Cats are active, inquisitive creatures. They love to play, explore, hunt, and sometimes tussle. Whether you have an active mouse-finder or quiet couch cat, chances are, your feline friend will suffer some minor injuries at some point in one of his or her nine lives.
So, what can you do about scrapes, cuts, bites, punctures, or other types of cat wounds?
Here’s what you need to know about treating and healing your cat.
Common Cat Wounds
Your cat is bound to get into trouble every now and again. All animals—humans included—are susceptible to injury. And for cats, minor injuries are fairly common; how common depends on their activity levels and environment.
If an injury occurs, you shouldn’t panic. Nor should you just ignore it. Even small wounds can be breeding grounds for bacteria and viruses. Left untreated, a minor issue could become a severe health complication.
Because of this, you should be on the lookout for the most common types of cat ailments, including:
- Hot spots
- Insect bites
- Skin rashes
- Cat burns
- Cat abscesses
As a responsible cat owner, periodically examine your pet for signs of injury, which include:1
- Missing hair
- Torn skin
- Tenderness or pain
Treating Cat Scrapes and Wounds
When an injury or cat scratch occurs, an animal’s immune system naturally fights off infection and works to facilitate the healing process. But that doesn’t mean that you should let them heal unaided, especially if they appear to be suffering.
It pays to be overcautious and nip any problem in the bud by taking your cat in to the veterinarian.
So, if you notice your cat has an open wound, follow these steps:
- Look for signs of infection – Your first task is to determine whether the feline wound is new or old. An old wound can get infected, which would likely require veterinary attention and antibiotics. Common signs of a wound infection include:2
- Pus discharge
- Noticeable pain or discomfort
- Behavioral changes
- Identify the severity of the wound – If you rule out an infection and determine the injury is fresh, your next step is to decide how serious the injury is. Typically, it only takes an eye test to gauge the severity. Should the injury require stitches, surgery, or a cast, it’s best to take your cat to see a veterinarian immediately.
- Staunch the blood flow – If your cat is bleeding from minor wounds, the blood needs to be staunched. For that, apply pressure directly to the wound using a clean cloth or sterile gauze. Depending on the laceration’s location and depth, it will likely take 5-10 minutes for a clot to form. If the wound is not clotting properly, take your cat to the vet right away.
- Flush the wound – For small cuts and abrasions, you can gently clean the wound with a clean wet cloth and iodine or a saline solution. You may first need to move excess hair from the wound area, or even clip the hair if necessary. Try to clear any debris from the wound site as best as you can without rubbing.
- Apply an antimicrobial hydrogel – After the cleaning, it’s time to jumpstart the healing process and help prevent a potential bacterial infection. You can do this by applying a wound and infection antimicrobial treatment product that’s made for cats, such as the Vetericyn Plus® Feline Antimicrobial Hydrogel. This can help clean and adhere to the wound site, providing an extra layer of protection and healing. Simply spray it directly onto the cat scrape or onto the dressings before applying them to the wound.
- Periodically check the wound – Once you’ve done what you can for your feline friend, you have to sit back and let time and nature go to work. Do your best to keep your cat from licking, chewing, or scratching at the injury site. Keep the bandage clean and dry and examine the wound daily to make sure it’s not getting infected. When you do, change the bandage and spray on more of the antimicrobial around the edges of the laceration or wound.
If your cat’s injury worsens or looks as if it’s getting infected, don’t hesitate to visit the vet. As said before, a cat’s wound can easily develop a bacterial infection if you’re not careful.
Why Use Vetericyn For Your Cat’s Wounds?
Vetericyn’s antimicrobial liquid and hydrogel was designed to support your cat’s healing process and natural immune response. It’s the first non-toxic, broad-spectrum, non-antibiotic, antimicrobial topical of its kind.
According to recent studies,3 “Wounds treated with Vetericyn® have demonstrated a reduction in healing time of up to 60 percent. In vitro results show that Vetericyn® can safely kill 99.9999 percent of most single-cell pathogens within 30 seconds.”
Put simply, Vetericyn is the safe, natural way you can treat almost any cat’s wound at any stage of its life.
Looking for more ways to care for cat issues? Check out our blogs on how often should you bathe a cat and how to treat conjunctivitis in cats.
Reviewed by Dan Richardson, Veterinarian
Dan Richardson has been a practicing veterinarian for over 10 years. He specializes in surgery and orthopedics. Dan is originally from rural western Nevada and attended the University of Idaho for undergraduate study and Oregon State University for Veterinary School. The Richardson Family enjoys camping and spending time on the water fishing, paddle boarding, or digging their feet in the sand somewhere warm.
- PetMD. Wound Treatment for Cats (Overview). https://www.petmd.com/cat/emergency/accidents-injuries/e_ct_wound_treatment
- PetHealth Network. Abscess in Cats. https://www.pethealthnetwork.com/cat-health/cat-diseases-conditions-a-z/abscesses-cats
- Vetericyn. Vetericyn Inc. Launches Feline Wound and Infection Treatment. https://vetericyn.com/blog/vetericyn-inc-launches-feline-wound-and-infection-treatment/