(CBS) — New medical research has found that cat bites can be very serious, requiring hospitalization and even surgery.

The worst place to get bitten is on a joint.

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“Cats do have a lot of bacteria in their mouths just like humans and other animals do,” said Dr. Brian Carlsen, an Orthopedic hand surgeon at the Mayo Clinic.

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But Carlsen says cats don’t have more germs than other animals, it is all in the fangs. Cats, unlike most dogs, can inject bacteria deep into joins and tissue.

“When you see a cat bite the cat’s teeth are so sharp it usually just looks like a little pin prick, which can not be too impressive to look at. But as we know and as the study shows they can be very serious,” said Carlsen.

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Those most commonly bitten by cats according to the study: middle-aged women.