Cat Bites Chunk Out of Woman’s Finger

Cat Bites Chunk Out of Woman’s Finger

by Michael
(London, UK)

You may have read about this story. I would just like to put in my two pennies worth. The story began normally enough. A woman, Karen Costa, living in Queens (which I presume is Queens, New York) adopted two cats from a PETCO fair. One was male the other female. They came as a couple.

In fact Karen wanted to adopt a female tabby cat but was asked to also adopt the brother of her selected cat, which she accepted. She called them Harry and Sally.

Harry, apparently, spent three weeks under her bed on arriving at her home. In other words he was scared to death. Nothing has been said about his sister so we have to assume that she was settling in nicely.

We are told that Harry eventually came out and bit Karen on the middle finger of her right hand taking a chunk of flesh out of it.

As a result she was hospitalised for 3 nights and had 6 months off work! She is suing for compensation having, she says, lost a major contract resulting in financial loss. Her claim for compensation states that Harry was a feral cat and not domesticated.

Now, how plausible is all that and who is at fault?


How likely is it that the brother tabby is feral and his sister is domesticated? I would have thought that highly unlikely. Much more likely is that they were both domestic cat living together in the same household until put in a shelter. For some reason the boy was more unsettled than his sister.

Then if Harry is frightened and showing clear signs of that emotional state, a prepared and educated cat caretaker should be respectful of the emotional stress that the cat is going through and take appropriate steps. This means exercising caution, care and patience and even seeking advice.

It also means not pushing the cat to do things that are unacceptable to the cat and which might and probably will provoke a hostile reaction. This is what probably happened.

Now I am guessing but Karen probably stuck her hand out to Harry to pet him and perhaps get him out from under the bed and he bit her. Whose fault is that?

And to take a “chunk” out of her finger sounds very odd to me. The only way I can see that happening is if Harry bit her and held on while she pulled her hand away hard. Once again I see a lot of contributory negligence in Karen’s behavior if my assessment is correct.

Thus far then I would say that Karen is likely to be the author of the injury that she suffered – it was probably mainly her fault.

Then we have the three nights in hospital! Sounds plausible or sensible? No.

Finally to claim for 6 months six leave is astonishing.

My conclusion must be that her claim will fail on a number of levels, the most compelling of which is that she adopted a cat for the first time while failing to educate herself as to how to be a proper cat caretaker.

It’s her fault and she is exaggerating anyway. I also think that her claim is bad publicity for the domestic cat. It may and probably will put people off adopting cats. This is a bad thing at time when more people are needed to come forward.

In my opinion, therefore, her claim has been made recklessly without regard as to the wider consequences. If criticism is to be laid at someone’s feet it should be at hers. We are in charge when it comes to domestic cats. Cats react to the environment that we create for them. They are our responsibility.

Michael Avatar

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Cat Bites Chunk Out of Woman’s Finger to Cat News

Comments for
Cat Bites Chunk Out of Woman’s Finger

Click here to add your own comments

May 19, 2010 far-fetched
by: kathy

I too agree that her story doesnt make sense. I once was bitten very badly by one of my cats by mistake. I was cleaning momma’s cage and she had kittens and one of the males came into the room. Ahuge fight occured and I tried to break them up. In the confusion the male bite me instead. I too had puncture wounds, not a missing chunk. It swelled and my arm got the red streaks. Well my friend from the pet shop that I worked at suggested that I put Vicks on it. Well guess what? I worked quit well. I never had to go to the doctor and all I have are some very light scars. Very intersting!!!

May 16, 2010 Her story doesn’t make sense
by: Finn Frode, Denmark

Karen Costa’s story doesn’t make sense. Cat bites are usually puncture wounds from the fangs and I don’t see how that could ‘bite a chunk out’. That I think, would take a molar bite and that would not be the normal way for a cat to attack.

I’ve been bitten by terrified cats on a couple of occasions and I can verify that deep bites are indeed painful. You risk some nasty infections unless you seek medical assistance, but Karen’s story is too much – it sounds more like an insurance scam to me.

Finn Frode avatar

May 15, 2010 Some people need a dolly
by: Mr G

For a cat to bite hard enough to do any damage he has to be in extreme pain or terrified for his life.
That woman obviously knew nothing about cats and shouldn’t have been allowed to take those two home.
I hope her claim for compensation is laughed out of court.
Cats are not objects without feelings but a lot of people seem to think they are.
If they want something docile and unfeeling to bath,dress up,pick up and put down when it suits them,then they should get themselves a dolly instead.
Cats are self sufficient,self cleaning,beautiful animals.They are not toys.I wish everyone would realise that fact.

May 14, 2010 Furby
by: Joyce Sammons

Furby bit the crap out of Laura when she gave him his first bath. Alas, the only one I didn’t film. It was at this time we saw the abscess on his neck and how bad it was. Anyway, he held on and wouldn’t let go. Laura was screaming and couldn’t get him off. Still, she only had a bad puncture wound. She treated it and put on a bandaid and that was it.

I learned in self defense if someone is biting you to grab their nose because they’ll have to let go to breathe. Sounds good to me.

That woman was either putting out bad vibes or used force.

I’ve never had a cat intentionally hurt me. I had a dog bite most of my arm off when I was 20 and that required 4 nights in the hospital but it was a horrible bite. It took me 10 years to get over my fear of dogs but I did it.

Animals trust me now. It may sound stupid but I have this humming noise I make to win them over. I also used this noise to quiet crying babies when I was a baby photographer. What are you gonna call me now Michael?

May 14, 2010 Karen Costa is exaggerating alright !
by: Ruth

I agree with you Michael that Karen Costa is exaggerating the incident purely to claim compensation.
The truth is she probably lost patience and dragged that poor cat out,hurting and scaring him and he naturally retaliated.
At the very least he’d have given some warning growls and hisses and then lashed out with his claws to warn her off.
A cat doesn’t bite without good reason.I was badly bitten on my hand by a cat once when vet nursing because of the ‘owner’ being so rough with the poor terrified cat then pushing him to me. I certainly wasn’t hospitalised for 3 nights or off work 6 months or claim compensation.
Some people should just not have cats,they are far too easy to get and be treated as possessions.
Karen Costa is one of those people !

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Leave a Comment

follow it link and logo