Cat Wound Care

Dealing with a cat wound can be a stressful and upsetting experience for any pet owner. There are a variety of cat wounds that can result from accidents, illnesses or fights with other animals. Owners may be able to care for relatively minor wounds at home using safe and trusted remedies. For more serious or emergency cases, immediate attention from a veterinarian may be required in order to prevent permanent damage. Knowing how to identify the severity of a cat wound can help owners make the best decisions regarding treatment.

There are a few key tips for owners who are preparing to care for a cat wound. The most important is to try to control any bleeding.

Arterial Bleeding

Arterial bleeding is the serious bleeding that follows damage to an artery. It's usually observed as bright-red blood that spurts from a wound. It is difficult to control and may indicate a life-threatening emergency. Although professional medical attention is recommended to treat such dangerous wounds, an owner may have to respond quickly in an emergency situation. After restraining the cat, apply pressure with a clean, preferably sterile material like gauze over the wound, followed by the application of first-aid bandaging cloth.

If pressure fails to stop arterial bleeding, you may need to apply an emergency tourniquet. Some experts advise using this procedure for arterial bleeding of the tail or leg region. A tourniquet can be fashioned from a cloth or roll of gauze that's wrapped around a bleeding limb. The wrap is then tightened by hand or by using a stick that is twisted into the looped material. Tightening should continue until the bleeding stops. Experts also suggest loosening a tourniquet after 30 minutes for a period of two to three minutes. This allows blood to flow to the limb.

Venous Bleeding

Venous bleeding of a cat wound is less threatening than arterial bleeding, but is still in need of attention. With clean or gloved hands, restrain an injured cat before attempting to control this kind of bleeding. Pressure should then be applied to the wound using a clean cloth or sterile medical gauze. The cloth or gauze should then be gently secured with comfortable material like first-aid cloth bandage rolls.

In treating both kinds of bleeding, owners are advised not to pour hydrogen peroxide onto the wound. Doing so can make it even harder to control the bleeding. Wounds that have recently clotted should not be rubbed, wiped or irritated, since clots keep injured cats from losing additional blood.

Dressing a Wound

Once the bleeding has been controlled, it's important to clean the wound in order to help prevent infection. With clean or gloved hands, wipe the edges of the wound with a sterile cloth that is moistened with water. Water can then poured along the wound to flush out any dirt or debris. Antibiotic ointment like Neosporin can then be applied to the wound. Cloth or gauze followed by first-aid cloth bandage roll and tape can be used to dress the wound.