How to Report Cat Bites

A biting cat needs to be investigated by authorities.

A biting cat needs to be investigated by authorities.

Whether the bite came from your family cat, that cute kitty who lives next door or a stray, it needs to be immediately reported. A deep puncture wound from a cat bite can lead to infection or disease, such as rabies. Reporting cat bites is the law in many states.

Items you will need

  • Paper
  • Pen

Step 1

Thoroughly wash the cat bite with disinfectant soap and water. Run water over the wound for several minutes to remove all impurities and any remaining soap. Apply an antibiotic ointment and cover the bite with a clean bandage. Seek medical assistance immediately if the bite created a deep, serious wound and bleeding. Call 911 if you're outdoors and require an ambulance. You may need anti-rabies treatment if you were bitten by a stray cat that could possibly have the disease.

Step 2

Write down all the details surrounding the cat bite so you can remember them when reporting to authorities, especially if it came from a wild cat. Record the exact time and location of the cat bite, including the circumstances that caused the kitty to become aggressive. Make note of the cat's breed, color, any distinctive markings and where it was last seen. If you know who the cat's owner is, write down their contact information.

Step 3

Contact your local health department or Division of Animal Control in the country where the bite occured. Ask for an Animal Bite Report Form. If you're unsure who to contact, call your local fire department or 911. In many states, animal bites must be reported by law within 12 to 24 hours. Cats can have rabies, and it's vital to locate her to prevent the spread of the disease and protect others in your community.


  • Observe the bite over the next 48 hours for signs of infection. If it becomes red, swollen, painful or otherwise worsens, seek immediate medical assistance.
  • Never attempt to capture a wild cat yourself. If its behavior is strange or aggressive, it may have rabies.

About the Author

Liza Blau received a B.A. in English from Columbia University. Her writing has appeared in fiction anthologies from Penguin Press, W.W. Norton, NYU Press and others. After healing her own life-threatening asthma by switching to a whole, natural foods diet, she founded the NYC Asthma Wellness Center. Blau counsels individuals on healing their own asthma and allergies with dietary and lifestyle changes.

Photo Credits

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