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Cat fights – a first aid tip

What should you do if your cat has been beaten up?

I treat cat bite abscesses on a weekly basis. These are the consequence of a pet getting bitten or badly scratched by another cat, if the germs that get in under the skin get a chance to multiply.

I do love treating a nice ripe abscess. [If you are eating your breakfast right now, you might want to skip to the next paragraph….!] Cats are often feeling quite feverish and poorly by the time an abscess is brewed. Releasing the pus, and ensuring that the inside of the abscess is well washed out is a smelly task, but brings such immediate comfort that it is immensely satisfying.

But, many abscesses can be prevented by a cat lover’s First Aid.

If you are suspicious that your cat has been in a fight, ideally any wounds need to be identified and disinfected. Start by helping your cat to relax and calm down, if they are very upset. Then super-gently run your fingers through the coat feeling for unexpected roughness of the skin, and looking for specks of blood. These puncture wounds are often only a millimetre in diameter, so quite easy to miss.

Should you successfully locate some, and your cat is still co-operating, then ideally trim the fur away from the area carefully with scissors. This is partly to find all the wounds, and partly to help you monitor the wound over the next few days. It is remarkably difficult to re-locate something small under even one centimetre of lovely fur.

Now you can use some liquid skin-safe disinfectant diluted in nice warm water to gently bathe the area, bearing in mind, as I can certify, that it will be painful and bruised. This simple action may well prevent the cost of a course of antibiotics or even an operation, if your pet will allow it, and it is done soon enough after the fight.

To learn more pet First Aid, my next course is on 4th February. This includes how to perform cardio-pulmonary resuscitation on your cat, should you need to. Go to themewesvets.co.uk/events to find out how to book your place.

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