Cats have a very strong immune system, but sometimes they need a little help recovering from an injury. If your cat ever gets a scrape, scratch or another type of minor wound, it’s up to you, the owner, to be ready with your first-aid kit! A minor wound is any type of wound that breaks the surface skin but doesn’t cause significant or sustained bleeding. A minor wound typically doesn’t affect the way your cat moves around, their eating or drinking habits nor their litter box use. Any incident that causes a change in the behaviour of your cat should be addressed by a veterinarian as soon as possible.
The most important step in at-home wound care is to clean the area with soap and water. If you have a set of electric clippers, you can shave the hair from the area so that there isn’t any hair hanging into the injury. Have a bottle of antibacterial soap, such as Stanhexidine or Hibitane, and clean gauze or cotton pads in your first-aid kit to clean the area. Wear rubber gloves. Dilute the soap in warm water, dampen the gauze in the soapy water and use it to wipe and flush the area gently. It will remove any foreign material that might be in the wound. Use dry gauze or cotton pads to pat the area dry.
**Under no circumstances should you use POLYSPORIN products on your cat.
True or false: cats clean their wounds by licking them. False. In reality, cats have a lot of bacteria in their mouths. Licking serves to transfer this bacteria to an open wound. Therefore, it is important to prevent your cat from licking.
Avoid giving your cat any medications from your medicine cupboard. Your veterinarian can provide medications that are safe and designed for your cat instead.
If your cat sustains a minor injury, when should you bring them in to see a veterinarian? Some general rules to use for any minor injury sustained by your cat are:
- If you are worried about the injury.
- If you are unable to clean or uncomfortable cleaning the wound.
- If the scratch, scrape or other types of injury doesn’t show obvious improvement within a day or two.
Written by: Killary Cat Hospital