can you contract rabies from a cat scratch

It is also possible, but rare, for people to get rabies from non-bite exposures, which can include scratches, abrasions, or open wounds that are exposed to saliva or other potentially infectious material from a rabid animal.

Masks Strongly Recommended but Not Required in Maryland, Starting Immediately

In Johns Hopkins Medicine clinical sites in Maryland, masking is no longer necessary due to the declining trend of respiratory viruses, but it is still highly advised. Read more.

How Does Rabies Spread?

In the U. S. While any mammal can contract rabies, wildlife like skunks, foxes, bats, and raccoons are primarily responsible for its spread. Rabies typically occurs in regions with large numbers of feral cats and dogs that have not received vaccinations.

Rabies is primarily spread by animal bites, although it can also spread through the saliva of infected mammals. Additionally, if an infected animal’s saliva comes into contact with an open wound or mucous membranes like the gums, rabies can spread. The greater your cat’s exposure to wild animals, the greater the likelihood of infection

In the unlikely event that your cat contracts the rabies virus, it has the potential to infect not only you but also other humans and animals in your house. When the saliva of an infected animal, like your cat, comes into contact with broken skin or mucous membranes, people can contract rabies. Scratching someone can potentially spread the rabies virus, although this is extremely uncommon. It’s imperative that you contact your doctor right away if you think you may have come into contact with the rabies virus so they can give you a vaccination to prevent the illness from spreading.

How does rabies happen?

Through cuts, scratches, or mucous membranes (such as the lining of the mouth and eyes), the rabies virus enters the body and makes its way to the central nervous system. Once the infection has taken hold in the brain, it spreads to other organs by traveling along the nerves that exit the brain.

The primary organ involved in the transmission of rabies from one animal to another is the salivary glands. The rabies virus is spread by the saliva of an infected animal when it bites another animal. Because rabid animals lick their claws, scratches caused by their claws can be dangerous as well.


Should I be worried about a cat scratch?

When should I call my healthcare provider? If a cat scratch or bite becomes red or swollen and you develop flu-like symptoms, including headache, decreased appetite, fatigue, joint pain, or fever, contact your healthcare provider.

What to do if you get scratched by a cat?

Wash cat bites and scratches well with soap and running water. Do not allow cats to lick your wounds. Contact your doctor if you develop any symptoms of cat scratch disease or infection. CSD is caused by a bacterium called Bartonella henselae.

Can you catch anything from a cat scratching you?

Cat Scratch Disease (CSD) is an uncommon infection caused by the bacteria Bartonella henselae. Generally people who get CSD are either bitten or scratched by a cat before they get sick. Most healthy people do not develop any symptoms, but those with a mild infection usually get better without any treatment.

Do I need injection after cat scratch?

No, you don’t typically need a tetanus shot after a cat scratches you. But it’s still recommended that you get your initial series of tetanus shots and then get boosted every 10 years after that to be protected from more common ways to get tetanus.