A Detailed Guide to Staph Infection in Cats

Staph infections are common in cats and can be dangerous if left untreated. As a pet owner, knowing how to recognize the signs of this bacterial infection and what you can do to prevent it from spreading is essential.

This post will discuss a staph infection, how it affects your cat and other pets, and what treatments are available for this serious condition. We’ll also cover essential hygiene tips that will help keep your cat healthy!

Staphylococcus Causes Staph Infections

Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium that’s responsible for staph infections. It’s found in the nose, mouth, and skin of humans and animals. This bacteria is common on cats’ noses, so it can easily be transferred from one cat to another during grooming or mating.

Staphylococcus aureus can live in the body without causing infection. However, if it enters the bloodstream or other tissues, it can cause sepsis blood poisoning. 

If you notice your cat has swollen lymph nodes under its front legs or around its neck, this could indicate a staph infection. In such events, give your cat antibiotic drugs like Cephalexin for dogs and cats. This help reverses the effects of staph infection. 

The antibiotics help ease the staph symptom and cure the infection over a dosage course. If the condition worsens, take your puppy to the vet immediately for prompt treatment. 

Symptoms of Staph Infections

Unlike other types of infections, a staph infection may not have symptoms. If you suspect your cat has a staph infection, take him to the vet as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more likely his condition will worsen.

In some cases, however, cats with staph infections will display some of these common symptoms: fever usually between 102°F and 106°F, lethargy or loss of appetite, skin lesions or abscesses also called boils, feline acne, particularly on the chin, pneumonia or inflammation in the lining around their heart or lung cavities, and blood poisoning septicemia.

  • Skin Lesions – Staph infections in cats can cause skin lesions, which are the most common symptom. A bacterial infection is usually tiny and causes skin lesions but can also be huge. In addition to staph infections, other conditions such as allergies or parasitic mites can also cause skin lesions in cats.
  • Feline acne – This is a bacterial infection that causes pimples and blackheads. Staph bacteria typically live on the skin, but in some cases, they can cause disease resulting in lesions or pus-filled boils.
  • Pneumonia – Staph infections can also cause pneumonia, an inflammation of the lungs. This can be caused by bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes. Pneumonia symptoms include coughing, difficulty breathing, fever, and lethargy. The symptoms are similar to kennel cough but tend to be more severe. If you think your cat may have pneumonia or another respiratory infection, take him to the vet immediately so he can receive proper treatment.
  • Inflammation of the heart lining – Staph infections can cause inflammation of the heart lining. This can lead to a condition called endocarditis, which is when bacteria infect the inner layer of your cat’s heart. Endocarditis can make it difficult for blood to flow through your cat’s body and leads to heart failure or heart infection, both of which can be fatal if left untreated.
  • Blood poisoning – Staph infections can cause bloodstream infection or sepsis in some cats. Bloodstream infections are often fatal if left untreated—they’ve been known to kill up to 50 percent of their victims even when treated with antibiotics!
  • Other Symptoms – You may notice your kitty is running a fever, sweating, and experiencing chills. If she’s feeling incredibly ill, she might have a rapid heart rate of over 100 beats per minute, an increased respiratory rate of more than 30 breaths per minute, a low white blood cell count of fewer than 5 billion cells/cubic millimeter of blood or an elevated liver enzyme level.

Staph Infections Can Be Dangerous

Staph infections in cats are dangerous. They can be fatal, contagious, and painful for your cat. You’ll want to take quick action when you suspect a staph infection in your pet. Staphylococcus is the name of the staph bacterium that causes most skin infections in cats. Staphylococcus aureus is the most common type of staph bacteria. 

It can live on people or animals without causing any problems. But as may happen when these bacteria enter an open wound or break in a cat’s skin barrier. If your cat scratches himself or has cuts from being spayed, they can cause infection by entering the bloodstream through tiny breaks in the skin’s surface called capillaries. The infection then spreads throughout organs such as kidneys and causes serious illness.

A Staph Infection Can Spread Quickly

Staph bacteria thrive where there’s moisture and warmth, so keeping your cat clean and free of cuts or scrapes is essential. If you notice any signs of a staph infection, take your cat to the vet as soon as possible. 

Your vet will determine whether your kitty has developed an infection, then prescribe antibiotics that kill off the harmful bacteria. You can also help prevent future infections by practicing good hygiene at home:

  • Keep all wounds clean and dry with antiseptic wipes and get them looked at by a professional ASAP if they don’t heal properly.
  • Avoid sharing towels or linens with other people or animals.
  • Wash hands before touching food or pets, and keep pets out of areas where food preparation takes place.

Proper Hygiene Is the Best Way to Prevent Staph in Pets

To avoid staph infections in your cat, you should take some basic steps. First, keep your cat’s environment clean. Clean up after them if they have accidents, wash their bedding regularly or replace it if it becomes soiled, and avoid letting them get into dirt or grass where other animals have urinated.

Second, practice proper hygiene when handling your pet—wash your hands thoroughly after handling a cat who has been fighting with another animal or has been near a dead animal such as a mouse or bird, as urine from these animals can carry staph bacteria. 

Lastly, clean the litter box daily to remove any buildup of waste material—this includes scooping out clumps and changing litter once per week for most cats!

Treatments for Staph Infections

Staph infections are severe and require immediate treatment. However, there are various types of treatments for staph infection in cats.

The first line of defense against a staph infection is a course of antibiotics. Anti-biotics can be given by mouth or intravenously (IV). If your cat has been diagnosed with a staph infection, your veterinarian may recommend oral antibiotics that must be provided for several weeks at least twice daily. Intravenous antibiotics are given directly into the veins through an IV catheter connected to an external infusion pump. 

Another treatment is topical creams. Apply the cream directly onto the skin where an infection has occurred so they can easily absorb into your pet’s bloodstream without having to go through their digestive tract first. These creams are typically used when an animal’s immune system isn’t strong enough to fend off an invasion on its own yet still needs extra protection against bacterial attacks to prevent the spread.


Staph infections can be dangerous for cats and should always be treated as soon as possible. It’s essential to clean your cat’s environment, seek medical attention if you suspect an infection, and practice proper hygiene when handling them.

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