Cat Abscess Treatment

A cat can get abscesses, especially in the chin and neck areas, for a variety of reasons. If your cat is an outdoor cat that fights a lot, scrapes and bites can quickly abscess. Abscesses in your pet can also be brought on by retroviruses that can cause immune deficiency. Whatever the cause, cat abscess treatment usually involves opening the abscess and draining it.

An abscess is a closed up subcutaneous infection, usually where a wound was inflicted on the cat. There may be swollen areas, or areas that are sensitive or painful when you touch them. Your cat may start to act lethargic, depressed and show signs of a fever. He may not want to be picked up or held, so you may need to get another person to hold him while you treat the abscess.

Step 1 - Opening Up the Abscess

If the abscess is not deep, you can open it up by gently applying a warm washcloth to the affected area for up to 5 minutes. The abscess should soften up, and pus should start to drain from it. Get as much pus to drain out as possible.

Step 2 - Cleaning the Abscess

There are two different types of hydrogen peroxide that you can use to treat a cat abscess: liquid and gel, 1 to 3 percent solution. You can also use ozonated olive oil to clean out the abscess. The hydrogen peroxide will sting and the ozonated olive oil will taste bad, so be vigilant to keep your cat from licking the treatment off.

Both treatments should be performed at least two to three times a day, leaving the warm washcloth on up to 10 minutes at a time. You should see an improvement, with the swelling going down in about a day. Limit the time your cat spends outdoors until the abscess completely heals.

Deeper abscesses or abscesses that are not healing may require treatment by the vet. The vet will assess the severity of the cat's abscess and may decide that it will heal on it's own. In this case, oral or injected antibiotics are given to aid in healing.

If the abscess is deemed to be more serious and needs to be opened and drained, this may be done surgically. Your cat may be given anesthesia and limited to indoors for awhile.

Tips for Optimal Abscess Treatment

  • Use gloves or wash your hands before and after providing abscess treatment for your cat. Soak your hands in a 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution afterwards.
  • Hydrogen peroxide stings, so you can dilute it if your cat is too uncomfortable.
  • Abscesses can be very serious, so if your cat's abscess is not healing within 2 to 3 days, a visit to the vet is warranted.