All about cats

What causes ch in cats

There are several possibilities. One is a name for the ailment. It is called "cat scratch disease" or "cat scratch fever" or "cat scratch fever syndrome." The disease is caused by a virus called feline calicivirus. The virus is spread through the saliva of infected cats. It can be spread when a cat scratches a human. Another possibility is an abnormal reaction to an insect bite. Insects do not normally bite cats. However, cats can be allergic to some insects. Such an allergy could cause a mild reaction in an otherwise healthy cat. Other possibilities include parasites or bacteria. Some cats are more susceptible to certain types of parasites. Feline leukemia virus is another possible cause.

What are the symptoms?

The first symptom is a red bump on the skin. This is called a "vesicle." It may be small, or it may be large. The bump is usually painless. A day or two later, you may notice a small area of the skin. This is called a "bull's-eye." The area may be red or purple. It may be raised, or it may be flat. It may be surrounded by a clear area. The skin may be warm to the touch.

What is the treatment?

There is no treatment for cat scratch fever. The only treatment is to prevent the spread of the infection.

How can I prevent my cat from getting the infection?

If you have a cat that is scratchy, it is best to keep it away from other cats. If you live with other cats, be sure to wash your hands after playing with your kitty. Don't scratch your kitty on the face.

How can I find out if my cat has cat scratch fever?

The only sure way to find out if your cat has cat scratch fever is to have him tested at a veterinary hospital. The cat will be given a blood test. If the test is negative, then cat scratch fever is not a likely cause of the cat's symptoms. If the test is positive, then cat scratch fever is a likely cause of the cat's symptoms.

Can my cat still be vaccinated?

Yes. Most vaccines are given in combination. In addition, your veterinarian may recommend a vaccine that only protects against cat scratch fever.

What other information do I need to know?

Cat scratch fever is not a serious disease. Many cats recover completely on their own.

The infection is called "cat scratch fever" because the rash is more common in cats than in dogs.

The disease is not spread from cat to cat by biting.

The disease is usually not passed from a cat to humans.

When the disease is severe, it may cause symptoms similar to those of the flu.

Cat scratch fever usually does not cause death.

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