DC Animated Universe

"Cat Scratch Fever" is the thirty-third episode of Batman: The Animated Series.


Selina stands trial

Selina Kyle stands trial for her crimes as Catwoman.

Selina Kyle stands trial for multiple counts of grand theft as Catwoman. The judge informs her that the penalty for her crimes is up to twenty-five years in prison. The fact that she committed her thefts to benefit animal rights causes is not a mitigating circumstance, but because she helped Batman to save Gotham City from Red Claw's plague, she is handed a relatively lenient sentence of five years' probation—a decision that receives heavy applause from Catwoman's fans in the gallery. However, the judge calls for silence and warns Selina that if Catwoman breaks the law again, she won't be so lucky.

Bruce watches the news of Selina's sentencing. Alfred wonders why he is all that pleased, knowing how attracted Bruce was to her. Bruce says he's not convinced that Selina's reformed and decides to keep tabs on her. He adds that the idea of starting a relationship is dubious since she is in love with Batman, not him.

Selina returns home in joy that she is free, but Maven sorrowfully tells her that her cat Isis is missing. Maven accidentally left a window open, and Isis escaped.

Determined to find her cat, Selina heads out to the fish market and asks about Isis but no one has seen her. Selina continues her search and finds a couple stray cats but Isis is still nowhere to be seen. Just then, a couple of thugs named Paunch and Jessy arrive and snatch the cats in a net. Selina confronts them over their rough treatment of the animals, but they refuse to explain their actions and attack when Selina tries to stop them. Selina holds up her own against the thugs, but they manage to gain an advantage over her, and Batman is forced to step in. The two almost share a moment but the police arrive and Batman leaves. Unfortunately, the thugs claim that they were only trying to find new homes for the strays and that Selina attacked them. Selina denies it but Renee Montoya arrests her anyway.

Meanwhile, Roland Daggett watches as Dr. Milo injects a viral strain into a rather large dog that instantly becomes feral. Dr. Milo explains that the toxin acts almost instantly and just a nip will spread the disease. Daggett is pleased and tells Dr. Milo to complete his operation "by tomorrow night". Following orders, Dr. Milo takes Isis, who had been captured, and injects her with the toxin.

Selina is released from police custody and discovers that Bruce has posted her bail. She thanks him for bailing her out but while she does like him, it is only as a friend. Bruce understands and warns her that the arrest could be bad for her. Selina is unconcerned and is more interested in why her assailants had an attorney from Daggett Industries working for them. Bruce warns her to keep away from Daggett and she assures him "You won't see Selina Kyle anywhere near Daggett Labs"- however, she omits to say that Catwoman wouldn't be.

Suspicious of Daggett's motives, Bruce talks to Lucius about Daggett and learns that he's coming out with a new drug, but no one really knows what it's for.

Isis bites Catwoman

An infected Isis bites Catwoman's hand.

Believing that Daggett is up to something, Catwoman breaks into Daggett Labs and finds Isis. She releases Isis, but the virus takes hold and Isis bites her. The commotion attracts Dr. Milo and the thugs. Selina manages to escape, but Isis runs away, and the toxin starts to take effect. Catwoman becomes dizzy and clumsily chases after Isis but loses her and falls. Fortunately, Batman arrives and takes her to a hideout. Batman tends to Catwoman and learns about the bite and that something was done to Isis and several other animals.

Elsewhere, Daggett grows impatient with the delays in the operation. Dr. Milo assures him that it'll be only a short while as he sent Paunch for the antitoxin in case of an accident. However, Batman reaches Paunch first and interrogates him for information about Daggett's plans. He deduces that Daggett is planning to infect stray dogs and cats with a virus, which will blanket the city in a matter of weeks, then makes a fortune selling the antidote.

Unfortunately, Daggett and Jessy arrive, and she fires on him with a machine gun. Batman manages to elude the gunfire, but Dr. Milo releases an infected dog, which chases after him.

While the dog chases Batman, Daggett sends his thugs after him to make sure the job is finished and advises Milo to keep driving far away from Gotham City. For a time, Batman manages to elude the dog and runs for Selina's hideout, but the dog and the thugs catch up with him on a frozen lake. Making matters worse, the ice is thin, and Batman can't run. The dog manages to catch up with him but Batman sprays it with a dose of the antitoxin, calming it down. Though the dog has stopped attacking, the thugs shoot at him, causing the ice to break. Batman and the dog fall into the water but only the dog emerges. Batman manages to grab onto the thug's legs from under the ice. Frightened, they shoot the ice and fall in themselves. Batman then captures the thugs and cures Catwoman.

Isis and Selina reunited

Isis and Selina are reunited.

Returning home, Maven tells Selina that she's now being called a hero with Daggett under investigation according to the latest newspaper. Without Isis, the victory seems empty. Maven leaves, as Selina mourns the loss of Isis. But behind her, a basket holding Isis is lowered onto the balcony. Isis happily jumps into Selina's arms. She looks out the window and sees Batman swinging away before she lovingly cuddles her pet again.


  • Selina goes on trial for the events taking place in "The Cat and the Claw". Her secret identity therefore became known to the general public.
  • Catwoman later seeks revenge on Daggett for this incident in the episode "Batgirl Returns". The same episode also revealed that thanks to Batman dismantling his infected cat operation, Daggett was left in considerable debt.

Background information[]

Home video releases[]

Production notes[]

  • This episode convinced Bruce Timm to fire AKOM for its animation quality. "We retook that [episode] considerably just to make it watchable. It was a mess, we had AKOM reanimate that one from scratch. That was the [episode] that broke our back with AKOM and we decided we weren't going to use them any longer. After we fired them, they still had a couple of [episodes] in production and those [episodes] were a lot better. I guess they had never been fired from a series before."[1]
  • Director Boyd Kirkland was concerned about the story when he first read the script. "It was not an episode that I was excited about initially. Part of what we were struggling with on the writing level, whether we were going to have stories that were politically correct with social messages hidden in them, like this one against cruelty to animals. But half the fun is to take the challenge to make it exciting, and actually, the [episode] came out okay, a lot of the sequences are pretty fun."[1]

Production inconsistencies[]

  • Selina's sweater changes from purple to red when she holds Isis and looks out the window to see Batman swinging away at the end.
  • After Daggett issues his warning to Milo before he drives off, the next shot shows the building called "DAGGETT LABS", with the first "G" in "DAGGETT" missing.


  • Interestingly, this is the second time in a row that Catwoman appears to save Gotham from a plague.
  • Cat Scratch Fever is a real disease that usually infects children after being scratched by a cat.
  • When Lucius asks Bruce if he thinks Daggett's up to something, Bruce replies, "That goes without saying, doesn't it?" This is almost identical to a conversation Bruce had with Alfred in "Appointment in Crime Alley" where Bruce says, "Roland Daggett's up to something Alfred", and Alfred replies, "That almost goes without saying, doesn't it sir?"
  • Bruce Timm considers this to be one of the worst episodes of the DC Animated Universe.[2]
  • Likewise, Boyd Kirkland has stated that this is his least favorite episode of Batman: The Animated Series of the ones he directed.[3]


Actor Role
Kevin Conroy Batman
Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. Alfred
Ed Asner Roland Daggett
Adrienne Barbeau Catwoman
Virginia Capers Judge
Denny Dillon Jessy
Mary McDonald Lewis Maven
Danny Mann Radio D.J.
Ingrid Oliu Renee Montoya
Brock Peters Lucius Fox
Frank Welker Isis
Treat Williams Milo

Uncredited appearances[]


Reporter: And though she's been released on probation, the question still remains -- can this lady leopard really change her spots?

Alfred: I do hope you'll be seeing Ms. Selina again now that she's free to prowl again.
Bruce: I don't think so.
Alfred: But I thought you'd grown quite fond of her. I assumed the feeling was mutual.
Bruce: Almost. She's in love with Batman.
Alfred: Oh, dear, these modern relationships can be so complicated.

Batman: You were supposed to stay out of trouble.
Selina: Don't tell me you're my very own private probation officer. How often would you like me to check in?

Selina: Your bail money is safe.
Bruce: That's not what worries me, Selina. It's you.
Selina: (Uneasy) Bruce...I like you, a lot...but as a friend.
Bruce: I understand.

Milo: Nasty wound you've got there, pussycat. You gonna lick it and make it all better?

Batman: (Feeling Catwoman's forehead) You're hot.
Catwoman: Now you notice.

Milo: Attaboy, Fido! Rip 'im to bits!

Catwoman: You know, you haven't told me why you've come to my rescue Batman. Are you getting soft on criminals? Or just on me?
Batman: I think the fever's making you delusional.
Catwoman: Ever the escape artist, I see.

Batman: "Viral Antitoxins". For a plague that doesn't exist, yet, but if the plague is introduced via stray dogs and cats, it will blanket Gotham City within weeks!
Daggett: Days, actually. You know how many strays there are in Gotham, Batman? Three hundred thousand! Imagine if even a tenth of them carried the virus. Not only will this little bottle make me a hero, it'll make me a fortune as well.

Milo: I can't imagine he could elude that beast.
Daggett: You'd better make sure of that, my friend, because if he does get away, I suggest you keep on driving, as far from Gotham as this truck can take you.

Maven: Tonight on the news they called you a hero. You keep this up and they'll start making Catwoman dolls.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Episode Guide" - Cinefantastique Vol. 24 #6/Vol. 25 #1 (February 1994)
  2. [1]
  3. Boyd Kirkland Interview (Apr. 1, 1998)