Cats are adventurous creatures who love to explore. Sometimes on their adventures, they can get injured and obtain a wound. Today, our Irvine vets discuss the common causes of wounds in cats, how you can help treat them, and when to take your lovable kitty 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 become wounded for many reasons such as fighting with another cat, stepping on a pointy object, a bite, or getting something stuck in their paw. Some minor wounds can be treated at home, where 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, as even minor wounds are breeding areas for viruses and bacteria. Anyone wound that is left untreated can cause more severe health problems.
Here, our vets in Irvine 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 really 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
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 first aid care.
Here are the first steps you should 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 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 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 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.