Cat-Scratch Disease | Causes & Risk Factors

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What causes cat-scratch disease?

You can get cat-scratch disease from a cat bite or scratch. You can get the infection after a cat scratches you if the cat's paws have the bacteria on them. (A cat can get the bacteria on its paws when it licks itself.)

With a cat bite, the cat can pass the bacteria to you in its saliva. You can also get the bacteria in your eyes if you pet a cat that has the bacteria on its fur and then rub your eyes. Many people who get cat-scratch disease do not remember being scratched or bitten by a cat.

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 02/14
Created: 09/00

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