The very nature of cats makes them prone to abscesses, and most are invariably caused by other cats. An abscess forms after the skin has been broken, usually by another cat’s teeth, and the wound gets infected. Cats have a lot of bacteria in their mouth, and the site of the bite almost always forms a localised swelling that’s very painful and can make your cat feel quite ill.
Since cats are secretive creatures, they won’t often let you know if they have an injury. The first thing you’ll notice is the large, tender lump, often on the face or neck of the cat. Occasionally, you’ll see the bite mark before it turns into an abscess, and your vet can treat it to ensure it doesn’t get worse. However, once the wound becomes infected, the pressure starts to build and a pus-filled lump will form.
Be careful and try not to touch it. You’ll not only create more pain for your cat, but you might burst it, and the resulting smell is extremely foul.
Treating the Abscess
Sometimes, the abscess will burst by itself, and the cat will do its best to clean the wound. However, since they’re often on the head, face or neck, it’s inaccessible. If it has burst, you’ll see a large, open wound that oozes pus and possibly blood.
Whether the abscess is intact or not, your cat needs to go to your local vet clinic as soon as possible. Your vet will drain the abscess and clean it up, and write a prescription for a course of antibiotics to ensure it heals and doesn’t recur.
Severe instances may need to have drains inserted for a time, and your cat may have to wear an Elizabethan collar – plastic cones that stop them from licking the wound and pulling out drains and stitches. You’ll need to keep your cat inside while they heal, and you might want to take steps to prevent it happening again.
Most cat fights are over territory and occur between intact males fighting over females in heat. Simply having your cat neutered or spayed and keeping them inside at night can often prevent injuries from fights, and your cat will be happier and healthier. You’ll also feel better knowing your cat is safe instead of roaming around in the night being bitten, breeding, and possibly even contracting a nasty disease.
Your pet’s health and comfort are our top priority, so if your cat has an abscess that needs attention, Port Kennedy Vets is open every day of the week for your convenience. Call 08 9524 6644 or contact us online for any enquiries or health concerns regarding your pet. Our wellness programs make pet care easier, and with affordable monthly payments, they’re an investment in the health and wellbeing of your beloved pet.