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Bite wounds on cats after cat bites - Tips & advice

Bite wounds on cats after cat bites

Cat fights are a common cause of different types of injuries in our cats, especially in outdoor cats. Indoor cats living in multi-cat households can also be affected. The most common injuries in cat fights are bite wounds and subsequent abscesses.


What happens when my cat gets a wound?

When a cat is bitten by another cat, it can result in one or more holes in the skin of the bitten cat following the teeth of the attacking cat. Bacteria from the cat's mouth and surroundings find their way into the holes and the wound pocket often formed between the skin and subcutaneous tissue. There they can grow and over time form an abscess. The hole in the skin from the teeth often grows back faster than the body can deal with the bacteria, so the abscess can grow under the skin and get bigger and bigger. Eventually, the abscess can become so large that it bursts. This is often when the owner notices the lesion and goes to the vet because the cat's fur becomes sticky with pus and the cat shows discomfort.

How do I treat bite wounds in my cat?

  • Inspect your cat carefully if you suspect it has been in a fight. Look for small scabs or signs of pain.

  • If you find small and superficial bite wounds, you can try to care for the wound yourself. Rake the fur around the wound and wash it with a chlorhexidine solution.

  • Prevent crusts from forming initially to avoid the formation of an abscess. By keeping the holes in the skin open, natural drainage can be created to allow bacteria and wound fluid to flow out.

  • Some bite wounds can be more extensive than they appear at first glance. Wound pockets that form after bites can be deep, and there may be invisible injuries.

  • Assessing the cat's injuries can be difficult for pet owners at home, and a veterinary visit is recommended if you are unsure of the extent of the damage.

  • If a large abscess has formed and is not draining naturally, the vet may place a drainage tube under the skin to keep the wound open for a few days.

Cat bite wounds can lead to abscesses and infections if not treated properly. By paying attention to any damage, cleaning the wounds and seeking veterinary care when necessary, you can help your cat recover faster and avoid complications.

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