What is CAT SCRATCH FEVER ? It’s a mostly self-resolving illness causing fever & swollen lymph nodes in people. It’s caused by Bartonella henselae & acquired from the scratch or bite of an infected cat, or possibly even from happy cat kisses or licks on broken skin.  Many healthy cats have elevated antibody levels & carry the bacteria: 25-41% of cats will be positive for Bartonella depending on where they live. As a natural “reservoir” host (the bacteria live without causing much illness) most cats are not sick, even if they are chronically infected. Testing & treatment is usually reserved for sick cats (who are likely infected with a more aggressive or virulent strain of Bartonella). Preventing these stealth infections begins with rigorous flea and tick control.  Flea poop (aka flea dirt) can transmit the bacteria directly into broken skin, as can a tooth or tiny claw. Yep, flea poop can be dangerous, as well as gross!  So cleaning any scratches or bites well & washing your hands after handling animals with fleas or contacting flea dirt is a good idea. #catscratchfever #bartonella #bartonella #catscratch #catstagram #catsofinstagram #fever #kittens #kittensofinstagram #bocaraton #bocamidtownevet #aaha #palmbeach #fearfreevetvisit #petstagram #petsofinstagram #meow #purr #veterinarian #bocaratonflorida