More cat bites in the USA per human population than there are in Kerala, India

In a single month, January, the State Health Directorate of India tells us that there were at least 28,186 cat bites in the state of Kerala, India. In that same month there were 20,875 dog bites. Going back further, in 2016, there were 160,534 cat bites for which people sought treatment. In 2017 it was a very similar number and in 2020, 216,551 people sought treatment for cat bites. There has been a 128% increase in the number of people who've sought treatment for cat bites over the six years since 2014. The number of dog bites is less at 160,483 in 2020 as per government figures (source: The Hindu).

Stock image of a stray kitten. 

So, there are more cat bites in the Indian state of Kerala than there are dog bites. And the numbers seem extraordinarily high, but are they? There are about 34.6 million people in this state which about half the population of the UK. Normally there are far more dog than cat bites, such as in the UK. When a person goes into A&E in the UK for an animal bite, about 85% are dog bites according to my research. About a quarter of a million people attend A&E annually for a dog bite in the UK.

In the USA, which has a human population of 326 million (2020) there were an estimated 400,000 cat bites annually (source: LegalMatch.com). This is 1.2% of the human population. For Kerala this figure is 0.64%. So, there are more cat bites in the USA per human population than there are in Kerala, India. What do you make of that? It surprised me. Perhaps the basic stats are wrong?

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