Throughout their life, your feline friend is likely to get a cut, bite, or wound of some type, so it's important to know how to treat a small wound at home and when your cat needs veterinary care. Today, our Parrish vets explain more about cat wound care.
Because of their adventurous and curious nature, most cats will obtain some form of a wound during their lifetime, whether they are quiet indoor cats or avid outdoor explorers.
Wounds are injuries that cause damage to the skin or/and the underlying tissues. They can be opened wounds such as cuts or closed wounds such as bruises.
Cats' can become wounded for many reasons such as fighting with another cat, stepping on a pointy object, a bite, or getting something stuck in their paw. Some minor wounds can be treated at home but more serious injuries will have to be addressed by a veterinarian. I
If you do notice your cat has a wound or injury it's important to stay cat and treat the wound as quickly as possible. Even minor cuts and scratches can lead to infection if left untreated.
Here, our vets in Parrish share the signs of cat wounds you need to watch out for and the steps you can take to help your kitty heal.
Signs of Cat Wounds
Cats are really good at hiding their pain. As a cat owner, you always need to be monitoring your kitty for any signs of injury such as:
- Missing Fur
- Torn Skin
If a wound isn't spotted right away it can become worse or infected potentially causing these symptoms:
Common Wounds in Cats
If you see any of the above signs in your kitty, they may have one of these common wounds or injuries:
- Insect Bites
- Skin Rashes
How to Care for a Cat Wound
The most important thing about treating your cat's wound is ensuring that infection doesn't develop.
The first thing you will want to do is call your veterinarian. Every type of wound requires different first aid steps. Your vet will be able to provide you with the exact actions you need to take and will also be able to let you know if your cat needs to be brought in for emergency veterinary treatment.
Here are the steps you should take if your cat is wounded:
Contact Your Veterinarian
If you notice your cat is injured don't hesitate to call your veterinarian. They will tell you the steps you need to take based on the type of wound your cat has received and the level of bleeding that's occurring. It's very important that you follow these instructions carefully.
Assess the Wound For Signs of Infection
If your cat's wound is older it could already be developing an infection. Some signs of infection are abscess, fever, noticeable discomfort or pain, a bad odor, behavioral changes, or/and a discharge of pus. If you find signs of infection it's essential to bring your cat to the vet as quickly as possible for treatment which could consist of antibiotics.
Determine the Severity of the Wound
If you didn't spot any signs of an infection, your kitty's wound is most likely fresh. It should be easy to determine the severity of the wound just by looking at it. Excessive bleeding, large cuts, dangling or broken limbs, or other symptoms such as vomiting or lethargy should be considered severe and your cat should be brought in for emergency care.
Manage the Bleeding
If your cat has an open wound that is bleeding, care for it by applying pressure directly to the wound with a sterile gauze or a clean cloth. Depending on the depth and location of the wound it could take approximately 10-15 minutes for a blood clot to form. If a blood clot isn't forming properly you need to take your cat to see an emergency vet straight away.
If possible you can also try to help slow down the bleeding by raising the limb to the level of the heart.
When to Take Your Cat to the Vet
If there are signs of infection, severe bleeding, broken, limbs, fever, or other severe damage like the examples listed above you should take your cat to the vet as quickly as possible.
If you are uncertain if a veterinary visit is necessary, call your veterinarian who will inform you if your cat's injury needs to be addressed by a veterinarian.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.