Of all the things that could go wrong with your cat, an abscess is one of the most unpleasant. Abscesses are painful and can be dangerous to your pet. According to MedVet, abscesses often result from cat-to-cat bites.
However, they are often treatable at home if you know what to do. The process can be difficult and time-consuming, though not impossible. Here is everything you need to know about recognizing and treating an abscess in cats.
What Is an Abscess?
An abscess is a localized collection of pus caused by an infection. Bacteria have been injected into the tissue and are multiplying, causing inflammation and pain.
When you think of an abscess, you may envision something like a boil or pimple that forms under your skin. However, this is only sometimes the case, sometimes abscesses form in other places throughout the body, including inside organs like the liver and kidney.
The difference between an abscess and a boil is that the latter is caused by staphylococcus bacteria, which only causes inflammation in one area of your skin. On the other hand, an abscess can grow anywhere on your pet’s body but usually affects multiple areas simultaneously.
Potential Causes of Abscesses in Cats
If a cat has an abscess, the cause is likely some trauma. It could be a bite or scratch from another cat, but an injury can also cause it to the skin, muscle, or bone. Abscesses in cats can also result from inflammation of the anal glands due to infection or cancerous tumors.
According to Blackmores, abscesses usually take two to seven days to appear after your cat has been bitten. If you suspect your pet has an abscess, consult your veterinarian immediately and let them know what happened so they can help determine whether it was caused by something else and provide treatment accordingly.
How are Abscesses Diagnosed?
The veterinarian will take a sample of the pus from the abscess and send it to a lab for culture, which is used to test for bacteria. Your vet may also use x-rays or ultrasounds to determine if there are any internal abscesses.
If there’s an apparent reason why your cat developed an abscess, like if they have had multiple episodes of abscesses in one spot, then surgery may be recommended. Surgery is often necessary when dealing with cats with chronic skin problems like feline acne and folliculitis because it can help prevent further infection and speed up healing time.
Treatment for a Cat Abscess
When treating cat abscesses, your first step should always be to ensure you have your cat examined by a veterinarian. You can only start the proper treatment for an abscess once you know what kind of infection it is, how large or small it is, and where on the body it’s located.
Once your vet has diagnosed and determined what treatment options are available for your kitty, they will explain it to you in detail. The size and location of the abscess will determine what kind of surgery may be needed before antibiotics are prescribed so that they can work properly inside your cat’s body.
The Triple Antibiotic Ointment for cats is a topical medication used to treat abscesses in cats. It is a topical cream containing three different antibiotic types: neomycin, polymixin B, and bacitracin zinc. This triple antibiotic ointment for cats has been used for several decades now and is considered one of the most effective treatments for cat abscesses.
Pain medication may also be recommended so that any discomfort they experience during recovery won’t prevent them from receiving proper care.
Prevention Tips for Cat Abscesses
Here are some tips to help you prevent abscesses in cats:
- Make sure your cat’s teeth are kept clean. When a cat’s teeth are not brushed regularly, they can develop plaque and tartar buildup that can lead to tooth decay, leading to an abscess. If you notice your cat has bad breath or a toothache, take them to the vet for a thorough examination of their gums and teeth.
- Keep claws trimmed! According to The Humane Society of the United States, trimming a cat’s claws every few weeks is essential to your pet’s health care. If your cat gets an abscess on their paw pads, it is likely because they have scratched themselves due to having long or sharp nails that cause pain when stepped on by hard surfaces. Trim those dangerous claws and keep them healthy.
- Keep their coat healthy! Cats with dirty coats have been known to have issues with fleas which will create irritation within their skin, leading to an infection. It can cause an abscess in the form of pus forming underneath their skin as a result of being bitten by one too many fleas over time.
An Abscess Can Be Treated at Home With the Help of Your Veterinarian
Your veterinarian will drain the abscess and prescribe antibiotics. They will tell you how to treat your cat at home, including cleaning the area and administering medication like triple antibiotic ointment for cats.
Your cat’s abscess can be the source of many worries, but it can also be treated quickly and easily with the help of your veterinarian. It’s essential to keep an eye out for signs and symptoms, but if you notice something unusual in your cat’s behavior or appearance, don’t hesitate to bring them in for a vet visit as soon as possible. The faster treatment begins, the better chance there is for recovery.