Symptoms of a cat-bite infection include pain, redness, swelling and inflammation, according to Healthline. The wound may ooze pus, and red streaks may develop near the wound. Fever, fatigue, breathing difficulties and swollen lymph nodes are other possible signs of a cat-bite infection.
A cat bite often causes a puncture wound that seals over quickly, trapping bacteria inside and causing an infection, explains VCA Animal Hospitals. The infection can cause cellulitis, a condition in which the infection spreads to surrounding tissues. It can also lead to septicemia when the infection travels to other parts of the body via the blood and causes flu-like symptoms and fever. Septicemia can be fatal if the patient does not receive timely treatment. Children, the elderly and immune-compromised people are most susceptible to developing infections from cat bites. Symptoms of infection develop within 24 to 48 hours of the bite, notes Healthline.
Treatment of a cat bite involves prompt and thorough cleaning, states Healthline. Some wounds require stitches, but others may remain open to heal, according to VCA Animal Hospitals. Doctors typically prescribe antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection, and may recommend a tetanus booster. Depending on the status of the cat's rabies inoculations, cat-bite patients may have require rabies prophylaxis treatment.