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Care of Open Wounds in Cats

Open Wounds in Cats First, stop the bleeding with direct pressure, using a cotton ball or gauze. Trim the hair around the wound, and wash thoroughly with soap and water. Most abrasions heal better in the open air, and your cat would just pull off a bandage anyway. Keep the wound area clean and watch it closely.

Catfights or and a cat’s curiosity can leave a feline with scratches. If the cut is not deep and does not require suturing, you can fix your kitty up at home using some basics from the medicine cabinet.

What Medication Can I Use on a Cat to Heal a Cut?
Says Hanen Abdel Rahman If the wound is open for an extended period, it will often be left to heal without surgical closure, though a drain may be placed. Most of these wounds are treated using a combination of repeated flushing, bandaging, and antibiotics (most commonly amoxicillin-clavulanate).

Wounds in Cats

What should I do if a wound is bleeding?
Initially attempt to stop the bleeding by applying direct pressure to the wound with an absorbent dressing such as dry gauze, followed by a layer of bandage material or a clean dry cloth. This will protect the wound during transport to the veterinary clinic and prevent any further contamination of the injury.

If possible, try to raise the affected area above the level of the heart. This will help reduce the flow of blood to the bleeding area.

Do not apply ointments, creams, disinfectants, or any other chemicals to the wound (unless directed by your veterinarian), as they can interfere with its eventual healing.

RELATED: How to Heal Open Wounds on Cats

Why leave a wound open?
Says kristina.karelina Sometimes the location or the amount of skin loss prevents surgical closure or bandaging (wounds on the face or high up on the leg). Sometimes, puncture wounds or other trauma force bacteria deep into the tissues. A contaminated wound that is more than a few hours old should never be closed without surgical debridement (removal of all the contaminated or dead tissue), and in some cases this may result in more permanent damage than treating the wound medically and leaving it open to heal.

Most wounds are contaminated with bacteria, and often contain foreign material such as dirt, grit, or hair. When possible, your veterinarian will disinfect and stitch up the wound.

If the wound is open for an extended period, it will often be left to heal without surgical closure, though a drain may be placed. Most of these wounds are treated using a combination of repeated flushing, bandaging, and antibiotics (most commonly amoxicillin-clavulanate). Alternatively, some wounds have the tissue removed (debridement) and then is closed.

Cleaning the Cut
When dealing with a fresh wound, cut the hair around the wound back. This will give you a better work area and keep hair from getting inside the wound. Wet a cloth or pad and cleanse the area surrounding the wound. Flush the wound with warm water. If you can, get your cat to hold still under a running faucet. If not, place him in the bathtub and rinse his cut out by filling a cup with warm water and pouring it over the wound. Talk calmly to the cat in a soothing tone, and never scold him.

If the cut is older and scabs over, clean the wound using a cotton swab dipped in hydrogen peroxide diluted with water. The ratio should be one part hydrogen peroxide to five parts water. After you have applied the peroxide-water mixture, rinse the wound with warm water and gently pat dry.

Applying Medication
For both cats and dogs, over-the-counter triple antibiotic ointment works well at keeping the wound from drying out or becoming infected. Before applying the ointment, wash your hands with warm water and soap. Apply the antibiotic ointment two to four times a day. If your cat’s wound is bandaged, change the bandage every time you apply the antibiotic ointment.

Considerations
Do not apply hydrogen peroxide if the cut is in your cat’s ears or if the cut is rather deep and will require stitches. Hydrogen peroxide does kill bacteria and is good for keeping an infection from occurring, but it also will destroy healthy tissue and can damage your cat’s eardrum if applied inside the ear.

If you are in doubt about how to treat your cat’s cut, contact your veterinarian.