Has Your Cat Recently been Wounded? Learn How to Help it Heal Quicker

Posted on
August 12, 2020
a black and white cat making a scrunched up face
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In this article, learn about what cat wounds need to be attended to immediately, and which wounds can be left alone and allow your cat to heal on its own. You never want to see your cat in pain, but sometimes accidents happen. When that is the case, you want to be able to make sure you are doing everything you can for your cat that is in its best interest. Read on to learn more about:

  • Different types of cat injuries
  • How to deal with the specific injuries
  • How to best help your cat

Cat with a cone
An E-collar can be one way to help your cat with its wound in preventing it from licking it or hurting it more. Photo courtesy of Catster.

Different types of cat injuries

Depending on the type of injury, you will want to make sure you are giving your cat the proper care

If your cat has an open wound, this is different from a closed wound that is a contusion or a bruise. It may be a cut that is bleeding and requires special attention. If the wound is bleeding, try to stop the initial bleeding with pressure and gauze. Then use bandage material or a dry cloth to protect the wound. You will be able to protect the wound from contamination while you figure out what to do next or to transport your cat to a veterinarian.

Try to raise the wound above the heart if you are able to to reduce the blood flow to the bleeding area. Avoid applying ointments, creams, disinfectants, or any other chemicals, unless you are directed by a veterinarian, as they may interfere with its healing on its own.

Sometimes, it is best to leave a wound open so it can heal better. If the location of the wound or the amount of skin loss prevents surgical bandages, this may be a reason to leave the wound open, and if the wound is a puncture wound that forces bacteria deep into the tissue. A contaminated wound that is more than a few hours old should never be closed until there has been surgical debridement, which is removal of all the contaminated or dead tissue.

Most wounds are filled with bacteria and contain foreign material such as dirt, grit, or hair. A veterinarian will be able to disinfect the wound and stitch it up. On the other hand, if the wound is open for an extended period of time, leaving it open to heal on its own may be your best bet.

If your cat has a fight related injury, notify your veterinarian after you become aware that your cat has been in a fight. Then you can get antibiotics for your cat within 24 hours to stop the spread of infection. If several days have passed, then an abscess may form, which requires more involved medical attention.

Cat licking its paw
At times, a cat may be able to care for its own wound, but usually treatment from a veterinarian will speed along the process. 

How to deal with specific injuries

Depending on whether you are dealing with an open wound or a fight wound changes how to best deal with the injury

Fight wounds are common in cats because of the territorial nature of the animal. One way to completely try to avoid the problem is to neuter your cat so it is less likely to defend a large area of space, as well as keep your cat confined to the area of your house at night when it is more likely for cats to fight.

A cat bite will leave a small, sharp yet deep wound in your cat. The puncture wounds heal quickly, trapping bacteria in the meantime. An infection may go unnoticed for several days until your cat becomes feverish and the area of the wound swells. If you notice that your cat is dealing with an abscess or infected bite wound because it is cleaning it excessively, immediately take your cat to the veterinarian. 

To manage a cat’s open wound at home, follow the directions of the veterinarian. Clean the affected area two to three times daily. Do not use hydrogen peroxide, witch hazel, or alcohol, as these substances destroy tissue and lead to more harm than good. Use a mild antiseptic solution or warm water to keep the area clean.

Cat lying down
Take extra good care of your cat when it is healing from a wound. Give it special attention to help it get through this tough time!

How to best help your cat

This includes more than just changing bandage dressings and cleaning the wound!

Make sure you are following the veterinarians instructions and properly cleaning out the wound. But also care for your cat to help it get through this difficult time! Don’t play with it too much so the wound does not get more injured, but as it heals, give your cat special attention to help it heal even more.

Provide your cat with good nursing care to keep your cat from licking its wound or chewing and scratching at it. Keep bandages clean and dry. Make sure your cat is taking all of the medication needed to heal it.

Dealing with a cat wound can be scary both for you and your cat. If the wound does not heal by itself, additional care is required, and follow-ups with your vet are helpful!  

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Posted on
August 12, 2020

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