Figure 1a: Skin and soft tissue injury and abscess
Cat bites can be very dangerous to a rat. Cat fangs can cause deep puncture wounds that more often than not can cause serious infection as well as internal damage. Any rat that has been bitten by a cat (or any other animal including another rat) should receive immediate wound care (cleaning and gently flushing the wound with an appropriate antibacterial solution) and be put on a broad spectrum antibiotic. The puncture wounds should not be sutured but left open while healing occurs. In case of an infection the site of the puncture opening will serve as a natural drain. Cat bites often result in infections such as pasteurella, staph, or strep. Vet management is highly recommended for any animal bites, or deep punctures, that show any signs of infection (excessive redness or streaking, intense inflammation, pus like discharge, or bad odor).
Day one: shows rat that has sustained a cat bite.
Day three: shows developing abscess at the site of the bite.
Notice the swelling just below the bite.
Photos courtesy of Bellaratta’s Nest Rattery