If you get bit by your cat, don’t brush it off. According to the Journal of Hand Surgery, one out of three people who sought treatment for a cat bite on the hand were hospitalized. Of 193 total patients, two thirds of those hospitalized required surgery where middle-aged women were the most common bite victims.

Mayo Clinic researchers said cat bites can lead to infection because cat fangs penetrate the skin and force bacteria into joints and tissue. “The bites lead to serious infections that can require multiple hospitalizations, antibiotics and sometimes surgery,” study researcher Dr. Brian Carlsen, an orthopedic surgeon at Mayo Clinic, said.

Of course one solution not to get bit is to serve your cat everything he or she wants at all times in an effort to placate your cat. Then again, cats might bite you just because they can as a way of showing you who’s really in charge of your household.

Click here to read more about infections from cat bites.

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