More About Cat Scratch Fever


Cats transmit the organism when they scratch a person (or another cat) with their dirty claws. Cats can also harbor Bartonella in their mouths and transmit the infection via bites.  The inoculation site (a bite or scratch) develops a small red bump and about 2-3 weeks later, the lymph node in the area of the contact will swell and become painful and a fever develops. These signs generally resolve on their own or with a course of antibiotics. People with suppressed immune systems are more likely than others to have complications of CSD.

How can I reduce my risk of getting cat scratch disease from my cat?

  • Avoid “rough play” with cats, especially kittens.
  • Wash cat bites and scratches immediately with soap and water.
  • Do not allow cats to lick open wounds that you may have.
  • Control fleas by using Revolution (Fairchild applies a dose of Revolution to every cat which also prevents heartworm and treats intestinal worms and ear mites).
  • If you develop an infection (with pus and pronounced swelling) where you were scratched or bitten by a cat or develop symptoms, including fever, headache, swollen lymph nodes, and fatigue, contact your physician.