Cat abscesses

Even if cat’s are best buds they sometimes like to release their inner Mike Tyson! But fighting cats can turn into biting cats, and those bites can easily get infected with bacteria and turn into skin infections and abscesses. Here’s what you need to know about cat bite abscesses and how to treat them.

The basics of cat bite abscesses

When one cat sinks their tiny razor-sharp teeth into another cat, they make a puncture wound that leaves bacteria from the mouth deep into the skin and muscles. The skin rapidly heals over, leaving the bacteria to multiply and infect the deeper tissues. The result is often an abscess, which is an infected wound that can swell up, ooze pus and even burst. Abscesses are very painful for cats and can cause a fever.

If the cat is fighting with a cat that is infected with certain diseases, such as feline leukaemia virus or rabies, they are also at risk for getting those diseases.

It’s not easy to find a bite wound or abscess under all that fur, and the early warning signs are subtle. But here are some symptoms to watch out for:

  • Skin irritation/redness
  • A bald spot or matted fur
  • A lump or swollen area
  • Limping (if the bite wound is on a leg)
  • Hissing, scratching, or biting when being petted
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of appetite
  • Excessive grooming
  • An unusual odour

Where cat bites show up

Cats typically bite each other in the head/neck, forelegs, or on the back legs. If you’re cat is limping then it would be a good idea to cautiously check your cat for a wound.

Treating cat bites and abscesses

The bite area needs to be examined and cleaned, and your cat might need antibiotics, pain medication, or possibly even surgery if the wound is serious enough. Earlier veterinary treatment typically results in the best outcome for your cat. This is unfortunately not something that will go away on it’s own.

How to prevent your cat from being bitten

Neutering your cat can decrease the possibility of them being bitten, but it may still happen because cats are territorial and will fight to defend their property. If your cat is an outdoor cat, or goes outdoor, then you will unfortunately always have a risk of your cat being bitten in a fight.

If you suspect your cat may have an abscess or an injury always call us immediately for advice.