Cat lovers across New Jersey risk getting bitten for the sake of petting a cat. But no matter if a cat is familiar or unknown, their bites can be dangerous. In fact, a cat’s bite can actually be more dangerous than a dog bite in some ways.

VCA takes a look at exactly why cat bites can be so dangerous. The primary reason is due to risk of infection. There are many types of bacteria unique to a cat’s mouth. Many of these cause severe issues for humans, like Pasteurella multocida. When introduced to the bloodstream, bacteria like this can wreak all kinds of havoc. Some people develop cellulitis due to fat deposits becoming infected. In severe cases, a person can suffer from septicemia. This is an infection of the blood, also called blood poisoning. If left untreated, this can be a huge risk to your health.

Cat bites become infected in no time. Many people find the first symptoms appearing within minutes to an hour or two. This can include swelling and redness. A cat’s teeth are also dangerous. They are sharp and long. This allows them to inject bacteria deep below the surface of the skin. Not only can this cause complex damage, but it gives you less time to react.

Quick treatment is crucial to your health when dealing with a cat bite. As soon as a cat has bitten you, you should clean the wound. Then, consult with a medical professional. They may provide antibiotics, topical treatments, and other items to help with infection. In severe cases, they may send you to a hospital for monitoring.