Our pets tend to spend most of their time indoors in the nice cool air conditioning or on top of the comfortable couches and beds. However, sometimes your pet might be allowed to venture outside, or they might sneak outdoors. While this usually isn’t a big deal, sometimes our pets can wander onto another animal’s territory. This can be particularly troublesome for a cat owner. Cats, particularly male cats, are very territorial animals and they are more than willing to fight off any intruders who enter into their kingdom. This can lead to your cat becoming injured from scratches or bites. If you have a cat that has been in a scuffle with another cat and received a bite wound, check out the article below on how to care for the wound and treat it to make sure it heals properly and free from any sort of infections.
The first thing you’ll want to understand about a cat bite is that the bite is made by the long sharp canine teeth your cat has at the front of their mouth. There are four of these teeth so it’s not unusual to find two matching wounds from a bite. Since these teeth are so long and thin they create a puncture wound that goes deep below the skin but isn’t that large at the surface of the skin. Because of this it is not uncommon for the top layer of the skin to heal over quickly while the bite wound below the skin is still injured. This can lead to complications and infections because when your cat’s skin heals at the surface it actually traps any bacteria or debris from the wound underneath the skin. This can lead to all sorts of complications including serious illness. In order to prevent these types of infections from happening you’ll want to quickly be able to identify a bite wound on your cat.
If you notice your cat is acting funny about an area on their body it’s a good time to check them for an injury. If the bite was made on one of their legs you might notice them limping or walking differently by favoring one leg over all the others. Or you might notice that when you try to pick them up they act like they are in pain. Additionally, if the bite wound has healed over and the bacteria got sealed underneath their skin you might notice that they are behaving in a more lethargic manner than usual or feel hot to the touch from a fever,
So if you notice your cat behaving differently, or if you know they’ve been in a recent scuffle with another cat it's a good idea to take a look for a bite wound. As I mentioned earlier, cat bite wounds leave small punctures on the surface of the skin so you’ll want to find the area your cat seems to be injured and pull the hair back and look for small puncture wounds. If you find these wounds you are off to a good start. You’ll want to quickly clean and care for the wound before it has a chance to heal and trap any infection under the skin.
However, if you didn’t catch the bite quickly enough and it had time to heal you might not still be able to identify the puncture marks. They might have healed completely and not even have a scab left for you to identify. In this case you’ll want to look for an abscess that’s formed under your cat’s skin. An abscess can be identified by red swollen skin that feels hot to the touch. These abscess are quite common from cat bite wounds and they are something you’ll want your veterinarian to take a look at.
If you managed to catch the wound early enough you’ll want to part the hair back and clean the wound to the best of your ability. A first aid spray that is designed for cleaning pet wounds is one of the best at home solutions to caring for a cat’s bite wound. Simply part the hair back from the wound and apply something to sterilize the wound to kill off unwanted bacteria. Any sort of antibacterial spray or cream that is designed for pets should do the trick. The next thing you’ll want to do is finish it off by applying a first aid spray to the wound. Killing off the bacteria is essential to make sure an infection doesn’t form that will require more intensive treatment and the first aid spray helps the wound heal faster and protects it from being exposed to any new bacteria and debris. However, home care can only be so effective and it's a good idea to speak to your veterinarian to see if you need to bring the cat in for a professional to take a look at the wound.
If you didn’t catch the wound in time and it’s had time to heal over and get infected then you will want to contact your veterinarian at your first opportunity in order to make sure the infection doesn’t become something more serious. Leaving a cat wound untreated can lead to serious complications and illnesses. Not only can leaving the wound untreated lead to serious health complications it is also just cruel to leave your cat’s bite wound untreated for any length of time that is more than what is absolutely necessary.
Regardless of how serious an injury your cat has sustained, or how soon you caught the injury it’s important to take steps at home to care for and treat the wound. However, it is also important to speak with a veterinarian because cat bite wounds are one of the main ways some pretty serious diseases can be spread to your feline friend. So make sure to take the steps you can at home to care for your furry companion, but inquire with a professional at your first opportunity to make sure your pet hasn’t been exposed to any serious illnesses.
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