Treating Cat WoundsTreating cat wounds

Cats are known for being adventurous and curious (we’re all familiar with the phrase “curiosity killed the cat). And like any other pet, they’re bound to get themselves into some sort of scrape. In this article we look at how to treat a cat wound, and when a vet’s visit is in order. While minor injuries like cuts and scrapes are not fatal and can be treated at home, major wounds like broken bones will need an expert’s care.

What to be on the lookout for:

Although cats have nine lives, they can still be injured in a number of ways. Animal attacks, play fighting, running or bumping into sharp objects are common reasons for cat wounds. If you think your cat has picked up an injury, be on the lookout for the following things: 

  • Signs of blood or actively bleeding wounds
  • Missing hair
  • Limping 
  • Signs of tenderness, discomfort, or pain 
  • Visible cuts or scrapes
  • Swelling 
  • Discharge 
  • Abscesses

How to treat a cat wound:

Secure your cat

  • Long-term cat owners know that even the most docile cats will scratch and fight when they’re stressed and in pain.
  • Minimise your cat’s ability to injury you and themselves by wrapping them in a towel or blanket. This may be easier to have an extra person assist you.
  • Vet Street has a few tips on how to secure your cat without stressing them out.

Examine and treat the injury

  • If your cat has an actively bleeding wound, use sterile gauze or a clean cloth to apply pressure to the wound. Apply pressure for at least 5 minutes and check whether the bleeding has stopped. It may take up to 10 minutes for the wound to clot and for the bleeding to stop. 
  • Once you’ve stemmed the bleeding, secure clean gauze to the wound and check for any other injuries. 
  • If there are no other injuries that need to be addressed and if the wound is relatively minor, flush the wound liberally with VetMed Wound and Skin Care and use a sterile gauze or a clean cloth to gently wipe the area clean. Try to remove debris or dirt from the area without rubbing the area. 
  • Do not use isopropyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or witch hazel to clean your cat’s wounds. 
  • Once you’ve addressed the wound properly, assess whether your cat needs a vet’s attention.

When to contact a vet:

Although there are minor wounds and injuries that you can treat at home, you should also be aware of cases that require a vet’s expert attention. Here are a few examples of such cases:

  • Your cat has developed an abscess
  • The wounds are large, show signs of being infected, or will not stop bleeding. 
  • Kitty has puncture wounds, potentially from another animal
  • If you think your cat has recently been involved in a cat fight, be sure to check for signs of injuries. Wounds from cat bites and scratches can easily become infected and lead to the formation of painful abscesses.  

Keep an eye on your cat 

  • Keep kitty inside so you can make sure they don’t lick, bite, or scratch at the wound site. 
  • Check the wound for signs of healing and for signs of infection. Contact your vet immediately if the wound becomes red, looks inflamed, starts oozing or develops pus, or if your cat shows signs of a fever or lethargy.
  • Ensure that you clean the wound and change the dressing two to three times a day, or as directed by a veterinarian, to ensure that no infection is taking place. 

VetMed Wound and Skin Care has antimicrobial action that kills infection-causing bacteria and fungi, and is the perfect solution to rinsing and cleaning wounds. The non-stinging, non-cytotoxic formula makes it suitable for all animal species, and can be used on pets in any life stage, including pregnant and lactating moms. 

The best way to keep your cat safe is to keep them inside, or give them a protected area like a catio to move around in. This reduces the chances of them getting injured through animal attacks and cars, and increases the overall risk of injury.

It’s always a great idea to have a pet emergency kit on hand. Check out this article on how to DIY a pet first-aid kit.