Treating Fight Wound Infections in Cats

Fight wound infections are frequent in cats, and they need to be treated to avoid further complications. The treatment of an infected wound typically consists of antibiotics, either topical or oral, but you need to take your cat to the vet to determine the exact dosage and if other medications are needed.

Signs of Wound Infection

Very often, cat fight wounds get infected. Typical signs of infection include:

  • Swelling
  • Rashes
  • Pain
  • Fever
  • Pus

Cat saliva carries a lot of bacteria that may easily infect a bite wound. Even cat scratches may get infected.

If the injury is a puncture wound, in case of an infection you will notice pus and a foul odor. If the infection is not a puncture wound, it may spread in the nearby tissues and cause cellulitis. This will cause pain and swelling.

Treating a Fight Wound Infection

Fight wound infections are treated according to the severity. You need to take your cat to the vet.

Usually, oral antibiotics are administrated. If the infection is more serious, injection antibiotics may be needed to prevent the infection from spreading to bones or other organs.

If there is an abscess, this needs to be drained to remove the pus. The abscess should be healed in 2 to 5 days.

In case of a cellulitis, drainage is not possible. You'll need to rely on antibiotics and the treatment will be longer; the healing of the infection may take up to 1 week.

If the infection is not healed after 1 week, you need to test your cat for other diseases. Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) or feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) may weaken the immune system and cause a slower recovery.

Preventing a Wound Infection

You may prevent an infection by treating a fight wound immediately after it occurs.

Clean the wound with cold water to remove the cat saliva. Sterilize the wound with a disinfectant.

Then the wound should be treated with a topical ointment that contains antibiotics. Cover the wound with bandages, to make sure the cat doesn’t lick the wound and the antibiotic cream.


If your cat has been involved in a fight with an unvaccinated cat, he should get a rabies shot. If your cat has been recently vaccinated against rabies, a new shot won’t be needed.

Cat bites may result in infection with other viruses. Cat saliva may transmit the feline leukemia virus if the other cat is a carrier. Infestation with the virus may occur if your cat hasn’t been previously vaccinated against FeLV. Test your cat 2 weeks after the occurrence of the bite and if the test is negative, you should vaccinate him against the FeLV.

FIV may also be transmitted though a bite wound. Unfortunately, it may take several months or even years for the virus to show up in tests.