Cat Abscess Diagnosis

A cat abscess is an accumulation of pus in the area of a wound or under the skin as a result of an infection. An abscess may be very painful, so you need to diagnose it in a timely manner to protect your pet.

Cat Abscess Causes

A cat abscess can be caused by a puncture wound, splinters, scratches or by an internal infection. If the skin is wounded, several bacteria may have access to the blood flow and cause the formation of pus. The infection may also come from the inside (i.e. viruses or tooth decay).

Abscess Symptoms in Cats

The infected wound may cause the accumulation of pus in the area, which will be red and swollen. Not all wounds get infected, so pus will only be present when the wound is infected.

The size of the swelling depends on how deep the wound is and is also determined by the severity of the infection.

The cat may also be sore in the wound area, have fever, lack appetite and will suffer from constant fatigue.

He will avoid to move and will lick the lump, if this is in an accessible spot. In case of a tooth abscess, the cat will often touch his face with his paw.

The abscess may also rupture and you may notice a white-yellowish thick discharge (the pus), having a foul odor.

These symptoms occur 3 to 5 days after the wound was inflicted.

Diagnosing Feline Abscesses

If you suspect that your cat has an abscess you should check your cat’s skin and mouth. Often, the fur may hide the lump, so it will not be visible at a glance.

When you touch the lump, your cat will be in a lot of pain and will try to get away from you.

A lump may also indicate a tumor, but typically tumors are not painful when touched.

Visit your vet to confirm your cat has an abscess.

Abscess Treatment for a Cat

In case the abscess ruptures, discharging the pus, this may make the cat feel better, without the need for medication. Make sure you clean the pus and wash with salty water or a disinfectant.

If the lump fails to rupture 1 to 2 days after it appears, it may need to be drained by a vet.

The vet may also prescribe some antibiotics, which will fight the infection. More pus may accumulate in the wound area and this will be discharged or drained by your vet.

Cat Abscess Prevention

If you suspect that your cat has been in a fight, thoroughly inspect his skin for wounds; don’t forget more hidden areas such as the paws, under the tail or in the neck area. Any puncture wound can potentially get infected.

In case your cat has been wounded or scratched, you need to clean the wound with an antibacterial soap or a disinfectant to remove the bacteria. Rub some antibiotic cream, which can prevent the infection.

Most wounds that end up in abscess are caused by cat fights; if you want to stop your cat from getting into fights, neutering may be a solution.