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The dangers of cat bites

New Jersey residents may not be aware of the fact that cat bites can actually be even more dangerous than dog bites. While people treat dog bites immediately, they may be more inclined to let a cat bite sit without proper treatment, which could be a dangerous or even deadly decision.

FamilyDoctor.org states that cat bites need to be cleaned thoroughly and bandaged well in order to prevent infection at the bite site. Infection and swelling can also be prevented if the injured area is kept elevated above heart level. However, due to the puncture-like nature of cat bites, they're able to inject bacteria deep below the surface of the skin. This is what makes cat bites so dangerous compared to dog bites, which tend to be more on the skin's surface.

WebMD also suggests seeing a doctor if it looks like the bite is becoming infected, as at-home care may not be enough to reach as deeply as the cat's teeth were able to puncture. Signs of infection include pus, redness, swelling, pain and tenderness in the area, and potentially a smell. If infected bites are left without treatment for too long, it can cause extensive problems with the tissue, including decay. Blood-borne illnesses can also be passed through bites and should be tested for immediately.

Cat bites are underestimated when it comes to their harmful potential. Cat bites send more people to the hospital annually than dog bites. For these reasons, anyone who is bitten by a cat should be sure to treat it immediately and properly.

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