While exploring their environment, cats sometimes sustain wounds or injuries. Here, our Fremont vets discuss common causes of wounds in cats, how to care for a cat wound, and when to take your feline friend in for veterinary care.
Cats are typically adventurous, curious creatures and will likely sustain some type of wound during their lifetime, whether they remain indoors or spend a significant amount of their time outdoors.
Wounds are injuries that cause damage to the skin and/or underlying tissues. They may be open wounds such as cuts or closed wounds like bruises.
These wounds can happen easily if your cat has fought with another cat, gotten an object stuck in their paw or stepped on a sharp item. While you may be able to treat some minor wounds at home, more severe injuries should be addressed by a veterinarian.
If you find that your cat has an injury, it's critical to remain calm and have the wound treated as soon as possible — bacteria and viruses can infect even minor wounds and cause serious complications. Untreated wounds can cause severe secondary health problems.
Today, our Fremont vets list signs of cat wounds to watch for and what to do to help care for your feline friend.
Signs of Cat Wounds
Cats are excellent at hiding their pain, which is why cat parents need to closely monitor their kitty's body for any signs of injury, including:
- Missing fur
- Torn skin
A wound may worsen or become infected if it isn't spotted and treated right away, which can potentially lead to 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:
- Skin Rashes
- Insect Bites
How to Care for Cat Wounds
The minute a cat is injured their immune system will automatically start working to heal itself and try to fight off any infections. However, this isn't enough. You need to take action immediately to keep the wound from becoming worse and to prevent the development of any infection.
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 provide you with specific tips for how to take care of a cat wound using first aid techniques.
Here are the first 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, 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. If a cast, stitches, or surgery is required you need to call your vet or bring your cat to the nearest emergency vet immediately.
Manage the Bleeding
When it comes to treating a cat's minor open wound, administering successful first aid care and managing any bleeding is key. You may be able to staunch the bleeding 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.