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The Dangers of Cat Bites

Why they should be taken seriously

(HealthDayNews) -- Did you know that more than 400,000 Americans, mostly women, are bitten by cats each year in the United States?

Harvard Men's Health Watch. reports that although 90 percent of domestic animal bites are inflicted by dogs, most of the rest come from cats.

And cat bites are two-to-three times more likely to become infected. That's because cats have sharper teeth, inflicting puncture wounds that can carry bacteria deep into the tissue. In some cases, serious infections of bones and joints can result.

Cat bites should be washed promptly and thoroughly. You should also check with a doctor because you'll probably need preventive antibiotics.

Cat scratches are usually less serious than bites, but sometimes they lead to Cat Scratch Fever, an infection caused by bacteria. Cat scratches should also be washed promptly, but if you develop a fever and swollen glands, you may need an antibiotic.

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