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