Cats are adventurous, curious creatures who love to explore their environment. Sometimes on their adventures, they can have mishaps or injuries that cause them wounds. Today, our Los Angeles vets discuss common reasons for cat wounds, how you can help treat them, and when to take your beloved kitty to the vet.
Like any inquisitive adventurer, our pet cats are almost certain to receive at least a minor wound at some point in their lives. Whether they are quiet indoor cats or avid outdoor explorers, it is important to know some basics about cat wounds.
Wounds are injuries that cause damage to the skin or/and the underlying tissues. They can be open wounds such as cuts or closed wounds such as bruises.
Cats can become wounded in a variety of ways including getting into fights that can cause wounds from scratches or bites or stepping on a sharp object. Some minor wounds can be treated at home, whereas more severe injuries have to be addressed by a veterinarian. If you do notice your kitty has an injury, it's important to stay calm and treat the wound as quickly as possible, in order to prevent the possibility of infection from germs and bacteria. An untreated wound could potentially cause more severe health consequences for your pet down the road.
Below, our vets in Los Angeles 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 notoriously good at hiding their pain. As a cat owner, keep an eye out for signs of wounds such as:
- Missing Fur
- Torn Skin
If a wound is left untreated, it can worsen or become infected, potentially causing issues such as:
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, their immune system gets to work to heal the wound and try to fight off any infections. Taking the right actions quickly can prevent the wound from becoming worse or putting your pet at risk of developing a serious infection.
The first thing to do is call your veterinarian, as different wounds require 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 first aid care.
Here are some steps to take if your cat is wounded:
Contact Your Veterinarian
If you notice your cat is injured, don't hesitate to call your veterinarian. They will tell you the steps that you need to take, based on the type of wound your cat has received and the severity. It's important that you follow these instructions carefully.
Look For Signs of Infection
When examining your cat's wound, look for signs of infection such as abscess, fever, noticeable discomfort or pain, behavioral changes, and/or 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 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, 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 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 possible you can also try to help slow down the bleeding by raising the limb to the level of the heart.
If a blood clot isn't forming properly, you need to take your cat to see an emergency vet straight away.
When to Take Your Cat to the Vet
If there are signs of infection, severe bleeding, broken, limbs, fever, or other moderate to severe damage like the examples listed above, take your cat to the vet as quickly as possible.
If you're not sure if you need to take your cat to the vet, call your veterinarian. They can give advice about whether or not 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.