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Cat Wound Care 101

Cat Wound Care 101

It's always scary when a pet hurts themselves, especially if you're unsure how to deal with it at home. Here, our Visalia vets go over cat wound care 101 at home!

Cat Wounds 

Cats are known for their adventurous spirit, but with great curiosity often comes great responsibility, and for pet parents, that means ensuring their safety. Unfortunately, no matter how cautious you may be, it's inevitable that your feline friend will sustain a wound or two throughout their lifetime.

These injuries range from minor scrapes to more severe wounds requiring medical attention.

The causes of these injuries are numerous and can range from a sharp object on the ground to scrap with another feline.

Whether your cat stays indoors or loves to roam outside, it's essential to be vigilant to watch for any signs of injury.

Minor wounds can often be treated at home, but it's crucial to take prompt action. Even the smallest of injuries can quickly become infected if left untreated, potentially leading to more severe health issues.

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:

  • Tenderness
  • Torn Skin
  • Missing Fur
  • Limping 
  • Pain
  • Bleeding

If a wound isn't spotted right away, it can become worse or infected, potentially causing these symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Abscess
  • Pus/Discharge 

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:

  • Scratches
  • Hotspots
  • Cuts 
  • Ulcers
  • Scrapes
  • Burns
  • Skin Rashes
  • Insect Bites

How to Care for Cat Wounds

We all know that cats are tough creatures, but even the bravest feline needs a helping hand when it comes to injuries. As soon as you notice your cat has sustained a wound, it's time to act.

While their immune system will do its best to heal the wound and fight off infections, taking immediate steps to keep the injury from worsening is essential.

The first step is to get in touch with your veterinarian. Every wound is different and requires a specific approach to ensure your cat's safety and well-being.

By consulting your vet, you'll get a clear understanding of the necessary actions you need to take to provide adequate first aid and care for your cat.

So, what should you do if you find your feline friend with a wound? Don't panic - we've got you covered. Here are the first steps you should take to help your beloved kitty get back on their paws in no time.

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 essential 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

As a loving cat parent, you'll do everything you can to keep your furry friend safe and healthy. However, accidents can happen, and when your cat sustains a minor open wound, knowing how to provide first aid care can make all the difference.

The first step in treating a cat's wound is to manage any bleeding. This means applying pressure directly to the wound with a sterile gauze or clean cloth. Depending on the depth and location of the wound, it can take some time for a blood clot to form - usually around 10–15 minutes. But, if the bleeding doesn't slow down, it's crucial to seek emergency vet care immediately.

In addition to applying pressure, another handy trick can help slow down the bleeding: raising the limb to the level of the heart. This simple technique can help to reduce blood flow to the wound and keep your cat comfortable.

Remember, providing successful first aid care for your cat's wound is critical, and with these tips, you'll be better equipped to handle any injuries your curious feline may encounter.

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.

Contact our Visalia vets if your cat has suffered a wound you're unsure how to care for.

Compassionate Emergency Care for Pets

Tulare-Kings Veterinary Emergency Services is a pet emergency animal hospital providing urgent care to cats and dogs in the Visalia area. Contact us right away if you are experiencing a veterinary emergency.

Contact (559) 739-7054