Cat Scratch Disease (Bartonella henselae Infection)

Bacterial Infections 101 Pictures Slideshow

Prevention

People

Do:

  • Wash cat bites and scratches right away with soap and running water.
  • Wash your hands with soap and running water after playing with your cat, especially if you live with young children or people with weakened immune systems.
  • Since cats less than one year of age are more likely to have CSD and spread it to people, persons with a weakened immune system should adopt cats older than one year of age.

Do not:

  • Play rough with your pets because they may scratch and bite.
  • Allow cats to lick your open wounds.
  • Pet or touch stray or feral cats.

Cats

Control fleas

  • Keep your cat's nails trimmed.
  • Apply a flea product (topical or oral medication) approved by your veterinarian once a month.
  • Check with your veterinarian before applying ANY flea product to make sure it is safe for your cat and your family. Check for fleas by using a flea comb on your cat to inspect for flea dirt.
  • Control fleas in your home by
    • Vacuuming frequently
    • Contacting a pest-control agent if necessary

Protect your cat's health

  • Schedule routine veterinary health check-ups.
  • Keep cats indoors to
    • Decrease their contact with fleas
    • Prevent them from fighting with stray or potentially infected animals

More information

Cat-Scratch Disease in Children - Texas, September 2000 - August 2001. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2002 Mar;51(10):212-214.

Unraveling Mysteries Associated with Cat-Scratch Disease, Bacillary Angiomatosis, and Related Syndromes. Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal. January-March 1995, Volume 1, Number 1:16-21.

Epidemiologic Notes and Reports Encephalitis Associated with Cat Scratch Disease - Broward and Palm Beach Counties, Florida, 1994. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. December 16, 1994 / 43(49);909,915-916.

Mofenson LM, Brady MT, Danner SP, Dominguez KL, Hazra R, Handelsman E, et al. Guidelines for the prevention and treatment of opportunistic infections among HIV-exposed and HIV-infected children. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2009 Sept;58(RR11):1-166.

SOURCE:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Newsletters

Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

VIEW PATIENT COMMENTS
  • Cat Scratch Disease - Experience

    Please describe your experience with cat scratch disease.

    Post View 9 Comments
  • Cat Scratch Disease - Reducing Risk

    In what ways do you try to prevent your cats from scratching people?

    Post View 1 Comment

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors