adult house cat. But if your cat is a carrier, Vets don’t usually recommend treating them as this is just like a common cold for them.
There are ways you can diagnose cat scratch fever in humans if you think that you have been infected. There are common symptoms, less common symptoms and rare ones that never really come up but I will list them just in case.
Common symptoms are; bumps and or blisters forming on or around the area in which your cat either bit or scratched. These can show up after a few days so keep a watch on the area. Fatigue, Headaches or body soreness, and lastly a low-grade fever which is below 105 but higher than 98.
Less common symptoms for the disease but still symptoms nonetheless include; weight loss, loss of appetite altogether, or a sore throat.
And lastly, the rarest symptoms of cat scratch fever are; joint pain, abdominal pain, back pain, prolonged fever for more than a few days, rash, or chills.
If you have any of these symptoms after being bitten or scratched by your little furry friend, you should consider seeing a doctor. There is no confirmed way of knowing if these symptoms mean that it’s specifically cat scratch fever because there are other things that could be diagnosed with these same symptoms.
Most people can go untreated and the disease will leave your body on its own so you don’t always need to see a doctor. But in the rare case that you don’t get better and the symptoms worsen over time it’s always best to go see a doctor make sure it’s nothing serious.