It’s not unusual to get scratched when you play with your cat. But it’s important to take care of your wound and watch it closely to see what happens.
Even though not every cat scratch is dangerous, some situations may make you more likely to get sick or have other health problems.
Read on to find out more about some of the possible risks of cat scratches and whether or not you should go to the doctor.
What Harm Can A Cat Scratch Cause To Your Eyes?
It’s very painful to scratch a cat. And when you look at it, it looks much better! If you get a cut in or above your eyelid, the first thing you should do is wash the area with clean water.
This is done so that any dirt or bacteria that got into the wound can be cleaned out by hand.
If you wear contact lenses, remove them before cleaning your eyes with water.
If the scratch is only on the surface of the skin, rinse it with water and then put an antibiotic cream on it. Be careful not to get the solution in your eye.
To ease pain and swelling, you should also use an ice pack.
You can also put an over-the-counter antibacterial ointment on the bite, but make sure you’re not allergic to any of the ingredients. If this is not the case, you may need to see a doctor.
If the scratch is on the eye itself, it is likely to damage the cornea, which is the clear layer at the front of the eye. See a doctor as soon as you can, if at all possible.
The doctor will do a number of scans on the eye to figure out how bad the scratch is. The doctor will also tell you how to treat bacteria and fungus that can get into the eye wound and how to reduce the risk of corneal scarring, which can make it hard to see.
If you can’t get to the hospital right away for some reason and the cut on your eye doesn’t look too bad, you should take good care of it at home.
Keep the eyelids closed after rinsing the eye with water to calm it down. Put a cold pack on your closed eyelids to ease the pain, but don’t press too hard on the eyeball.
What Causes Cats To Scratch Their Owners?
What makes these little fluffballs turn violent all of a sudden?
Any of these things can be stopped from happening. If you can’t stop the cat from doing it, try to keep it as quiet as you can.
I keep talking about how important it is to use positive reinforcement to teach kittens how to get to the pet carrier and swallow pills.
This can help them as they grow up. Make it clear to a kitten that playing rough is not okay.
Even if a cat stays inside, its nails should still be trimmed.
Keep your cat’s immunizations up to date, and always do what your vet tells you to do to keep fleas away. This will help keep diseases from spreading.
Cats that are treated for fleas are less likely to get Cat Scratch Disease, a bacterial infection that can be passed on to humans.
Keep a close eye on them any time a cat and a small child are together. Teach kids how to pet a cat the right way and that, unlike dogs, cats only like to be petted in certain places.
Symptoms Of Cat Scratch To Eyes
When a cat bites or scratches you, you may get a red lump, sore, or blister. This could happen anywhere from three to ten days after the bite or cut.
It may take a long time for the cut or blister to heal. Some of the symptoms are a low-grade fever (less than 102°F), coughing, feeling sick, and losing your appetite.
Risks associated with cat scratches
Even when playing with your cat in a way that seems harmless, you will get scratched.
Johns Hopkins Medicine says that kittens under one year old are more likely to scratch. As your younger cat gets used to your movements, you may notice more scratching during play and cuddle time.
No matter how old you are, a cat scratch can cause more than just pain and temporary red or discoloured marks. These wounds can hurt, bleed, and sometimes even get infected.
Both wild cats and pets can spread viruses and germs when they scratch human skin. Some of the health problems that could happen are:
What to do after a cat scratches your eye
These treatments can help a scratched eye, but no matter how bad it is, you should see an eye doctor as soon as possible to make sure there is no permanent damage or infection.
1. Rinse your eye
When your cat scratches you in the eye, the first thing you should do is carefully clean it. Rinse it with either warm, clean water or a solution with a little salt in it.
It’s best to use saline because it can help stop bacteria from growing. Keep your eye open and wash it for 1 or 2 minutes with the water solution.
After the first pain, blinking will actually help and may even stop the pain once the dust and debris are gone.
Try pulling your upper eyelid over your lower eyelid to help get rid of dirt. Your lower eyelashes can be used like a brush to clean out the space behind your upper eyelid.
3. Don’t rub your eye!
Try not to wipe your eyes, no matter how tempting it may be, because this can quickly make the problem worse.
Cat scratches can be very itchy, which is especially bothersome if they get into your eye. You’ll just have to deal with the itching and try not to rub your eyes too much.
Also, don’t put a patch over your eye. Bacteria grow best in warm, dark places, so a patch could help an infection spread more quickly.
4. Avoid eyedrops
You might be tempted to use eyedrops for the redness to ease the pain, but this is not a good idea.
It’s much better to wait until you can see a doctor, who can give you soothing drops for your eyes if they get hurt.
If you wear contacts, you shouldn’t put them in because it could hurt your eyes more. If you don’t have glasses, ask a friend or family member to drive for you. To help with light sensitivity, it’s also a good idea to wear sunglasses on the trip.
5. Go see a doctor
No matter how bad your scratch is, we strongly suggest that you see a doctor to get the right treatment. Small scratches on the skin’s surface don’t need much care and usually heal in a few days.
On the other hand, a large scratch could be dangerous, and you don’t want to take any chances with your eyesight. If the scratch isn’t taken care of right away, it can easily get infected and cause some vision loss.
Your doctor will be able to tell how bad the cut is and give you the right treatment, which will probably be antibiotic eye drops or other prescription steroid eye drops, as well as antibiotics you take by mouth.
Is It Important To See A Doctor If You Have A Scratched Eye By Cat?
If you scratch your eye, you have to decide if it’s important or not. A scratched eye, also called a corneal abrasion, is a cut that damages the outer layer of the pupil and iris.
A corneal abrasion is a common type of eye injury that can be caused by many things.
If you have a scratched eye or a corneal abrasion, which is a mark on the membrane that covers your iris or pupil, you may feel like something is in or on your eye.
Get in touch with a professional as soon as possible if you are in pain.
How to Treat Cat Scratches At Home
To start, you should always use soap and warm water to clean a cat’s scratch. Use this rule for all scratches, even ones that your own cat gives you. Pat the skin dry with a clean cloth.
If your cut is bleeding, put light pressure on it with a clean gauze pad. You can put a small amount of over-the-counter antibiotic ointment on the wound before putting on a sterile bandage.
Keep a close eye on the scratch over the next few days for signs of infection, such as:
- increased swelling
- pus or drainage
- red or discolored streaks emitting from the original scratch
- flu-like symptoms, including fever, headache, and chills
If you have any of the above symptoms, you should call your doctor. If a cat that isn’t yours recently scratched, bit, or licked an open wound on you, you should go to the doctor.
Treating eye scratches
Your eyes or other parts of your face could get scratched by accident by a cat. If this happens, wash the eye right away with clean water or a solution of salt and water. If there is something stuck in your eyes, like dust from your cat’s claws, don’t rub them.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology says that small scratches on the eye heal quickly. But if they aren’t treated, they could lead to:
- eye pain
- excessive tears
- light sensitivity
- blurry vision
About cat-scratch fever
The bacterium Bartonella henselae causes cat scratch fever, which is a bacterial illness. The bacteria could be in the saliva of cats.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) think that up to 40% of cats will have this bacterium at some point, but most of them won’t have any symptoms.
At first, fleas were the ones who spread this bacterium to cats. When cats fight, they can pass the disease to each other. The bacterium could then get into a person’s body if the sick cat scratches, bites, or licks an open wound.
Symptoms of cat-scratch fever
If you have cat scratch fever, the CDC says you may have the following symptoms 3 to 14 days after the initial scratch:
- scratches or bites that increasingly become redder or discolored and more swollen
- fever, aches, and other flu-like symptoms
- body rashes
- swollen lymph nodes
- excessive fatigue and weakness
Treatment for cat-scratch fever
Cat scratch fever can be treated at home with antibiotics and wound care to get rid of the symptoms and keep them from getting worse.
It’s important to know that some of the signs and symptoms of cat scratch fever are the same as those of other illnesses. This includes tetanus, which is caused by a bacteria called Clostridium tetani.
If you have any of the signs of an infection, you should see a doctor right away so you can get the right treatment. If you’ve been around a cat with fleas, you’re more likely to get cat scratch fever.
Other damage to internal organs other than the brain
Bacillary angiomatosis is a skin disease that gets worse over time. It is marked by red or discoloured skin, raised, scaly lesions, red, irritated eyes, and flu-like symptoms.
Rabies is a dangerous virus that is spread by a bite from an animal that has it. Even though rabies is not common in cats kept as pets in the United States, there are more cases of it in cats than in other types of pets.
When a cat is sick, it may act in strange ways, like becoming very hostile. A lack of appetite, weakness, and paralysis are also signs.
By biting and drooling, rabid cats are more likely to spread the virus to people. But there is still a chance that a cat with the disease could spread it through scratches.
According to the CDC, the first symptoms are like those of the flu and can show up weeks or months after the infection.
Even if you don’t have any symptoms of this dangerous disease, you should get help right away if you think you’ve been around a rabid cat.
Rabies can be treated quickly with antibodies and immunizations, which can help stop problems that could be fatal.
How to prevent risks associated with cat scratches
You can help make cat scratching less dangerous to your health by:
- Avoid rough play, especially with kittens, who are more likely to scratch.
- Keep your face away from your cat during playtime to avoid eye injuries.
- Cover any open wounds so your cat can’t lick them.
- Keep your cat indoors and take care of feral cats or other cats you don’t own.
- Make sure your cat is up-to-date on vaccines, like the rabies vaccine.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you go blind from a cat scratch?
According to the Cat Scratch Disease Fact Sheet, symptoms usually show up two weeks after being exposed. The most common signs are a fever, a cough, feeling sick, and not wanting to eat.
Even though it doesn’t happen often, it is possible to go blind. If your immune system is already weak, you are more likely to get sick from it.
Can a scratched eye heal on its own?
How long does it take for a cat’s scratched eye to heal?
Most scratches on the cornea heal in three to five days. Antibiotic eye drops or ointments are used to prevent bacterial infections and ease spasms or pain (typically atropine ophthalmic drops or ointment).
Scratches might seem like a normal part of being a cat person, but you should always wash any cuts or scratches you get from playing with your furry friends.
Because some cases can lead to infections, it is important to know what to look for and to see a doctor as soon as possible if you think you might have one.
When you have an active cat in the house, it can be hard to avoid getting scratched, but there are some things you can do to help avoid problems.
These include keeping the place clean, staying away from wild animals, and getting the necessary vaccines on time.
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