I love my cat. Her name is Butti (means short by height).

Yesterday she bit my hand and I don't know why. My doctor told me to start course that includes 5 injections and now I'm having second thoughts about keeping my cat. I'm wondering if the best thing for me to do is to abandon my cat. What should I do?

  • 2
    What did your doctor say you needed the injections for?
    – Spidercat
    Feb 24, 2015 at 17:07
  • 2
    A wound that requires injections is a different type of bite than a playful nip referred to in the other question
    – Zaralynda
    Feb 24, 2015 at 22:17
  • Any time blood is drawn, there's a risk of infection.
    – Sobrique
    Feb 25, 2015 at 12:30
  • 8
    'Best thing to do' is to not abandon your cat. Find it a new home maybe, but don't abandon it.
    – Waterseas
    Feb 26, 2015 at 14:55
  • 1
    there is a lot of information missing in this now old question,something must have happened in the time leading up to the cat biting you.biting is the last thing a cat a cat will do in a string of warnings it has given you,it starts with the cat moving away from you and if this does not help the cat gives a vocal warning next is claws if this still does not work the last option your cat has is to bite.i am asuming the cat is not ill because this can change the behaviour a lot. Sep 7, 2020 at 4:20

6 Answers 6


Your question doesn't clearly state the reason why your doctor prescribed the injections. I'm aware of two possibilities: one could be a particularly bad infection that you have, and the second could be in case your cat has rabies, since rabies is so common in India.

If you have an infection

Infections from cat bites are pretty common and if not treated quickly can land you in serious trouble. However, they are generally treatable!

When you first get the bite, you should cleanse the wound in an antiseptic solution (I don't know what is available to you in India) or soap and hot water. Since cat bites are commonly puncture wounds, you should massage the area to make sure that the antiseptic is able to penetrate deeply into the wound.

Every few hours, repeat this washing and massaging procedure. Since this is a puncture wound, you do not want the skin to the "top" to heal before the "bottom" of the wound (the part in your hand) so keep massaging it. You can also soak the wound in clean (boiled) water if it's at a location that is convenient (I've gotten most of my cat bites in my hands, so it's easy to soak).

If your doctor is concerned about rabies

It's common practice in India to treat ANY dog or cat bite as a potential rabies source (source). The animals cannot be tested for rabies without killing them, but if the animal does have rabies and the person is not treated immediately it can be fatal. The doctors would rather give you injections that you don't need than have you die.

FORTUNATELY, there's a simple way to never have to worry about this concern with your cat! You don't have to abandon your cat, you just need to take her to a veterinarian and get a rabies vaccine. As long as you keep the vaccine current (get it redone following your veterinarian's instructions, which can vary from 1-3 years), your cat cannot get rabies and cannot pass it along to you.

Bites Happen

Without more details, we can't really begin to offer suggestions about why your cat bit you or how to prevent it happening again. Most of my bites have happened when I was handling my cat too rough (usually when trying to give her medicine) and I accepted that she was using the language she has to tell me to back off. Learn the to understand the cat's language (ear position, tail position, whisker position) and you'll be able to avoid bites because she will tell you to leave her alone by lashing her tail or laying her ears back BEFORE she bites.

  • But i am her owner, she shouldn't behave like this. Feb 25, 2015 at 3:08
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    What were you doing at the time? She was telling you "you're my human, you shouldn't behave like this." It's as much your responsibility to learn her signals as it is for her to learn yours.(
    – keshlam
    Feb 25, 2015 at 5:49
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    @jQuery.PHP.Magento.com She is not intelligent enough to understand that you believe you own her.
    – Waterseas
    Feb 25, 2015 at 15:00
  • 4
    @Waterseas Most cats are probably "intelligent" enough to understand that this isn't true and they're all working hard on training their "owners". :)
    – Mario
    Feb 26, 2015 at 8:23

If you don't know why she bit you, why do you think you need to do anything? It's a serious point - animals bite for a variety of reasons.

Referring to: http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/why-does-my-cat-bite-me-when-i-pet-her

  • status aggression
  • neurological stimulus from being petted too long
  • unhappy about what you're doing, but not communicating it effectively until the 'final stage'.

From here: http://www.2ndchance.info/aggressivecat.htm

  • medical/pain response. Is there any chance your cat is suffering pain, and your interaction caused more? Because that's a good source of 'getting bitten'

Personally I'd suggest that 'getting rid' of your cat is a last resort, not a first one. After you've identified why it's happening, and that it's not possible to remedy.


I have been bitten and scratched many times through the years and usually it was my fault for how I handled, approached, etc. the cat.

If you clean the wound and keep it clean you should be just fine. If becomes quite red or inflamed or painful, have a doctor look at it.

There is no reason to get any sort of treatment unless the cat is known to be, or is suspected to be rabid.

If you are bitten and it is a puncture wound- that is a tooth goes straight en and comes straight out and the wound close over - you need to immediately squeeze the area to cause some blood flow. Puncture wounds are dangerous because they often push bacteria down in to the hole which then closes up making it difficult to clean.

If I suffer a puncture wound of any type, I work hard to cause some blood flow to wash out the dirty and bacteria.

If a puncture wound become tender, quite red, hot, or painful, then you need to have a doctor look at it.

As to abandoning her for this - if you are seriously considering it, you need to find her a good home immediately.

You are simply not prepared or cutout to live with a cat.

As to the doctor's recommendation - either he or she is a very poorly trained doctor or --- could you be perhaps fabricating or exaggerating this situation?

I'm having a tad of trouble believing this is a fully factual situation.

  • 1
    The OP is from India, where rabies is endemic
    – Zaralynda
    Jun 27, 2016 at 3:41

As for injections, I have never heard of that. I know a few people who have gotten bitten by cats who then needed to be hospitalized for infection. Average 1 day. Neither got rid of their cat. My cat bit my arm when I was playing with him, he wrapped his paws around me and I quickly pulled my arm away, which scared him, when his hind claws started to dig. He bit me as I pulled away. It got red so my pharmacist gave me a shot. I would never think of giving the cat away, let alone abandoning him. Most pets don't just bite the owners unless they are frightened or in pain.


There are very good answers above, but I just want to write something concerning shots.

If you have an animal that can bite, scratch or kick you, you have to have tetanus shot.

Make sure that you are upto date with your shots, it means that you need to get a booster every 5-10 years, depending on your local healthcare practices. It doesn't matter if your animal lived in captivity his whole life. You have to have the shot.

Rabies shot due to a bite of your house pet is an overreaction.

Almost all animals do not carry rabies and the chances are even smaller if your cat is vaccinated. Keep your pet's vaccinations upto date.

  • In case you are attacked an animal, chances of rabies is significantly higher as rabies is known to induce aggressive behaviour. So, you have to get a shot right away.

  • However, if you are bitten or scratched by an animal which gave you fair warning or have a valid reason to bite or scratch you, you don't have to have vaccinations right away. You have to monitor the animal for ten days for the following behaviour:

    • Aggressive behaviour
    • Fights with another animal that draws blood
    • Biting another human
    • Death

If any of the above happens or you can't find the animal, you have to have the shots right away, i.e., if you can't find the animal on day 6, don't wait until day 10 to get your shots. Monitoring is especially easy if it is your own cat, so you don't have to rush to the infectious diseases unit to get your shots.

Some regions, where rabies is not adequately controlled, even the smallest attacks need to be treated with extreme care. However, in most countries it is adequate to follow this procedure.

Although this concludes my answer, some people might want to ask how animals can have a valid reason to attack us. I was scratched by a cat that I was removing from an exam room while I was proctoring. The cat gave me fair warning before he scratched me, i.e., he meowed and wiggled, yet I had to get him out. I got three courses of rabies shots because I couldn't follow the cat. House cats can be frisky when they are playing with you. If you annoy your house cat consecutively, he might bite you as well. Such bites almost always don't break the skin or only cause minor bleeding spots that heal in a few hours.


Cat bites are to never be taken lightly, people. Cats carry major bacteria in their mouths and faeces. 9 out of 10 cat bites become infected. Cat bites are 80% dangerous on scales. Cats have sharper teeth than dogs and their bites can be a lot worse.

If you feel uncomfortable with your cat and your cat is not comfortable with you then you should find another safe place for your cat. Go with your gut feeling.

Maybe spend a close and careful time with your cat for a week or 2. Give each other a chance. Watch and learn her signs and respect each other. Always go see a doctor for any animal bite. That's common sense when it comes to being one on one. Don't listen to cat hippy morons that distrust your pain and concern over an animal!

I'm studying to become a vet and animal behavior specialist. I love animals! But how dare other people try and make it seem like it's somehow your fault that the cat bit you! Lol come on folks. Domestic animals know from right and wrong.

  • 2
    Welcome to Pets.se - in general we prefer referenced answers: could you please edit your answer to include references for your statements. That will make it a much better answer.
    – Kate Paulk
    Jun 22, 2016 at 13:15

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