Reported cat bites in Dallas: characteristics of the cats, the victims, and the attack events.
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Reported cat bites in Dallas: characteristics of the cats, the victims, and the attack events.

  • Published Date:

    1990 Jul-Aug

  • Source:
    Public Health Rep. 105(4):420-424
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-1.29 MB]

  • Alternative Title:
    Public Health Rep
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  • Description:
    Associated with the increased popularity of cats as pets in American households has been an increase in the number of cat bites reported to health departments. Bite reports from Dallas, TX, for 1985 were analyzed for different aspects of the cat bite event, including characteristics of the cats, the people bitten, the wounds, and the attack events. Cat bites and scratches constituted 25 percent of the 2,494 reported animal bites. Biting cats were typically stray females. People 21 to 35 years old were bitten in numbers disproportionate to their numbers in the Dallas population. Females were the victims of a majority of bites. Although wounds were typically described as "scratches" of a hand or finger, 80 percent of all victims sought some form of treatment for their wound. The highest proportion of bites occurred from May through August from 9 am through 12 noon; unowned cats accounted for most wounds. Cat bit events may be explained by frequency of contact, that is, women prefer cats as pets; activities that bring people and cats into contact; and reaching toward cats to feed or pet them. More specific information on the causes of cat bites will enable educational programs to be established so that the rate of cat bites can be decreased at the community level.
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