So your cat has come home with a wound. What can you do? Firstly do a tip to tail check to see what you’re dealing with.
Deep cuts (through the skin exposing underlying tissue) and puncture wounds (such as from a tooth or nail) require veterinary attention. If the wound is bleeding apply sterile gauze and pressure for about 5 minutes, this should stop it but don’t remove the gauze as that may start the wound to bleed again. If possible apply a light bandage over the top. Now you can hightail your kitty to the veterinarian.
Minor cuts or abrasions are a different matter. They are not usually life threatening and can often be treated from home. These kinds of wounds are small (think grazed knee!) and may have superficial bleeding.
Now, ultimately your cat is in control and they are going to decide what you can and can’t do at home. Wounds are sore and if your kitty doesn’t want you near them don’t risk being bitten or scratched, if you cant even examine your mate you are better off scooping them up and into a carrier and heading to the veterinarian where they can do a thorough assessment.
If your kitty is docile enough and you’re dealing with a minor cut or abrasion, steps are as follows:
- Stop any bleeding. Sterile gauze. Pressure for 5 minutes.
- Apply a water-based lubricant- i.e. KY jelly- direct to the wound. This stops further dirt or hair getting in.
- Use clippers on the hair around the wound – now air can get in and you can clean and monitor the wound more easily. (Again- safety first- if this freaks your cat out don’t do it! Leave it to the professionals)
- Bathe the wound with saline (from pharmacy or made at home is 1/2 teaspoon salt in 1 cup water boiled water mixed together then cooled)
- Dab with dilute betadine (povidone-iodine). The dilution should be the colour of weak tea.
- Do steps 4&5 twice daily and monitor the wound very closely. If the area is becoming swollen, red or smelly it’s no longer suitable to manage at home.
For specific advice for your kitty, go to https://www.vetchat.com.au/book