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What is Staph Infection?

Staphylococcus

bacteria are also naturally present in humans, and a feline staph infection has a chance of spreading to humans. However, spread of the disease only occurs between organisms with weakened or compromised immune systems. Even so, good hygiene, particularly frequent hand washing, should be practiced as a preventative measure.

Staphylococcus

bacteria are naturally present in the skin of cats. Staph infection may result when a cat becomes injured, suffers an allergic reaction in the skin (such as a flea infestation), or develops a weakened immune system for another reason. The opportunistic nature of the Staphylococcus bacteria may lead to it take advantage of a weakened immune system and cause infection.

Staph Infection Average Cost

From 356 quotes ranging from $200 - $1,000

Average Cost

$400

Symptoms of Staph Infection in Cats

The symptoms of staph infection in cats may appear similar to those of ringworm. While cats are notorious for hiding illness from their owners, cats infected by Staphylococcus will almost always show symptoms. In any case, seek immediate veterinary attention as soon as you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Circle or pimple-shaped lesions on the skin*
  • Excessive itching or biting of inflamed skin
  • Signs of pain
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Evidence of infections in other parts of the body

*Do not touch any lesions on the skin with your bare hands, as there is a small chance the disease can spread to humans. Even though staph infection typically won’t spread through contact with a lesion, it may spread to individuals with a compromised immune system.

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Causes of Staph Infection in Cats

The primary cause of staph infection in cats is a weakened immune system. Since the bacteria are already present in the body, they will not cause an infection unless they have an opportunity to. 

Skin allergies are often a source of staph infection in cats. The disease may also be airborne or spread through consuming contaminated food. Staph infection may also develop when the cat scratches or licks at its skin excessively. Cats that are particularly young or old have a higher chance of developing a staph infection.

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Diagnosis of Staph Infection in Cats

The vet can make a tentative diagnosis based on the appearance of the lesions and the presentation of symptoms. Be sure to inform your vet of any skin allergies your cat has, as well as any recent flea infestations that may have caused the infection. The vet will make a tentative diagnosis by examining the lesion more closely, using a biopsy or bacterial culture. The vet may also take a skin scraping to rule out other infections as a cause. The vet must identify the underlying cause, or else the infection is likely to return following treatment.

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Treatment of Staph Infection in Cats

Treatment of staph infection usually involves a course of antibiotics. Special antibacterial shampoos may also be prescribed to help heal lesions on the skin. If the cat’s immune system is particularly weak, the vet may prescribe drugs that will help boost the immune system and fight off infection.

Other treatment methods may vary depending on the underlying cause of the infection. If a flea infestation has caused the infection, your vet will use flea medication to eradicate the infestation. The underlying cause must be treated, or else the infection will recur.

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Recovery of Staph Infection in Cats

Recovery and prognosis will depend on the underlying cause. Always follow your vet’s post-treatment instructions carefully. Antibiotic regimens typically last from six to eight weeks. It is imperative that you administer the medication for the entire recommended duration of treatment, even if the infection starts to clear up. Failure to do so could result in aggressive recurrence and spread of the infection.

In some cases, the infection will recur even if the underlying cause is treated. This is usually a sign that your cat has Staphylococcus hypersensitivity, or an allergy to the bacteria. This condition is not the same as a staph infection and will require more aggressive and potentially long-term treatment.

Certain types of staph infection are resistant to antibiotics. If your cat’s symptoms aren’t going away even with antibiotic treatment or if the condition appears to be getting worse, you’ll need to consult your vet right away. They will be able to advise you on a customized treatment plan.

Staph infection may be prevented through good hygiene and sanitation measures. Always ensure that your cat is clean and kept free of fleas. Monthly flea medications may be recommended or prescribed by your vet. If you live in a multi-cat household, be aware that staph infection is contagious to a degree. It may be a good idea to keep the infected cat separated from your other cats until the infection clears up.

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Staph Infection Average Cost

From 356 quotes ranging from $200 - $1,000

Average Cost

$400

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Staph Infection Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Cat

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Four Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Dead Skin

My cat skin started dying after surgery. They did debriding but only worked on a certain part of his skin. They will use a vacuum to suction part of the bacteria. They will also do a culture test to see if he needs different antibiotics. What are the chances of him making it and recovering?

July 13, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Hello, So sorry to hear about your cat. I have seen cats and dogs easily recover after this type of procedure. These are usually very costly over a few months. Your vet should be able to give you a prognosis of this procedure. I hope your cat improves very quickly.

July 13, 2020

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Storm

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domestic short hair

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7 Months

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Redness, Sore To Touch

I have noticed that my cat has a small opened hole about the size of your pinky nail, under her stomach in the lower region, I have been looking up possible reasons as to what it may be, and we thinks it's a spider bite or golden staph infection, is there any suggestions you may have to treat it before taking her to the vet?

Aug. 19, 2018

Storm's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

For something like this, you should visit your Veterinarian regardless to be on the safe side; they will determine whether it can be medically managed or if it would need debriding (if poor skin margins) or any other treatment. For the time being keep the area clean and place a dab of Neosporin there twice per day. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Aug. 19, 2018

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Dora

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Domestic shorthair

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1 Year

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Ear Wax
Ear Wax In Cat Ears

My cat is always suffering from ear infection. I’ve taken her to four vets, and they’re useless. They prescribe her Tresiderm and release her a week later. This recurrs shortly,

Aug. 12, 2018

Dora's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

Some cats are more prone to ear infections that others, there are different approaches from testing for culture and sensitivity to surgical correction (lateral ear canal resection) to improve airflow to decrease the risk of recurring infections. Without examining Dora I cannot say what the specific best course of action would be, but you should think about returning to a Veterinarian for further examination and to determine the next best steps. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM https://wagwalking.com/cat/treatment/lateral-ear-resection

Aug. 12, 2018

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Jr

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dsh

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4 Years

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Mild severity

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Drooling

Sudden drooling had me alarmed so I went to vet. He said rotten tooth caused staph infection. Cat on antibiotics but now my other cat is drooling. Is this contagious?

March 23, 2018

Jr's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Dental disease is not contagious, so it is unlikely that your other cat has been infected with anything that Jr. has happening. Your other cat may have licked some of the antibiotic or groomed Jr. and it tastes bad. If the drooling continues, it would be best to have him seen as well, to make sure that he doesn't have any oral problems.

March 23, 2018

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Ginger

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American Shorthair

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9 Months

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Fair severity

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Itching

My cat has an oval shape rash, not very big. It's a redish pinkish color, occasionally itching and no fur in the affected area. How can I treat it, or what over the counter medicine can I buy for the affected area?

March 7, 2018

Ginger's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

Without examining Ginger and possibly taking a scraping of the area I cannot say with certainty what it is; infections (bacterial or fungal), parasites (mites), contact irritation among other issues. You can try to bathe Ginger with a medicated shampoo (fungal) to see if there is any improvement but ideally a visit to your Veterinarian would be best to diagnose the issue and receive the correct treatment. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

March 7, 2018

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Bailey

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DOMESTIC

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Seven Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Sneezing

My cat is 7 years old and has been dealing with a staph infection that is concentrated in his nose. He has been on at least 5 different meds His appetite is very good

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cat

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tabby

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2 Years

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Mild severity

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Lack Of Appe

My 2 year old cat has for started developing large under the skin blood/pus “blisters” July was first time noticing there was a very larg amount of maroon colored blood everywhere in our house. Took Cat to the vet they did test sent out blood 7 days later says it’s a staph infection. Vet treats with a shot called Convenia and she responded well and seemed to recover. Now this last week of September this issue has come back full steam and after receiving another Convenia in 2 weeks after that shot she has had multiple bister ruptures with a new blister forming. Went from 8lbs to 6lbs. Eating less and less and as of today needing to syringe feed her. Her body is wasting but she is still bright eyes and responsive and tries to get up. Is this it? All I can do for her is let a staph infection kill my baby. Her vet here thinks she will just Pass from this staph infection.

Staph Infection Average Cost

From 356 quotes ranging from $200 - $1,000

Average Cost

$400

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