By Angela, Contributing Writer
Recently my oldest child was scratched by a cat. My husband jokingly stated to her “I hope you don’t get cat scratch fever.” She didn’t believe that cat scratch fever was a real thing, so I did an internet search to prove to her that it is indeed a real thing.
This led me to wonder… could she really get cat scratch fever? And, if she did, what would I do? Would I take her to the doctor and go the medical route? Being a natural minded Mom, I decided to find out more about the subject, and learn what natural remedies are available for cat scratch fever?
What is Cat Scratch Fever?
According to the CDC website cat-scratch disease (CSD) (AKA cat scratch fever) is a bacterial infection spread by cats. The disease spreads when an infected cat licks a person’s open wound, or bites or scratches a person hard enough to break the surface of the skin.
CSD is caused by a bacterium called Bartonella henselae. About 40% of cats carry B. henselae at some time in their lives, although most cats with this infection show NO signs of illness. Kittens younger than 1 year are more likely to have B. henselae infection and to spread the germ to people. Cats can get infected with B. henselae from flea bites and flea dirt (droppings) getting into their wounds.
What Are The Symptoms?
- Enlarged, tender lymph nodes that develop 1–3 weeks after exposure – usually appearing close to the wound area.
- Decreased appetite
To test for cat scratch fever, you can ask your doctor for a blood draw to test for the infection.
Is it serious?
Persons with a compromised immune system may have a harder time fighting off the infection. A person who is healthy should have no complications and the infection should clear up on its own within a few weeks.
How To Avoid Cat Scratch Fever?
Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after petting and playing with cats/kittens.
If you do get scratched or bitten by a cat, wash the scratch or bite with soap and water. You can also apply peroxide to help kill germs. Another way you can help kill germs and keep new germs from entering the wounded area is to apply a thin layer of honey on the wound. Honey is naturally anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory.
What Natural Remedies Can I Use To Help Fight Cat Scratch Fever?
A doctor may prescribe antibiotics to fight the infection, but there are several natural foods, herbs and oils to strengthen your immune system and fight infection.
As mentioned above, honey can be used to fight off infection at the site. Other options might include-
- Lavender Essential Oil
- Tea Tree Oil
- Immune-enhancing herbs such as Olive Leaf Extract
- Colloidal Silver
Have You Experienced Cat Scratch Fever? What Natural Remedies Did You Use to Fight the Infection?