Features

October 2010 Issue

The Danger of Cat Bites

The elderly and the immuno-compromised are at the greatest risk. Prevention is important. Here’s why.

Buddy, a streetwise stray cat that had been rescued from a vacant parking lot, took great exception to a male cat spraying the front door of his adoptive home. To even out the turf war, Buddy decided to launch a counter attack — by spraying the inside of the door. "I saw Buddy positioning [to spray], so I tried to scoot him away from the door," explains Nancy Peterson, information specialist for the Humane Society of the United States in Washington, D.C. "He bit me. It wasn’t just a little tooth scratch, either. It was a nice bite," she says. As a former veterinary technician, Peterson was quite aware of the health risks that a cat bite poses —even when the cat is up-to-date on its veterinary care and is vaccinated against rabies.

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