Cat Scratch Fever

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Cat scratch fever - also known as cat scratch disease - is an infection that takes place after being scratched by a cat.

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This is most likely to occur after you’re scratched by a kitten, but may also be caused by other animals, including dogs and even monkeys.

If you’ve been scratched or bitten by an animal and are experiencing any of the symptoms discussed below, don’t delay - speak to a doctor online today.

Our expert GPs can discuss your symptoms, diagnose whether or not you’re suffering from cat scratch fever and if necessary, prescribe medication to help treat the condition.

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cat scratch fever

Symptoms of cat scratch fever

Cat scratch fever is caused by a type of bacteria commonly found in the saliva of cats. While it’s not usually serious, in people whose immune system is already compromised, it can cause severe problems.

This can include those undergoing chemotherapy for cancer, people with diabetes or an immune disorder like AIDS.

The most common symptom is a sore spot or blister developing in the area where the scratch or bite took place. This can take anywhere from a few days to upwards of a week to appear and could take a long time to heal.

This infection can spread to the lymph glands in the surrounding area, which can cause inflammation and soreness.

As the name suggests, cat scratch fever can sometimes cause a high temperature to occur, which may last several days. Those with the condition may also experience stomach pain and excessive tiredness, which may last for weeks.

Treating cat scratch fever

In most cases, cat scratch fever will clear up without any treatment. However, relief from the symptoms may be prescribed in the form of pain medication and warm compresses being applied to the affected area.

If you’re in an at-risk group, or are experiencing severe symptoms, antibiotics may be required. This includes cases where swelling and soreness occurs for weeks or months, or where the infection has spread to other parts of the body.

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See a doctor about cat scratch fever

If you’re in an at-risk group and have been bitten or scratched, or have displayed any of the symptoms above for several days - it’s recommended to see a doctor.


Our GPs will be able to discuss your symptoms, examine any affected areas and diagnose whether or not you could have cat scratch fever. If needed, they’ll also be able to prescribe pain relief or antibiotics to help treat the disease.

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