Are cats mouths clean? - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-03-2009, 01:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I remember my mother would say to me "if the dog wants to lick your cut it is fine it will help it heal better and faster." Is it the same with a cat? My cats go to our wounds like my pup did BUT I never let them lick them as I am not sure their mouths are the same as our dogs was. Anyone know????

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Old 08-03-2009, 01:59 AM
 
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No, cats mouths are not the same as dogs. You're right to avoid them licking you.

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Old 08-03-2009, 04:55 AM
 
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It's a myth that dog's mouths are clean. They're the cleanest part of the dog, but that ain't sayin' a lot. :

http://abcnews.go.com/2020/Health/story?id=1213870

That link explains why dog licks make a wound heal faster. That reasoning would mean that cats would help a lot, but the germ issue shouldn't be discounted.
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Old 08-03-2009, 05:15 AM
 
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All animal mouths are full of bacteria, including humans. If it is a small wound and you are otherwise healthy then your immune system will probably prevent an infection most of the time but it's not a good idea to expose any wound to any mouth on purpose.

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Old 08-03-2009, 10:57 AM
 
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Originally Posted by SunShineSally View Post
I remember my mother would say to me "if the dog wants to lick your cut it is fine it will help it heal better and faster." Is it the same with a cat? My cats go to our wounds like my pup did BUT I never let them lick them as I am not sure their mouths are the same as our dogs was. Anyone know????
If you have a cut, washing it with soap/water will do MUCH better. Like the PP said it's a 'myth' that dogs have clean mouths. Definitely cats don't either!

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Old 08-03-2009, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I thought so thanks I was just thinking about it and wondered. I couldn't find my answer on Google.

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Old 08-03-2009, 12:06 PM
 
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Hi Sally,
I know that a [I]bite[I] is definitely different than a lick-- but wanted to share my "cat mouth" experience. My usually sweet cat (RIP) was trapped and injured about 15 years ago. When I tried to help him out, he bit my finger. The next day the finger was huge and hot. Went to the doctor to learn that I had a pretty serious staph infection in my knuckle. I had to have surgery(incision and drain) and receive intravenous antibiotics 4 x's/day for 10 days. Expensive. Inconvenient. Potentially dangerous. Of course, I loved my cat and still let him lick me after the incident. I just don't think that it's a good idea to let a cat lick your open wound. (And... they lick their butts. )
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Old 08-03-2009, 12:25 PM
 
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I heard that cat's mouths are terribly germy from a vet. They said that a deep cat bit on a human or other animal most always gets infected (see pp's experience to support that theory), I would take that as a cue not to let a cat lick a wound!

Dog's still have germs in their mouths but they have enzymes and a shorter digestive system than we do so the bacteria can't thrive as well. I still would not let a dog near a wound.

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Old 08-03-2009, 12:38 PM
 
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Definetly not! And neither are dogs, despite common belief!!
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Old 08-03-2009, 12:58 PM
 
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No way. Cats are a whole other ballgame. They carry really aggresive bacteria. Cat bites almost ALWAYS get infected. And having had someone in our house battle a case of cat scratch disease, (that tooks many months and 5 courses of super strong anti-biotics to clear up) I would never ever ever allow any cat to lick me, especially on a wound.
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Old 08-03-2009, 05:39 PM
 
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My cats have in the past and I love their kisses. Hasn't killed me yet. There are bacteria/germs/viruses everywhere, you could do worse by opening a tin can.

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Old 08-03-2009, 08:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by montlake View Post
Cat bites almost ALWAYS get infected.
I've always heard this too. In fact, when we took one of our cats to the emergency vet, he bit one of the employees and she was sent straight to her doctor's office for treatment.

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Old 08-03-2009, 11:49 PM
 
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My old dog was just looking at my moms cat, kinda sniffing him, and the cat bit his chest. We didn't even know because he didn't flinch or yip. The next morning when I got him out of his crate he had an abscess the size of a baseball where Corey had bitten him.

When I called the vet (because we had no idea what caused it) he said "Has he been around any cats?" and were like "omg yes!".

So yeah, he had a week of antibiotics and DH had to squeeze out his puss nightly. I'd avoid cat kiss
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Old 08-04-2009, 09:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ghostlykisses View Post
I heard that cat's mouths are terribly germy from a vet. They said that a deep cat bit on a human or other animal most always gets infected (see pp's experience to support that theory), I would take that as a cue not to let a cat lick a wound!

Dog's still have germs in their mouths but they have enzymes and a shorter digestive system than we do so the bacteria can't thrive as well. I still would not let a dog near a wound.
That happened to me once. I had a cat bite that got very infected. My hand and wrist were so swollen that I couldn't bend my wrist for a week!
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