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April 2024

Caring for an Open Wound on Your Cat

Sunday, December 5, 2021
posted by Jim Murphy

       Our cat Millie has an abscess on the side of her face. It is currently being treated with anti-biotics. Millie has an appointment with our new vet on Friday to determine the cause. Her teeth will be examined to see if that is the underlying cause. Since giving her antibiotics, the wound has improved but she sometimes scratches it and causes it to bleed. I dab some cotton in warm water and clean it out once or twice per day. Here’s an article from that details how to treat any open wound on your cat.

The following information was obtained from

Cleaning the wound

  • Step 1: Flood the wound with warm water for 4 to 5 minutes. This may be easier to do if you have a second person hold your cat and help keep her still and calm while you hold her over the sink and either pour the water over the wound or run water from the faucet over it.
  • Step 2: Work some liquid soap into a lather with warm water and clean the wound with it.
  • Step 3: Wash the soap away with more warm water from the tap or by pouring water over the wound until the water runs clear.
  • Step 4: Dry the wound and the area around it off with a clean rag.

Care While Healing

  • Step 1: Apply an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment or non medicated petroleum jelly such as Vaseline to the wound to keep any bacteria that is present from causing infection. Spreading the ointment on at least twice a day reduces chances of infection and also keeps the tissue soft and more prone to healing.
  • Step 2: Leave the wound un-bandaged if you can stop the bleeding entirely, and if your cat will be confined to the house while she’s healing. If the wound isn’t subjected to getting dirt or other infectants in it, it will heal faster being exposed to the air than bandaged.
  • Step 3: Check your cat’s wound daily to ensure that it is healing and doesn’t become infected. If it appears red, swollen and is seeping pus, take your cat to the vet immediately. The vet may drain the wound and will prescribe an antibiotic to fight the infection.

Tips and Warnings about How to Heal an Open Wound on a Cat:

You should always consult an experienced veterinarian regarding the health and treatment of your cat when she has a serious cut or gash. Immediately take your cat to the vet if she has a large open wound over 1 inch long and 1/2 inch wide, especially if it is bleeding profusely.

Don’t attempt to apply a tourniquet to your cat when she is bleeding. More harm than good can be done if it’s tied too tightly.

Wounds can be cleaned by flushing them with hydrogen peroxide as an alternative to washing with soap and water.

Remember, pets are family.

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