Cat Scratch Fever
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Cat HealthCat Health - The key to keeping a healthy cat is to assess your cat's health. All your cat health questions are answered with information on how to identify common cat health problems as well as major health concerns to ensure good cat health.

Cat Scratch Fever. Read all about this relatively uncommon disease. Information on Cat Scratch Fever, the symptoms, prevention, and Cat Scratch Fever pictures.


Most cat-scratch disease begins with a scratch from the claw or tooth of a kitten younger than six months of age. It can also be caught from an adult cat.

Cat Scratch Fever

An infectious illness, cat-scratch fever can affect people of all ages but is most common in children between the ages of five and 14.

This disease, which usually develops as a result of a cat scratch, can cause lymph-node swellings, low-grade fever and other troublesome symptoms but is not overly serious.

The disease is usually self-limiting, and resolves in two to three months.

What Causes Cat-Scratch Fever?

Cats themselves are not affected by the illness, but they serve as carriers capable of passing the illness to humans through scratches or bites.

Cat Scratch Fever

The actual organism that causes the fever is difficult to grow in the laboratory, but it is a bacterium.

The bacterium has not been conclusively identified, but it may be one with the unusual name Rochalimea.

The illness is sometimes associated with a new pet, often a kitten less than six months old. Several members of a household may be affected at the same time.


Swollen lymph nodes in the armpit, neck, groin or elsewhere

Loss of appetite

Low-grade fever

General tiredness

Possible headache

Evidence of a cat scratch, which may be a reddened welt

The most common symptom is a swollen lymph node, usually in the armpit or neck. Fever and other mild symptoms are present in 30 percent of cases.

Cat Scratch Disease (CSD) is also called Cat Scratch Fever and benign lymphoreticulosis. While CSD is found all over the world, it is an uncommon disease.

Is Medical Attention Necessary?

A doctor should probably investigate any persistent fever and lymph-node swelling.

Blood tests as well as a tuberculin skin test may be ordered to rule out the presence of other disorders.

What Treatments are Available?

Sometimes an antibiotic (gentamycin) is prescribed to shorten the course of the illness.

Cat Scratch Fever Cat Scratch Disease

It's possible that the lymph nodes will abscess and ooze pus. If that happens, the doctor may determine that drainage or removal of the nodes is necessary.

Lymph node removal also may be necessary for diagnostic purposes.

Generally, a period of rest is all that is needed.

Preventing Cat-Scratch Fever

Wash scratches or bites promptly with soap and water.

Go to see your doctor if any signs and symptoms of cat-scratch fever develop.

Cat Scratch Fever

Although it is usually relatively harmless, it may lead (rarely) to complications of the central nervous system.

Also, an illness that resembles cat-scratch fever might be another, more serious, animal-borne illness that has similar symptoms in its early stages.


Diagnosis of CSD may not be easy. There is no simple diagnostic test.

Most physicians rely on history of exposure to a cat , the presence of typical clinical signs, failure to find another cause, and examination of tissues, such as biopsy of a swollen lymph node.

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