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How Do I Treat Cat Wounds?

By Madeleine A.
Updated Jun 04, 2024
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The method of treating cat wounds depends on the nature and severity of the wound. Most minor cat wounds can be treated at home, while more severe wounds need to be evaluated and treated by a veterinarian. Sometimes, cat wounds can be accompanied by broken or injured bones. To evaluate this, the cat owner needs to inspect the area for deformity or exposed bones. If the wound is not easily visible because of the cat's fur, the fur should be gently trimmed away.

If cat wounds are accompanied by structural injuries, the cat should be immediately transported to the local animal hospital or veterinarian's office. In addition, if the wound is deep or profusely bleeding, the cat will also require emergency medical attention. For less serious, superficial cat wounds, the cat owner can cleanse the wound with warm water and mild soap. Hydrogen peroxide is not routinely recommended because it can be damaging to healthy tissue. The wound should be thoroughly cleansed, making sure that all visible traces of dirt and debris have been removed.

Following the cleansing of the cat's wound, an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment can be applied to the wound to facilitate healing and to reduce the risk of infection. The wound can either be covered with a sterile bandage or left uncovered. If the cat begins licking the wound, it should be covered to avoid contamination. In addition, the wound should be monitored for signs of infection, including inflammation, increased redness, and drainage. If these symptoms occur, the cat needs to be treated with antibiotics to avoid complications.

Sometimes cat wounds are caused by animal bites, and in these cases the wound will need to be treated by the veterinarian, regardless of the severity of the bite. Animal bites can quickly become infected and may even harbor rabies. This is why it is important that cats and dogs be kept current on their vaccinations, including rabies shots. If rabies shots are not up to date, the risk of rabies climbs, although the risk still remains moderately low.

In certain instances, the cat may require hospitalization. This is especially true if the wound is extensive or if heavy bleeding accompanied it. Sometimes, the cat will only be required to stay over night for observation, and other times, aggressive treatment may be needed. In these cases, intravenous fluids, antibiotics, and perhaps even blood transfusions may be necessary to treat the cat, however, most incidences of cat wounds can be treated without hospitalization.

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Discussion Comments
By Sporkasia — On Apr 29, 2014

Keep a cone collar on hand for your cat. The Elizabethan collars are a necessity for a cat with a wound. Cats are great self groomers and you can rest assured that if they have an injury then they are going to clean it.

By Animandel — On Apr 29, 2014

Under normal conditions, cats can be very independent and not very cooperative. A cat that has been hurt is naturally going to be under a good bit of stress and much less willing to be handled by you. When you have to treat your cat's wounds consider giving him a calming agent before you start.

I have a natural herbal remedy that I give my cats when they have to travel in a car for more than an hour or so. The calming remedy relaxes the cats without knocking them out. Using the calming agent on an injured cat will help prevent the feline from further damaging the wound, and it will give you the opportunity to treat the wounds without being wounded by the stressed cat.

By mobilian33 — On Apr 28, 2014

One of the biggest problems with treating a cat's injuries is getting the cat to allow you to look at his wounds and determine what needs to be done. When one of my cats has an injury, as soon as I began to look at the area the cat tries to run away.

The animals refuse to be still while I make an effort to treat the most minor of cuts or scratches, let alone any serious injury. They just squirm and pull away. Before long, I have so many scratches that I need medical attention.

I am exaggerating, but because it is so difficult, I usually find myself at the vet even when the cats don't necessarily need to be there.

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