Wounds, Bites, and Other Injuries

There are several types of wounds that require cat wound care:

Superficial Lacerations, scratches or cuts - These are wounds in which the skin is not cut all the way through. They may be caused by sharp objects or by bites or scratches. They usually do not need stitches. Treat these types of feline wounds by cleaning them with sterile saline and then apply antibiotic ointment daily until the cut has healed. If you notice signs of infection (increased redness of the area, red streaks running from the area, pus draining from the wound, or a bad smell) take your cat to the veterinarian.

Cat Puncture Wounds - These are wounds caused by sharp pointed objects or by animal bites. They may or may not go through the skin, and it can be hard to tell if they do or do not. If not, they can be cleaned and antibiotic ointment applied. If they do go through the skin, drainage may be required. Wounds that look minor on the outside of the skin can actually be quite serious underneath. If your cat is bitten by another animal, you should probably consult with a veterinarian just to make sure your pet is OK.

Abscesses - These are very nasty wounds. They are often caused by bite wounds and are common in outdoor cats. The skin heals over a previous puncture in the skin, but the bacteria from the teeth of the animal that did the biting is still growing. The cat’s body produces a localized immune response and walls off the bacteria from the rest of the body, producing a thick red and yellow discharge. At first there is redness, pain, and swelling around the bite area. This gets worse until the abscess ruptures and the drainage is expelled. If you suspect your cat has an abscess, she needs to see a veterinarian because a very severe infection can develop.