Cat Scratch Disease

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

It is possible that the main title of the report Cat Scratch Disease is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.


  • Cat-Scratch-Oculoglandular Syndrome
  • Parinaud's Syndrome
  • Cat-Scratch Adenitis
  • Cat-Scratch Fever
  • Debre's Syndrome
  • Foshay-Mollaret Cat-Scratch Fever
  • Lymphadenitis, Regional Nonbacterial
  • Lymphoreticulosis, Benign Inoculation
  • Petzetakis' Syndrome

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Cat-scratch disease (also commonly known as cat-scratch fever) is a self- limiting infectious disease characterized by swelling and pain in the lymph nodes (regional lymphadenitis). Symptoms can vary from mild to severe, and may include achiness and discomfort (malaise), and/or loss of appetite (anorexia). The disease is caused by the bacterium Bartonella henselae and, in most cases, occurs as a result of a scratch, bite, or lick from a cat or kitten. Symptoms may not appear for several days after exposure and may last for several weeks. Although cat-scratch disease usually subsides without treatment, antibiotic and/or antimicrobial therapy may speed recovery. Approximately 22,000 cases are reported in the United States each year, although more mild cases may go unnoticed and resolve without treatment.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30333
Tel: (404)639-3534
Tel: (800)311-3435

NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
6610 Rockledge Drive
MSC 6612
Bethesda, MD 20892-6612
Tel: (301)496-5717
Fax: (301)402-3573
TDD: (800)877-8339

World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for the Americas (AMRO)
Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)
525 23rd Street NW
Washington, DC 20037
Tel: (202)974-3000
Fax: (202)974-3663

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
TDD: (888)205-3223

For a Complete Report

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc. ® (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be obtained for a small fee by visiting the NORD website. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational treatments (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, see

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