How to Treat Cat Wounds

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Caring for a wounded cat can be a traumatic experience. It is helpful to stay focused and remember these two important steps: first, control the bleeding if necessary; and second, help prevent infection by properly cleaning and bandaging the wound. Also remember that your cat is going to be scared and in pain so proceed with compassion and caution.

Things You'll Need

  • Scissors
  • Gauze
  • Medical tape
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Elastic bandages

Control the Bleeding and Treat the Injury

Control bleeding by applying pressure to the wound with a piece of gauze or any piece of clean fabric immediately accessible. This can be anything from an old t-shirt to a kitchen towel. Always try to use a piece of clean, dry cloth; a used kitchen towel may well carry bacteria.

Sanitize your hands and any implements you are about to use to avoid infection. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and boil the scissors for 2 to 3 minutes.

Cut away the fur surrounding the wound. Handle the wounded area gently.

Carefully blot the injury with a damp, clean piece of gauze to remove any dirt or grit that might be present.

Irrigate the wound with clean (preferably sterile) water and place a dab of antibiotic ointment on the wound and surrounding area.

Bandage the Wound

Restrain the cat firmly but gently. It may be difficult to apply bandages because your cat will more than likely resist this procedure.

Bandage the wound. How to apply the dressing will depend upon location of the injury. For instance, an injury on the leg should be wrapped from the foot up the entire leg. Cover the wrapping with sterile gauze and tape it down firmly.

Cover a damaged eye with a piece of sterile gauze. Secure the gauze with some tape. Avoid covering the ears.

Leave ear wounds open, and cover the surrounding area with gauze to prevent the cat from scratching at the wound. Check dressing frequently, about once an hour, and apply fresh ointment and gauze if there has been excessive bleeding or seepage. Seek veterinary services if the wounds are severe.

Tips & Warnings

  • Cuts or lacerations over one half an inch might require sutures. If this is the case, contact your veterinarian.
  • If the wound was caused by an animal bite, contact your veterinarian. The infection could be severe or your cat could contract rabies.

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