Whether your cat spends their time indoors or outdoors, they may sustain a wound. Here, our vets in Seattle explain common causes of wounds in cats, how to care for a cat wound, and when to take your kitty to a vet for emergency care.

Cats & Severe Wounds

As a cat parent, you know that cats are naturally adventurous, curious animals. As a result, many sustain wounds at some point during their lifetime, regardless of whether they live mostly indoors or outdoors.

Wounds can appear in many shapes and sizes, from dark-colored bruises to open cuts, and be caused by a variety of things such as stepping on a sharp item, getting an object stuck in their paw, or getting into a scuffle with another cat. 

Though minor wounds can be treated at home, more severe injuries will need emergency veterinary care and attention. For this reason, it's critical to monitor your cat's health and well-being closely, and to respond quickly if you notice signs of injury. 

Our Seattle veterinarians have experience in administering urgent and emergency care for cats when injuries result in severe wounds. In this post, we'll share common symptoms of cat wounds to look out for, and important steps to take to provide appropriate care for your four-legged friend. 

Remember, it's critical to treat wounds as soon as possible after they occur, since even the smallest wounds can quickly become infected by harmful bacteria and viruses. These infections can lead to more severe, long-term health issues. 

Signs of Cat Wounds 

Cats conceal their pain exceptionally well, but there are some telltale signs of injury to look out for. These include:

  • Limping
  • Missing fur 
  • Bleeding 
  • Tenderness
  • Torn skin 
  • Pain 

If a wound isn't discovered and treated right away, it may worsen or become infected, potentially leading to these symptoms:

  • Abscess 
  • Fever
  • Pus or discharge 

Common Wounds in Cats 

If you notice any of the symptoms above in your cat, your feline friend may have one of these common wounds or injuries:

  • Hotspots 
  • Cuts
  • Burns
  • Scratches
  • Skin rashes 
  • Insect bites 
  • Ulcers 

How to Care for Cat Wounds 

Your feline friend's health, safety and well-being are your top priority, Unfortunately, accidents can happen in seconds, and your kitty can sustain a serious injury. While your cat's immune system will work on healing the wound and warding off any potential infections as best it can, it's important to take action quickly to prevent the injury from worsening and causing further harm to their system. 

Here are the first steps to take to care for your wounded cat and help them start to recover. 

Contact Your Veterinarian 

Since many wounds qualify as a veterinary emergency, our veterinarians in Seattle recommend calling your veterinarian as soon as you notice your cat is injured. They will tell you which specific actions to take based on the type of wound your cat has endured, and how to provide first aid for your cat's injury. 

Assess the Wound for Signs of Infection 

If your cat's wound is older, it may already be experiencing an infection. Signs of infection include noticeable pain or discomfort, abscess, or fever. You may also notice behavioral changes or pus discharge. If these symptoms occur, it's essential to bring your cat to the vet for treatment as quickly as possible. 

Determine the Severity of the Wound

If you don't see any signs of infection, your cat's wound is probably fresh. The severity of the wound should be determined by looking at it. If surgery, surgery, or cast is required, you should contact your veterinarian or bring your cat in for emergency veterinary care immediately.

Manage the Bleeding

As a cat parent, seeing your feline friend with an open wound can be distressing. It's essential to act quickly and provide effective first aid care to manage the bleeding and prevent any further damage. The key to successful first aid treatment is to be prepared and know exactly what to do.

One effective method of stopping bleeding is by applying pressure directly to the wound with a clean cloth or sterile gauze. Depending on the depth and location of the injury, it may take around 10–15 minutes for a blood clot to form. However, if you notice that the bleeding isn't slowing down, it's crucial to take your cat to see an emergency veterinarian immediately.

Another helpful tip is to try and slow down the bleeding by raising the affected limb to the level of your cat's heart. This can help to reduce blood flow to the wound and alleviate bleeding.

By taking swift action and following these simple steps, you can help to keep your furry friend comfortable and minimize the risk of any further complications. Remember, when it comes to your cat's health, it's always better to be safe than sorry! 

When to Take Your Cat to the Vet

As a loving cat parent, it can be tough to know when to seek veterinary attention for your furry friend's injury. However, it's important to remember that some wounds require immediate medical attention to prevent further harm.

If you notice any concerning symptoms such as signs of infection, severe bleeding, broken limbs, fever, or other severe damage, it's crucial to take your cat to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Quick action can make all the difference when it comes to your feline friend's health and well-being.

If you're unsure whether your cat's injury requires medical attention or have questions about how to take care of a cat's wound, don't hesitate to call your veterinarian. They can help you assess the situation and provide guidance on whether a visit to the clinic is necessary. Remember, it's always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to your cat's health!

By staying vigilant and taking prompt action, you can help to ensure that your beloved kitty receives the care they need to make a full and speedy recovery.

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.

Is your cat suffering from a wound? Contact our Seattle vets right away, or take your pet to the nearest 24/7 emergency animal clinic for urgent care.