Cuts and scratches are a common occurrence in cats, but they are not usually serious. Cats can get cuts and scratches from playing with other animals, from sharp objects in the house, such as broken glass, or from fighting with other cats.
On average, routine vet visits cost pet parents with cats around $178 annually, as per the latest APPA National Pet Owner’s Survey. APPA stands for American Pet Products Association. This is not inclusive of the $201 incurred for surgical vet visits.
There is also an average cost of $ 254 for cat food, apart from additional expenses incurred on vitamins, grooming products, toys, etc. Hence to prevent costs from rising due to multiple vet visits for minor cuts and scratches, we suggest you keep some first-aid supplies handy at home to tackle such emergencies.
Another benefit of treating cuts and scratches in cats at home would be the lower stress levels for your already injured cat. Traveling to the vet in a crate or cage after a fight with a fellow cat may turn out to be their worst nightmare.
You will be able to buy bandages, washcloths, and sponges at your local store. However, antibiotic ointment, specifically meant for cats, may be obtained at a pet pharmacy. You can check reliable online stores for medications like Triple antibiotic ointment for cats, which you should have in stock in your first-aid kit meant for your feline friend.
In most cases, cuts and scratches incurred by your cat are not serious injuries and can be treated at home with relative ease if you follow the steps below.
1 . Clean the Wound
Next, clean the wound with soap and water. Use a sponge or cloth to gently clean away any dirt from around the cut. Avoid using hydrogen peroxide or alcohol, as they can be irritating to your cat’s skin and cause further damage.
Apply pressure to stop bleeding by placing some sterile gauze over the wound and wrapping it snugly with medical tape. If there is still bleeding after you’ve cleaned and bandaged your cat’s wound, call your vet for advice on how to proceed next.
2. Check the Depth Of the Wound
If the wound is deep or bleeding a lot, you should take your cat to the vet. If you suspect that a cut may need stitches or if your cat’s gums are swelling up, you shouldn’t delay at all.
While cats can get stitches, they usually don’t need them. If you aren’t sure whether or not your cat needs medical attention, it’s probably best to err on the side of caution and make sure everything is okay.
3. Rinse Well
Get rid of any debris that might be in the cut by rinsing the well with water. Use warm water to gently wash the wound and then dry it with a clean cloth. Don’t rub too hard or use anything sharp like a cotton swab or q-tip. This could cause damage to your cat’s skin. Rinse the cloth before using it on another part of the cat’s body so you won’t transfer germs from one spot to another.
4. Dry the Wound
Use a clean cloth and gently pat the wound. Don’t scrub or rub your cat’s skin. Gently dab at the spot with a clean washcloth or paper towel until there are no more visible traces of blood on his body.
If the cut is large, apply pressure with a gauze bandage until it stops bleeding. If the wound is small, there is no need to put on a gauze bandage.
5. Apply An Antibiotic Ointment
It is important to clean any wounds thoroughly and apply an antibiotic ointment to prevent infection of the wound. Make sure the wound has been properly cleaned and disinfected.
Once the risk of infection has passed, you can use an antibiotic ointment like Triple Antibiotic Ointment on your cat’s cut or scratch to help speed up healing time.
Antibiotic ointments are also useful for minor wounds that don’t require stitches. The main ingredient in these products is bacitracin, a type of antibiotic, which helps reduce swelling and aids in healing by preventing bacteria from entering infected areas of skin tissue through open sores.
6. Monitor For Infections
Cats also have the potential to get infections from cuts and scratches if bacteria get into them. If your cat gets a cut or scratch on his paw pad, the soft part under his nail, watch it carefully for signs of infection, such as swelling or redness around it.
According to Pet MD, an abscess can happen if the wound gets infected. It will have severe symptoms like swelling, fever, foul-smelling pus, lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea.
If this happens, see your vet right away because he may need antibiotics to treat him before he gets an infection that could be harmful later on down the line.
Even after taking these precautions, experts suggest vaccinating your cat for rabies for increased safety. After reaching the age of 12 weeks, an annual dose of rabies is usually prescribed. A 3-year vaccine may also be available. If your cat comes into contact with strays, outdoor cats, and feral animals, the chances of contracting rabies are high. Hence this vaccine is strongly advised.
It’s important to keep your cat healthy and happy, and this means taking care of any wounds or cuts quickly. Please note the above instructions will work for minor cuts and bruises. However, they may not be suitable for very deep wounds or infections. If you have any questions about how to treat severe injuries in your feline friend, please consult a veterinarian.