2010 18 Oct

Although most cats interact peacefully, cat injuries from cats fighting do occur from time to time, particularly between unneutered males. This is a potentially serious problem because as well as creating infectious scratches and abscesses, it is the way that dangerous viruses, such as feline leukemia virus and feline immunodeficiency virus, are spread. If your cat has an open wound or abscess after fighting, take it to the vet so that if necessary he can prescribe antibiotics. Untreated, they can become infected, form abscesses, burst, and lead to septicaemia. It is therefore essential that you take your cat to the vet if an abscess forms.

ABSCESSES

An abscess is a pus-filled lump that is similar to a pimple. When a cat has been bitten or receives any other puncture wound, it can become infected. White blood cells rush to the site of the infection, forming pus. The resulting pus-filled wound is an abscess. As more pus enters the area, the pressure on the skin becomes greater and greater until finally the abscess bursts, leaving a raw, gaping wound in the cat’s skin.

TREATMENT OF CAT INJURIES FROM BITES

cats fighting

Don’t try any treatment unless you are sure that it is appropriate. Do not use antiseptic on a cat. It will lick it off and may harm itself. Before you go to the vet, try to apply a hot compress to the swelling. The heat will cause the abscess to burst and will clear the wound of pus. Once the wound is open, keep it clean by applying cotton wool soaked in a mild, salt water solution to the wound.

  • Take the cat to the vet as soon as possible for treatment. To prevent blood poisoning, or septicaemia, the vet will give the cat an antibiotic injection immediately and a course of antibiotics to take away.
  • Warm compresses on a wound often make the cat feel better. The heat acts as a form of pain relief.
  • Cats will often sit still so that you can treat them if you give them a little of a favourite snack to keep them occupied and happy.
  • When one cat is bitten by another, saliva (which is full of germs) enters the bloodstream via the teeth puncture marks, allowing an infection to set in.

How is rabies spread and how can I protect my cat against it?

The disease is spread by saliva and other body fluids from an infected animal via a lick in an open wound or a bite. Although it is not readily available in the UK, there is an inoculation against rabies for cats.

The vet says my cat has a haematoma on her ear. What is this?

A haematoma is a swelling caused by a bite or cut. Instead of filling with pus or fluid, as an abscess does, the haematoma, as the name suggests, is full of blood.

We live in the country. What should I do if my cat is bitten by a snake?

If the snake is not venomous, treat as a bite. If it is venomous, keep the cat immobile and take it to see a vet as soon as possible so that he can give an antiserum.

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