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How to Take Care of an Open Cat Wound

Cats are daring, inquisitive creatures who enjoy exploring their surroundings. On their adventures, they may become injured and sustain a wound. Today, our Jackson vets talk about the most common causes of wounds in cats, how you can help treat them, and when you should take your lovable feline to the vet.

Cat Wounds

Because of their adventurous and curious nature, most cats, whether quiet indoor cats or avid outdoor explorers, will sustain some form of wound during their lifetime.

Wounds are injuries that cause damage to the skin or surrounding tissues. They can be either open wounds (cuts) or closed wounds (bruises).

Cats can be injured in a variety of ways, including fighting with another cat, stepping on a sharp object, biting, or getting something stuck in their paw. Minor wounds can be treated at home, but more serious injuries should be seen by a veterinarian. If you notice your cat has an injury, remain calm and treat the wound as soon as possible, as even minor wounds can harbor viruses and bacteria. Any untreated wound can lead to more serious health complications.

Our veterinarians in Jackson can provide guidance on identifying and treating cat wounds.

Signs of Cat Wounds

Cats are good at hiding their pain. As a cat owner, you always need to be monitoring your kitty for any signs of injury, such as:

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

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

  • Abscess 
  • Pus/Discharge 
  • Fever

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:

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

How to Care for a Cat Wound

When a cat is injured, its immune system immediately begins to heal and fight off infections; however, this is sometimes insufficient. You must act quickly to keep the possible infection from spreading.

The first thing to do is contact your veterinarian. Every type of wound requires a distinct set of first-aid procedures. Your veterinarian will be able to tell you exactly what steps to take and provide specific first-aid instructions.

Here are the initial steps you should take if your cat is injured:

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 extent of the bleeding. It is critical that you closely follow these instructions.

Assess the Wound For Signs of Infection

If your cat's wound is old, it may already be infected. Abscess, fever, noticeable discomfort or pain, behavioral changes, and pus discharge are all indications of infection. If you notice any signs of infection, take your cat to the veterinarian right away for treatment.

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

If your cat has a minor wound, apply direct pressure with sterile gauze or a clean cloth to stop the bleeding. A blood clot can form within 10-15 minutes, depending on the depth and location of the wound. If a blood clot does not form properly, you should immediately take your cat to an emergency veterinarian.

If possible, try to slow 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 them. They will inform you if your cat's injury needs to be addressed.

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.

Has your cat been wounded? Contact Northside Animal Clinic for help.

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Northside Animal Clinic is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Jackson companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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