Most animals, including cats, are definitely territorial. In defending their claimed area, thus, cats are often involved with the other cats or even other animals, resulting in those fight wounds. These resulted wounds can result from bites and scratch during the fight. Mostly, the wounds are puncture wounds from the teeth or skin tears from the scratches.
Considering the involved cats are healthy and not exposed to certain diseases, such as rabies, these bite wounds can be treated at home and are going to disappear within days or weeks with proper cares. However, an infected wound or developed wound abscess in cats may need closer attention and professional treatments.
Cat bite wound abscess
Normally, cat fights result in either gapped skin tears or deep puncture wounds from either the teeth or claws. These types of wounds, as well as the scrapes, bruises, and cuts, are commonly minor and will not usually be life-threatening. However, these fresh wounds may develop into more serious wounds when untreated. Some normal fresh wounds in cat will show these symptoms:
- Bleeding, which stops with adequate pressure within 15 minutes after the break of the skin.
- Swelling, which is signed by inflamed, red are of the affected skin area.
- Tender skin area of the wound site and around it.
- Hair loss on and around the wound site.
Whilst some alarming symptoms include:
- Abnormal discharge from the wound, which in many cases occurs in a form of pus.
- Elevated fever, which can be felt by touching the area of the ears in a wounded cat.
- An accumulation of pus under the skin or abscess. These abscess may cause a hole when breaking open and draining.
A wound from cat bite can possibly turn into an abscess if it is infected, and the body immune system is not able to keep up with this infection. Thus, bacteria infesting the wound—coming from the biting cat’s teeth or claws—cannot be eliminated by the white blood cells and instead, defeat the cells into pus accumulating under the skin. If this abscess is not well-treated, the infected area might get worse, which can be deadly for the cat. Thus, proper treatments for cat bite wound abscess is very essential.
To treat a cat bite wound abscess, you need to firstly take a look at how bad the abscess is. If you notice a deep skin hole from a previously-drained abscess, you might need to take the cat to the vet, since the tissues under the skin might have been affected. On the other hand, if the wound abscess is not drained yet, home treatments that is done properly can be helpful to promote healing. These are steps you can do to help heal cat bite wound abscess:
- Promote proper abscess draining by holding a very warm washcloth over the abscess for few minutes. This will tenderize the skin and make it easier for the abscess to drain. You can do it several times a day repeatedly, but remember not to put too hot washcloth over the wound as it may aggravate the abscess and make the infection worse.
- After you put the warm compress for several times, it is possible for the abscess to start draining. You can encourage the pus and fluid out, but remember to do it gently. Do not add too much pressure or force the wound open.
- Once the abscess drains, it becomes an open wound and in order to prevent the infection to reoccur, it is important for you to keep the wound as clean as possible until it completely heals, which is quite difficult with cats. Hence, you might consider these methods:
- Instead of using liquid saline solution or hydrogen peroxide, which is not going to stay on the cat’s skin, it is advised to mix 1% hydrogen peroxide with aloe vera gel to make more sticky consistency. You can also use petroleum jelly instead of the gel. This is going to stay longer on the cat’s skin as an antiseptic.
- Put an Elizabeth collar onto the cat’s neck to prevent it from licking the wound. Although cat’s saliva may contain a beneficial substance for the wound, frequent licks may break the skin and worsen the infection.
- Check the wound site frequently and rinse or irrigate it with saline solution whenever it gets dirty or traps some debris.
- Antibiotic ointment can be really helpful for healing an infected cat bite wound abscess. Dab a thin layer of the ointment on the affected wound two or three times a day. Make sure the cat does not lick the applied ointment.
- If the wound does not improve within a week, or if the cat develops more severe symptoms of infection, immediately take him to the vet for an observation.
- During the healing process, make sure you give the cat nutritious foods to help the wound to heal. Food supplements, such as fish oil can be given once every two days to improve the immune system as well.