How to Treat an Injured Cat : How to Diagnose & Treat Abscesses on Your Cat

Hi, I’m Dr. Greg McDonald, and I am here
for Expert, and we are talking about emergency care of your cat. Today we
would like to talk a little bit about abscesses in cats. Abscesses are very common, especially
if cats are going outside. Cats are very territorial. They don’t like other cats coming onto their
property, and if there are male cats that are out there that have not been neutered,
they are marauding around looking for animals to breed and oftentimes create problems in
this area. The other thing that we find is that abscesses happen a lot more in the springtime
than in the fall because the breeding seasons, even cats that have been spayed or neutered
are still moving around at a lot higher rate during that time. The reason that abscesses
happen in cats so frequently is because cats have the ability to heal their skin very quickly.
So if a cat gets a puncture wound from a tooth or a claw, the bacteria gets injected under
the skin; the skin heels over, but yet the bacteria are still in the animal. And again,
the type of bacteria that is frequently on a cat’s mouth or their claws is one that
is not taken care of very well by the immune system. If you have noticed that your cat
has been in a fight, it is always good to talk to your veterinarian immediately because
you can prevent your cat from getting an abscess if you put them on antibiotics right after
the fight. About three or four days after the fight based a little bit where the cat
had the bite wound or the scratch, you are going to start seeing some swelling. Sometimes
these open up and drain a little bit, and the draining actually has a very foul odor
to it, so these are the ways you can tell. If your cat is bitten in a foot, for instance
down here, the leg will swell up, and your cat might start limping. If your cat has been
hit in the head with a nail or bitten, you can see some swelling up at the top part of
the head. Again, the head and the front part are the areas where your cat gets the abscesses
mostly if they are very aggressive cats and they are out looking for a fight. We see a
lot of abscesses on the back end over on this area over here in cats that are a little more
timid, and they are running away from a cat that is beating up on them. The other thing
that is interesting about abscesses is if you get a puncture wound on the top of the
head, gravity is pulling down into the animal, so that is very unusual for them to be able
to heel that on their own. Conversely if there is a bite under the ventral side of the head
here, or on the ventral side of the animal, gravity is pulling away from the animal so
that they often can heel those on their own. It would be very important if you can get
your cat to hold still for some hot compresses as soon as you notice any swelling. Once again,
it is very important to understand that is probably what is happening if you know your
cat has been in a fight and getting them on some antibiotics again, because this bacteria
is growing inside of the animal, and the only way to really kill the bacteria is with an
antibiotic. Sometimes the animals cure them on their own if it is on their ventral side
and gravity is helping to pull the bacterial away from the animal while the immune system
kicks in, and sometimes they open up, and some of this abscess drains away from the
animal. So keep your cat inside, and he won’t get abscesses, but if you do see one on your
cat, apply a hot compress. One way you can do that is with a hot wash rag. You put it
over the leg if your cat will allow that or over the spot. Sometimes again you speed up
the animal’s circulation, and they can get rid of it with their own immune system on
some cases.

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30 Responses

  1. 40oztime says:

    i love dealing with cat abcesses

  2. Trix78415 says:

    well could u please please please!!! help me because i need help wit my cat

  3. SuperSirius21 says:

    We thought our cat was pooping from her back when her abscess popped it smelled so bad. We have 4 cats and the smallest one came third and the fattest one (With abscess) is constantly attacked by him and she is a sweet cat.

  4. NAPREDATOR says:

    no u

  5. maleka58 says:

    Is that your cat?, it really loves you. Very informative.

  6. Humbee C says:

    my cat has a bloody foot also and as he cleans it he trows up on it

  7. Justme124 says:

    you should soak his foot in warm soapy water. I have had to due that with a couple of my cats it not an easy task though.

  8. NunyaDammeBiznis says:

    my neutered male cat used to get abscesses. I used the experience I gained from him to treat my rat for an abscess.

  9. JASON J says:

    If only the doctors for humans had ten percent of the compassion that vets do. God bless you for the work that you do! I love my two 13 yr old cats so very much and I cannot imagine my life without them. Thanks again. jason and family.

  10. jesilicious19 says:


  11. Henry Lao says:

    i just notice today of the liquid and swelling on my cats "front ebow" shes been limping for a few days, and being the terrible person my mom is, she refuses to bring my cat to the vet as she said that " they are cats, it will heal", is there anyway i can clean out the infection myself, because its forming a large pus area, can i maybe puncture the skin and release the pus myself or is there something else i can do

  12. Panamon says:

    I've used Hydrogen peroxide to clean out a pus wound on my kitty….and yes I squeased out as much as I could(yeah it ticks them off). I lock us in the bathroom with a warm wash cloth, being very gentle and sweet to her.Rinsed with the peroxide and follow with neosporin. Iodine is very good to clean the wound too.They understand we are trying to help them. I have three cats and a dog. Treating the wound this way has worked well for me."I am not a vet"

  13. micky_sydney says:

    Thanx for the Video Doc…

    I am taing my NIKO to th vet now…….dont wana waste time

    thanx again….

  14. Angel Romero says:

    my panthro has a back swollen right paw. no wonder why he hasnt gone outside much. i dont know exactly what happened but i am concerned. he is not limping much but has a hard time jumping. he is still eating and all. im thinking of taking him to the feed store where they sell suppies and maybe he can get an antibiotic shot for about three days. now if that doesnt work i guess ill have to take him to the vet but i will go with my first option . hope it does work but yes he still eats and drinks

  15. Hannah says:

    I took my cat to his vet about swelling and limping. I found the lump on the leg he was limping on and when the vet examined him she was looking at the wrong leg (i didnt notice until i got home). Now his abscess has burst and I'm trying to keep it clean.

  16. NZpnw says:

    thank you so much!

  17. Poppy Chiquita says:

    I think my cat has one. Im putting clean hot water on it to see if the absess drains .

  18. Mindy Sanchez says:

    my kitten died last week oct/2/12 of abscess, its horrible because it spread all over his body. took him to the vet but they said he wasnt going to live, its a serious condition. i have 6 kittens now and since they play around alot its more common for them to get abscess. my other 3 kittens already got it and i they healed in 2 weeks. how can i prevent my kittens from getting this again????

  19. Marissa says:

    My cat had an abscess and i brought her to the vet today. The best way to treat your kitty is to immediately bring it to the vet. They will drain out the wound. If you're lucky enough, it will go away on its own but unfortunately i was lucky.

  20. lostindreams3 says:

    My cat has a huge infected gory scabbed up oozing back of his front leg. For the past year I guess(he was at an undisclosed location and I only found out where he was at a farm very recently). It keeps being skinless for most of the back of the leg with lots of blood then scabs up and the routine goes again. I brought him to the vet as soon as I knew and he was captured. He has been on antibiotic. He also tested as FIV+ when tested for FeLV(he was negative on that). It just won't heal.

  21. CikisHelyzet says:

    Zomagawdy.. What an an adorkable cat! I love the way he's looking at the vet as if he's interested in what he's saying. tee-hee.

  22. Miguel Melgar says:

    My cat came home last week with what seemed to be a bite mark on his left front leg. I cleaned the wound and added a cream that would help prevent infection. A couple of days went by and i noticed it seemed to be getting better but 3 days later he came back with the big open wound that looked even worse it was pinkish with a little bit of white. Would it be a good idea to do the process all over again and then cover the wound and not let him go outside or should i just go straight to a doctor?

  23. JerryT says:

    nice information except how about a demonstration of the compress!
    Jesus Fucking Christ!

  24. Kevin Florio says:

    Thanks for reassuring what I'm doing. It breaks my heart seeing any of my kitty population suffering. As I'm not the 'Bank of Boston' I won't be going to the vet.

  25. dreamer XD says:

    Thank you and God bless you I was scared

  26. Hani Lovecats says:

    My cat was injured after being attacked by a stray dog. Now she doesn't want to take a bath nor being patted. If I touch her she would bit me hardly as if she's trying to eat me. What should I do?

  27. Chai says:

    Excellent video. Describes to the T what has just happened to my cat. Right ear puncture wound, filled with pus. Smelled horrid! Has drained for 2 days now. Its flatter now but it seems to have a hard time sealing. I tried washing with mild soap to clean, followed by warm salt water rinse and then diluted ACV with tea tree for disinfectant. I also followed with Catnip and Chamomile tea to soothe skin. followed by topical neosporin and allow vera for cats. It is healing but slowly. It seems to heal faster when I keep her inside.

  28. Оптимальный Английский says:

    Thank you very much indeed. I had one question. My cat's at a vet clinic these days because of a huge abscess. The abscess is cut and clean for the 4th day. They are washing & cleaning the wound twice a day.
    The question: how long does it take to heal such a wound at clinic under vets control? Days or weeks ?

  29. MeihanaBee says:

    My senior cat was bit right outside our back door about a week ago on the back of the neck. I noticed swelling, loss of appetite and clumps of hair stuck to her skin. So we took her to the vet and they peeled off hair that was stuck to her skin, then drained the fluid and put her on antibiotics. My cat is my child so I kinda have the urge to wait outside for this other cat to come back so I can beat it up myself haha i wont, but I will for sure give it a fright of its life so it never comes back.

  30. Blooming burze says:

    Plz help may cat have a hole in his arm n its not gona heal

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