|Kittens can get Bartonella henselae from fleas|
Should I clean my cat's nails with alcohol?
You can. Cleaning a cat's nails with alcohol is fine, but you can only keep them clean for so long. Alcohol will evaporate quickly and will not harm a cat.
Will cleaning a cat's nails prevent cat scratch fever?
Cat Scratch Fever is caused by the intracellular bacteria called Bartonella henselae that was present on the cat's nails. Cat scratch fever happens within two weeks of a cat scratch.
Kittens are more likely to carry Bartonella henselae in their blood, according to Wikipedia. This is because Bartonella hensalae is transmitted through fleas. Bartonella henselae has also been found in ticks, but studies have not proven that it is transmitted through tick bites.
Common symptoms of cat scratch fever are: headache, backache, chills, and fever.
Simply cleaning a cat's nails with alcohol is a small measure to prevent cat scratch fever but it is impossible to know when the bacteria Bartonella henselae is present. It would take a lot of cleaning on a cat's nails to try and prevent cat scratch fever.
It is a better way to prevent Cat Scratch Fever by attempting to modify the cat's behavior. Make sure you have an adequate scratching post present for the cat, or a cat scratching board so your cat can stretch and utilize its nails. If it is an indoor cat, make sure you are cutting the cat's nails regularly.
Outdoor cats will use their nails for climbing wood fences, and trees and don't necessarily need to be trimmed, because it could affect their outdoor activity.
The absolute best way to prevent Cat Scratch Fever from the bacteria Bartonella henselae is to have a flea collar or regular flea treatment for your beloved cat.
Image source: Flickr Creative Commons; by Moyan Brenn