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First Aid for Cat Wounds

Cat Wound Care

Your cat's lovable, curious nature can, from time to time, lead to wounds and injuries. Today, our Somerset County vets explain how to care for a cat wound and when it's time to head to the vet.

When Your Cat is Injured

With such a curious and adventurous nature it's not surprising that most cats will sustain some type of wound during their lifetime, whether they stay indoors or spend their time exploring the great outdoors. 

Wounds are injuries that cause damage to the skin and/or underlying tissues. Your cat may sustain an open wound that needs care such as a cut or closed wounds such as bruises. 

Reasons for these injuries abound, including stepping on a sharp object, getting an item stuck in their paw, or fighting with another cat. While some minor wounds can be treated at home, more severe injuries will need to be addressed by a vet. 

If you do notice that your cat has an injury, it's important to remain calm and treat the wound as soon as possible, since even minor wounds can become infected with bacteria and viruses. Any wound that's left untreated can cause more severe health issues. 

In this post, our vets in Somerset County share signs of cat wounds to watch for and steps you can take to help care for your kitty. 

Signs of Cat Wounds 

By nature, cats are stoic creatures that instinctively hide their pain. As a cat parent, it's important to monitor your cat's overall health and well-being and watch for any signs of injury such as:

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

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

  • Fever
  • Abscess
  • Pus/Discharge 

Wounds our Vets Commonly See in Cats

If your feline friend is showing any of the symptoms above there is a good chance that they may have one of these common injuries:

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

How to Care for a Cat Wound

The minute a cat is injured their immune system will automatically start working to heal itself and try to fight off any infections. However, this isn't enough. You need to take action immediately to keep the wound from becoming worse and to prevent the development of any infection. 

The first thing you will want to do is call your veterinarian. Every type of wound requires different first aid steps. Your vet will be able to provide you with the exact actions you need to take and provide you with specific tips for how to take care of a cat wound using first aid techniques.

Here are the first steps you should take if your cat is wounded:

When to Contact Your Veterinarian

If you notice your cat is injured don't hesitate to call your veterinarian. They will tell you the steps you need to take based on the type of wound your cat has received and the level of bleeding that's occurring. It's very important that you follow these instructions carefully. 

Assess the Wound For Signs of Infection

If your cat's wound is older it could already be developing an infection. Some signs of infection are abscess, fever, noticeable discomfort or pain, behavioral changes, or/and a discharge of pus. If you find signs of infection it's essential to bring your cat to the vet as quickly as possible for treatment which could consist of 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 your cat has an open wound that needs veterinary care, stitches, or surgery, or if you think your kitty may have broken a bone, you need to call your vet right away or take your cat to the nearest emergency vet immediately.

Cat First Aid

When it comes to treating a cat's minor open wound, administering successful first aid care and managing any bleeding is key. You may be able to staunch the bleeding by applying pressure directly to the wound with a sterile gauze or a clean cloth. Depending on the depth and location of the wound it could take approximately 10-15 minutes for a blood clot to form. If a blood clot isn't forming properly you need to take your cat to see an emergency vet straight 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. 

Wondering how to take care of a cat wound? Contact our Somerset County emergency veterinarians. AnimERge is open 24/7 to care for your feline family member when they need us most.

Caring for Pets in Somerset County

At AnimERge, our emergency service and specialty services accepts all clients. 

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