How to Clean Cat Scratches

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Cats love to play and often can be found attacking their favorite toy with uninhibited enthusiasm. Occasionally, you may get in between a cat and a toy that needs to take a beating, the unfortunate result of which can be a nasty scratch. While most scratches may be minor in nature, it's important to assess the injury and treat it appropriately.

How to Clean Cat Scratches
(Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media)

Things You'll Need

  • Antibacterial soap
  • Clean cloth
  • Adhesive bandages
  • Gauze
  • Adhesive tape
  • Antibacterial ointment
Step 1

Assess the injury. Using a clean cloth, place pressure on the scratch to stop the bleeding. If the bleeding is excessive, the wound is deep or accompanied by a bite, seek immediate medical attention. If the bleeding stops easily and the wound is minor, it is safe to treat the wound at home.

Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media
Step 2

Rinse the wound well with water and clean the area around the wound with antibacterial soap. Avoid using soap directly on the wound to reduce further irritation. Dry the area with a clean cloth.

Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media
Step 3

Apply antibacterial ointment to an adhesive bandage or gauze pad, depending on the size of the wound. Wrap the bandage around the wound, making sure it isn't too tight, or attach the gauze pad with adhesive tape.

Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media
Step 4

Clean the wound at least once daily, or more frequently if the bandage becomes soiled; reapply the ointment and bandage until the wound is healed. If the wound becomes swollen, inflamed, visibly infected or the pain increases, seek medical treatment.

Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media

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