Cats can be adventurous and inquisitive creatures who love exploring their environment and learning everything they can. In the course of these adventures, they may become injured or wounded though. Here, our Hermitage vets speak about the common causes of wounds in cats, how you can help to treat them and when it's time to bring your lovable kitty to the vet.
Because of their curious nature, most cats will obtain some kind of injury or wound during their life, whether they are quiet indoor cats or intrepid outdoor explorers.
Wounds are a specific kind of injury that causes damage to the skin and underlying tissues of a cat. They can be open wounds like cuts and scrapes or closed wounds such as bruises.
Cats can become wounded for a myriad of reasons, including stepping on pointy objects, getting in scrapes with another cat, getting bitten by another animal, or having something stuck in their paw or scrape their side. Some more minor wounds can be treated at home, but more serious ones (or even minor ones beyond a scrape) will need veterinary attention to resolve.
If you do notice your kitty has an injury it's important to stay calm and treat the wound as quickly as possible, as even minor wounds are breeding areas for viruses and bacteria. Anyone wound that is left untreated can cause more severe health problems. Here, our vets in Hermitage share the signs of cat wounds you need to watch out for and the steps you can take to help your kitty heal.
Signs of Cat Wounds
Cats are excellent at hiding their pain. As a cat owner, you will always need to be monitoring your feline friend for any signs of injury such as:
- Missing Fur
- Torn Skin
If a wound isn't spotted right away it can become worse or infected potentially causing these symptoms:
Common Wounds in Cats
If you notice any of the above signs in your cat, they may be experiencing one of the following common injuries or wounds:
- Insect Bites
- Skin Rashes
Treating Your Cat's Wound
As soon as your cat is injured, their immune system will leap into action, automatically working to heal itself and trying to fight any other infections. However, this often isn't enough. You will need to take action to ensure that the wound doesn't become worse and become infected.
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 first aid care.
Here are the first steps you should take if your cat is wounded:
Contact Your Veterinarian
If you notice that your cat is injured, don't hesitate to call your veterinarian. They will walk you through the steps you will need to take based on the kind of wound that your cat has received and the levels of bleeding that is occurring. It's important that you follow any instructions you are given 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 infection, your cat's wounds are likely fresh. . It should be relatively easy to determine the severity of the wound by checking it out. If treatments like a cast, stitches, or surgery is required, you will need to call your vet and bring your cat in to visit the nearest emergency veterinary clinic as soon as possible.
Manage the Bleeding
If your cat has a minor wound you can 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 you notice any signs of infection, serious bleeding, fever, broken limbs or other quite serious kinds of damage, you should bring your cat in to see your vet as soon 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.