Due to their curious, adventurous nature, most cats will sustain some type of wound during their lifetime whether they stay indoors or tend to wander 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 such as bruises.
Reasons for these injuries abound, including stepping on a sharp object, getting an item stuck in their paw, or fighting with another cat. While some minor wounds can be treated at home, more severe injuries will need to be addressed by a vet.
If you discover an injury on your cat, it's critical to remain calm and treat the wound as soon as possible, because even minor wounds can become infected with bacteria and viruses. Any untreated wound can lead to more serious health problems.
In this post, our vets in Novato share signs of cat wounds to watch for and steps you can take to help care for your kitty.
Signs of Cat Wounds
Cats are excellent at hiding their pain. As a cat parent, remember to always monitor your feline friend for any signs of injury such as:
- Torn Skin
- Missing Fur
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:
- Skin Rashes
- Insect Bites
How to Care for Cat Wounds
The minute a cat is injured its 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 should do is contact your veterinarian. Each type of wound necessitates a unique set of first aid procedures. Your veterinarian will be able to tell you exactly what steps to take and give you specific advice on how to treat 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, contact your veterinarian immediately. They will advise you on the next steps to take based on the type of wound your cat has and the amount of bleeding that is present. It is critical that you carefully follow these instructions.
Assess the Wound For Signs of Infection
If your cat's wound is older, it could already be infected. Abscess, fever, noticeable discomfort or pain, behavioral changes, or pus discharge are all signs of infection. If you notice signs of infection, take your cat to the vet as soon as possible for treatment, which may include 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, successful first aid care and bleeding control are critical. By applying direct pressure to the wound with sterile gauze or a clean cloth, you may be able to stop the bleeding. A blood clot may form within 10-15 minutes, depending on the depth and location of the wound. If a blood clot does not form properly, you should take your cat to an emergency vet right 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.