Treating Cat Burns: Emergency Procedures

Cat burns may occur due to chemicals, heat, radiation (sun burns) or electric shocks (while chewing electric cords). If your cat has suffered from a burn, you need to offer immediate help. The severity of the wound will differ according the burn and the length of exposure.

Hold Under Running Water

If the burns were caused by acids, gasoline or other chemicals, hold the affected area under cold running water for 5 minutes after the occurrence. Skip this step if your cat got a sun burn or a burn caused by flames.

Cold Compresses

Immediately after the burn occurs, apply cool compresses on the wounds. These will relieve the pain and reduce the swelling. It's best to use a moist cloth. Do not apply ice cubes directly on the wound. Wrap them in a towel instead.

Change the compress every 10 minutes or when they get warmer.

Cut the Cat Hair

As part of the emergency treatment you may also cut the cat hair around the wound. This will make it easier for the vet to check and treat the wound. Use a small pair of scissors and use gentle moves so as not to scare or further injure your pet. Sterilize the scissors with hydrogen peroxide prior to using them.

Clean the Wound

After having cut the cat hair in the wound area, clean the wound with an antibacterial soap. If there are any fibers or cloth caught up in the wound, gently clean the wound and see if these fibers may be removed. If the fibers are not loose, leave them. The vet will remove them after administering pain killers.

Apply Ointment

After cleaning the wound, dry your pet and make sure to apply some ointment that contains antibiotics to prevent the infection. Use bandages to cover the area and protect it from your cat's chewing, biting or licking.

These are the steps to follow when the burn is superficial, i.e., in the case of light chemical burns. Superficial burns present reddened and blistered skin and the area is swollen.

In case the burn is more severe, simply apply some cool compresses and hurry to the vet. The burn is severe if the hair of the cat comes out with no effort, and the cat is in a lot of pain. If there are burns on more than 15 to 20% of the cat's body, he might enter into shock and the survival chances are minimal.

Cats with white coat are more susceptible to sun burns. Protect your white coated cat during the summer.

Keep your chemicals hidden from your pet and make sure to use them with caution when the cat is present.