Cats are daring, inquisitive creatures who enjoy exploring their surroundings. Occasionally, during their adventures, they may sustain an injury and sustain a wound. Today, our Rochester veterinarians discuss the most common causes of wounds in cats, how you can assist in their treatment, and when to take your adoring kitty to the vet.

Cat Wounds

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 sustain injuries for a variety of reasons, including fighting another cat, stepping on a sharp object, biting, or getting something stuck in their paw. While minor wounds can be treated at home, more serious injuries require the attention of a veterinarian. If you notice your cat has sustained an injury, it's critical to remain calm and treat the wound promptly, as even minor wounds serve as breeding grounds for viruses and bacteria. Any wound that is left untreated can result in more serious health complications.

Here, our vets in Rochester 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:

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

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

  • Abscess 
  • Pus/Discharge 
  • Fever

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:

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

How to Take Care of a Cat Wound

When a cat is injured, its immune system immediately begins working to heal the wound and fight off any infections; however, this is insufficient. You must act immediately to prevent the wound from worsening and to prevent the spread of infection.

The very first thing you should do is contact your veterinarian. Each type of wound requires a unique set of first aid measures. Your veterinarian will be able to advise you on the specific steps to take and provide you with specific first aid care instructions.

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

Contact Your Veterinarian

If you notice an injury to your cat, do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian. They will advise you on the appropriate steps to take based on the type of wound your cat has sustained and the extent of the bleeding. 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 already be infected. Abscess, fever, noticeable discomfort or pain, behavioral changes, or/and pus discharge are all signs of infection. If you notice signs of infection, it is critical to get 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, you can stop the bleeding by pressing sterile gauze or clean cloth directly on the wound. A blood clot may form in approximately 10-15 minutes, depending on the depth and location of the wound. If a blood clot does not form properly, you should immediately take your cat to an emergency veterinarian.

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.

Has your cat been wounded? Contact our Rochester vets or an emergency vet near you immediately for professional care.