Everything you ever wanted to know about cat bites

It’s always exciting to tick off another first in life. Or maybe not.

I could have done without ticking off ‘cat bites.’ For anyone who hasn’t read the full story, it’s over here on Clouds.

As I now consider myself to be an expert on cat bites and treatment thereof, I shall share my amazingly useful experiences with you all.

On dashing into the flat, I ran into the bathroom, managing not to faint from extreme loss of blood, and turned on the cold tap to stop the bleeding.

Having accomplished that, or at least stemmed the sanguinous flow, I retraced my steps to catch up Partner and dog.

Returning from dog walk to flat, I turned to the trusty medical dictionary to frighten everyone silly, aka the internet.

For those of you who don’t know, as well as being vicious unpredictable little bastards, cats also have filthy mouths. Possibly even moreso than mine.

They are full of very nasty bacteria. Even if they stay inside apparently they forage through their litter tray. Yuk. Well, so it said on the internet and I believe everything I read.

So, what does one do, having been bitten by one of those unhealthy creatures? Well, they may not be unhealthy, but I would not recommend getting bitten by one.

There seemed to be two alternatives. Call an ambulance and get rushed off to A&E for some antibiotics before septicaemia sets in and your arm drops off.

Grate some carrot and apply a poultice to bites, something in the carrot draws out the nasties.

Ah Dear Readers, those of you who know me even partially will know that I do not like wasting scarce NHS resources. Nor do I like wasting expensive organic carrots, even though I had a stock in the fridge.

‘Salt water,’ said the armchair medic. ‘Put some salt in hot water and soak your hand in it.’ So I did.

Not to be outdone in the home remedy stakes, I countered back ‘Aloe vera, I need aloe vera.’ I sent him out to find some as it grows all over the place. I squeezed the gel on the life-threatening wounds.

That night I dreamed about mad packs of vicious cats attacking my hands and leaping all over me. I woke up with my hand throbbing away, and still badly swollen. Maybe I should have called the ambulance after all. I needed to monitor the situation regularly to await the onset of septicaemia and a green and poisoned arm.

The four bites
Christmas Day with a shiny swollen hand

That morning, Partner met cat owner on the landing, and pointed out that I had been badly bitten by darling cat, and that it really wasn’t a good idea to leave it out on the staircase as our dog had been programmed to Kill Cats.

‘Oh he likes the fresh air,’ she said. Had that been me I would most likely have said one of:

‘Then open the fucking window,’ or

‘Take him upstairs and sit on the roof with him.’

Still, Partner wasn’t the one with the swollen painful throbbing hand that was about to drop off, so he smiled nicely and repeated his polite suggestion to keep Fluffy inside.

Until this point I hadn’t actually realised that he was being deliberately let out. I thought they were being irresponsible by letting him escape, rather than being irresponsible by letting him out. Takes all sorts huh? But really, a block of flats where you live in common with a lot of people is not your own house or your own private space.

We cleared off to Spain and I continued with the salt water/aloe vera treatments.

Aloe vera gel in place over the largest and deepest wound

The ending to this dramatic tale is something of an anti-climax. My hand got better. The last event of any significance was on new year’s day when I managed to knock the scab off the biggest puncture wound and bled happily at the Belén. Fortunately not too much. Or over my good coat or my cream pullover.

So there you go. Next time you get bitten by a cat, if you don’t feel like dashing off to A&E, haven’t any carrots in the fridge – you can always try salt water baths and aloe vera gel.

I did say to Partner, ‘I don’t understand why he bit me. We were best friends the other day.’

You can tell I’ve never lived with cats can’t you?

10 comments on “Everything you ever wanted to know about cat bites

  1. I’ve become more & more wary of cats as the year have gone on. Have had a few nasty scratches in my time and nearly been eaten alive by Cat fleas too – I feel a post coming on :)


  2. Hope that serious looking wound is better now :)

    Just an observation, the link to Clouds from WordPress (the menu down the right hand side where it says something like my other blogs is broken. A quick look suggests it might simply be missing a ‘/’ in the html.

    Best ….. Blu Lagoon

    n.b. tried posting to Clouds. It said something about asking for a google id but it never asked me for one. I know you approve posts before they appear, so I’ll wait patiently and see if it appears.


    • Yeah, just a few lumps left now – thanks for that

      I’ve changed the Clouds thing – you were spot on, it was a missing backslash. I usually check links, so I was obviously slacking there. Thanks for pointing it out.

      There’s no comment waiting on Clouds, but I’ve changed the posting to open ID rather than google accounts only now – so hopefully that should be easier. Sorry for the inconvenience.


  3. No problem. I was only commenting about your washing machine, when you said “Nothing is open in Gib on a Saturday”. Was this in relation to washing machine repair opportunities or is Gib like rural Sussex was when I was a nipper and all the shops shut at midday on a Sat.


    n.b. Hope washing machine is repaired/replaced asap.


  4. Some shops don’t open at all. Especially electrical appliance shops. The Jewish shops don’t open as the community here is strict – unlike the days when my parents worked on the market on a Saturday and were surround by Jewish stallholders.

    Perfume shops, liquor shops, and some electronical gadgety shops open weekends in the hopes of tourists I guess. The market opens Saturday mornings. I’ll put up a post about it!! Morrison opens every day except exceptional bank holidays.

    WM scheduled for delivery on Wed am. I’ll be living on bread and water until my cash flow issue is sorted though.


    • Try simple first. I thought the carrot was a bit off the wall, but aloe vera gel really is great for everything. As is salt water. I’m not into drugs so I tend to go for basic (and cheap stuff).

      And as my arm didn’t drop off, it worked :)


  5. So glad to know that you did not lose your hand/arm, A one armed paper hanger has to work so much harder in life. Twice as hard I am told. I know. Silly silly..

    I am impressed that you went homeopathic treatment. I think always try the less invasive to the body is the appropriate road to take to healing. Cat bites and even scratches can be notoriously awfully toxic to humans. I raised kittens, puppies, goats(don’t ask), birds a sin Blue Fronted Amazon Parrot, and even rodents when my daughters were young. We went through our share of someone’s fur being stood off and backed into a corner. Never good practice to place yourself between the two opposite factions. .
    I]I spent many years studying herbology and homeopathic medicine and although I absolutely believe and honor science and today’s medicine I will usually opt always for an non-invasive treatment first.

    Poultices have been a valuable option used for centuries. Most anything organic as in natural state can work. I have even used mud for over 25 hornets stings (long boring story, but to be fair to the bees they were invaded by me, and they were in an angry swarm about it)

    So green with envy I am that aloe is indigenous there. Just saying. :-)

    Hope the healing is all over and done ~ Happy New Year to you MS ~


    • Actually I am the measurer, and layer outerer and cutter. So my paperhanging work is largely mental. But still it would be difficult. My right arm was out of action for months some years ago when the dog pulled me over to chase a cat and NO, I didn’t go to hospital. It healed. I probably broke some bones in my fingers, but with time, it all came back. My handwriting was never good, so doubt anyone notices the difference, and my typing is as fast as before.

      Yes, I wasn’t too pleased when I read about cat bites on the internet. I had visions of being hooked up to a drip in intensive care with some of the info I found!

      Having worked in the health service I do think it is abused by people, and like the UK, Gibraltar is free at point of delivery (ie not insurance based which I have to say I think is a terrible system). But I’m also not too trusting as I have seen not good care given out too. So if I can sort something out at home, I am happy. My family has used salt as an antiseptic for years, well, generations actually. My neighbours in Spain use alcohol (raw rather than for drinking). I learned about aloe when I went on a tour of the gardens here in Gib. I have a huge plant in my garden in Spain, and of course it is all around us on the streets, so no shortage. If I moved to colder climes, I would ensure I had a pot indoors.

      Thanks BB, I think there is a tiny scar but hey, 12 months later, I still have my arm ;) HNY to you too of course.


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