Cats are curious, adventurous creatures who enjoy exploring their surroundings. They may be injured and receive a wound while on their adventures. Today, our Poway veterinarians talk about the most common causes of wounds in cats, how you can help treat them, and when you should take your adoring feline to the vet.
Because of their adventurous and curious nature, most cats will obtain some form of a wound during their lifetime, whether they are quiet indoor cats or avid outdoor explorers.
Wounds are injuries that cause damage to the skin or/and the underlying tissues. They can be opened wounds such as cuts or closed wounds such as bruises.
Cats can be injured for a variety of reasons, including fighting with another cat, stepping on a sharp object, being bitten, or getting something stuck in their paw. Minor wounds can be treated at home, but more serious injuries require the attention of a veterinarian. If you notice your cat has an injury, stay calm and treat the wound as soon as possible, as even minor wounds can become breeding grounds for viruses and bacteria. Any wound that is not treated can lead to more serious health issues.
Here, our vets in Poway 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 good at hiding their pain. As a cat owner, you always need to be monitoring your kitty 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 see any of the above signs in your kitty, they may have one of these common wounds or injuries:
- Insect Bites
- Skin Rashes
Treating Your Cat's Wound
When a cat is injured, its immune system goes into overdrive to try to heal itself and fight infections, but this isn't always enough. You must act quickly to prevent the wound from worsening and infection from spreading.
The very first thing you should do is contact your veterinarian. Every type of wound necessitates a different set of first-aid procedures. Your veterinarian will be able to tell you exactly what steps you need to take and give you specific first-aid advice.
Here are the first steps you should take if your cat is wounded:
Contact Your Veterinarian
Do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian if you notice your cat is injured. They'll tell you what steps to take based on the type of wound your cat has and the amount of bleeding he or she is experiencing. It is critical that you carefully follow these instructions.
Assess the Wound For Signs of Infection
If your cat's wound is older, it may have already developed an infection. Abscess, fever, noticeable discomfort or pain, behavioral changes, or pus discharge are all signs of infection. If you notice signs of infection, take your cat to the veterinarian as soon as possible for treatment, which may include antibiotics.
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 to the wound with sterile gauze or a clean cloth to stop the bleeding. A blood clot can take anywhere from 10-15 minutes to form, depending on the depth and location of the wound. If a blood clot isn't forming properly, your cat should see an emergency veterinarian right 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 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 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.