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How Common are Pet Bites and Attacks

Dog bites, cat scratches, horse kicks—they may seem rare and in the grand scheme of things they are. But they also occur thousands of times every year and in most cases it’s even worse news for the animal than it is for the human.

Animals don’t bite or attack unless they have been provoked or traumatized, which is something to keep in mind when considering what to do with an animal following such an attack. The prevalence of these attacks, therefore, is as much an indicator of how many people neglect their animals as it is of anything else.

Most Common Animal Attack

The most common from of animal attack is a dog bite, and this is true of all animals, not just pets. There are over 55,000 animal attacks every single year and the vast majority of these are dog bites. Pit bull and Rottweiler dogs are the most likely to bite and they account for a larger number of dog bites than any other, but they are not the only dogs that bite and any animal that is scared, backed into a corner or traumatized can attack.

These incidences are actually so common that there are entire personal injury industries built around them and these days it is very common for a personal injury lawyer to specialize purely in dog bites.

Dog bites often break the skin and cause legions and marks, but the biggest issue is an infection that can lead to a host of diseases.

Cat Scratches

Cats are far more independent than dogs and are more prone to attacks if they feel threatened. For the most part they will simply run away and/or hide, but if touched, picked-up or backed into a corner, then a feral cat, and even a scared domesticated cat, may scratch.

As any cat owner knows, cats can also scratch when they are playing, sometimes going deeper than even they planned and breaking the surface of the skin. For a clean house cat that has been fully inoculated, there should be no issues with little scratches here and there. There could be bigger issues with feral cats as it’s possible for them to pass on deadly diseases, but the biggest issue comes from cat bites.

Luckily, cat bits are rare. Even the most playful house cat likely won’t bite their owner by accident and a feral cat wouldn’t willingly place their head near the source of their fear. Such an attack can cause serious issues if it does occur though, so while rare, it’s something that should illicit a visit to the emergency room.

Small Animal Bites

Rabbit, rat and even hamster bites are quite common. In the case of rodents, they may bite simply when they see a finger poking through the cage, mistaking it for food. With rabbits, they bite to protect themselves and warn you away from them.

Unless the animal is feral, there should be no issues. They have small teeth and tend to do very little harm. However, it’s worth monitoring the wound and getting yourself to a hospital if it begins to show signs of infection. Serious small animal bites are rare, but the bites themselves are quite common, with every hamster/rat/rabbit owner recalling at least one time when they were bitten in this way.

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