How to Treat a Cat Abscess: 11 Steps

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How to Treat a Cat Abscess: 11 Steps
How to Treat a Cat Abscess: 11 Steps

A cat can create an abscess when bitten by another cat or animal. Bacteria entering the bite wound are the cause of the abscess. Take your cat to the vet to treat the wound and receive antibiotics. The professional will advise you on how to treat the problem and how to administer the medications. When the animal is recovering, you should leave it alone and keep an eye on the affected area.


Method 1 of 2: Taking the Cat to the Vet

Treat an Abscess on a Cat Step 1

Step 1. Look for signs of an abscess

The body reacts to the bite by sending white blood cells to fight bacteria. Then the tissues around the wound begin to swell and die. This forms a cavity that fills with pus made up of bacteria, white blood cells and dead tissue. The cycle repeats and the area continues to swell. Swelling can be hard or soft. Other signs of an abscess include:

  • Pain or signs of pain, such as limping.
  • A small rind with redness or heat on the surrounding skin.
  • Secretion of pus or fluid from the site.
  • Hair loss over the area.
  • Lick, bite or feel the area.
  • Loss of appetite or energy.
  • An opening that secretly pus.
Treat an Abscess on a Cat Step 2

Step 2. Take the cat to the vet

You can treat a small abscess at home, but most need professional treatment. In the office, the cat will receive a complete physical exam. Typically, the animal also has a fever with an abscess because the body is fighting an infection.

  • If the abscess is open and oozing, you can usually treat the cat without sedation.
  • If it is not open, the animal needs to be sedated to lance the abscess.
Treat an Abscess on a Cat Step 3

Step 3. Ask about antibiotics

The veterinarian can send some of the pus to culture the bacteria. This culture will help you determine which antibiotic is most effective in treating the problem. After the sample is collected, the abscess will be lanced (if not already draining pus and fluid), debrided (cleaning of all pus and debris) and treated with antibiotics.

Give the cat the antibiotic as instructed by the practitioner and finish the medication completely. Call your veterinarian if you have difficulty administering it to your pet

Treat an Abscess on a Cat Step 4

Step 4. See if a drain is needed

Sometimes it may be necessary to place drains, which are tubes used to keep the wound open. These tubes help keep the wound draining. Otherwise, the pus may continue to build up causing the cat more problems.

  • Follow your veterinarian's advice regarding drain care. Ask what complications might arise and when to call.
  • The professional will remove the drains after three to five days.

Method 2 of 2: Taking Care of Abscess at Home

Treat an Abscess on a Cat Step 5

Step 1. Isolate the cat to a room while the abscess is healing

Confining the animal indoors is the best way to keep it safe and protect it from injury while the wound heals. The wound will be oozing for a while, so there is a possibility that pus will splash on the floor and furniture. To avoid this problem, keep him in a room until the abscess heals.

  • Keep it in a place with an easy-to-clean surface, such as a bathroom, laundry, or near the back door.
  • Make sure the room is warm enough for the cat and provide the cat with basic necessities such as food, water, a litter and some soft sheets or towels for her to sleep.
  • Visit him frequently during confinement to pet him and see if he is eating, drinking water, and fulfilling his physiological needs as he should.
Treat an Abscess on a Cat Step 6

Step 2. Wear gloves when caring for the animal's wound

The wound will ooze pus which is made up of blood, bacteria and other biological fluids. Treat the wound only with some form of hand protection. Wear vinyl or latex gloves whenever cleaning or inspecting the area.

Treat an Abscess on a Cat Step 7

Step 3. Keep the wound clean

You can clean it with plain warm water. Take a clean cloth and soak in water. Then use it to clean all the pus from the wound. Wash the cloth and repeat until all visible pus is removed.

Wash around drains with a cloth dampened with warm water

Treat an Abscess on a Cat Step 8

Step 4. Carefully remove crusts and husks

If scabs form over the opening of an abscess that still contains pus, carefully remove it by dabbing the area with a cloth. Don't worry about the crusts if there's no pus or swelling. If you're not sure, always call the vet first.

  • To loosen a scab or scab that has formed on the wound, soak a cloth with warm water. Then wring out the excess water and place the cloth on the affected area. Leave for a few minutes to soften the scab and then clean the wound. Repeat this process two or three times until the skin softens and comes out on its own.
  • Abscesses take 10 to 14 days to form, so keep looking at the crusted area to see if it starts to swell. If you notice swelling or pus, take the cat to the vet.
Treat an Abscess on a Cat Step 9

Step 5. Consult your veterinarian before using hydrogen peroxide

The use of the product is still quite controversial, as studies have shown that the contact of hydrogen peroxide with the wound itself, in addition to being painful, can further damage local tissues, which delays healing. The best option is still plain water or a special antiseptic solution made from water and povidone-iodine.

  • As a precaution, consult your cat's veterinarian to determine if peroxide is a good choice for your cat's wound.
  • If using the product, dilute it with water in a proportion of one to one. Then, wet a cotton ball or a piece of gauze well with the solution. Use cotton wool to gently wipe debris and pus from the wound edges. Do not use this solution directly on the wound. Repeat two to three times a day.
Treat an Abscess on a Cat Step 10

Step 6. Monitor the wound frequently

Look at the wound two to three times a day and make sure it's not swollen. Swelling indicates that the area is infected. If so, call the veterinarian.

Pay attention to how much pus is oozing when you look at the wound. The amount should decrease each day. If the discharge appears to be increasing or is the same, call your veterinarian

Treat an Abscess on a Cat Step 11

Step 7. Stop the cat from licking or biting the wounds

The bacteria in the animal's mouth can get worse or cause an infection. If he's licking or biting the wound or drains, call the vet.

To prevent this, put an Elizabethan collar on the cat while the wound is healing


  • Examine the animal closely after a cat fight for any wounds and look for signs of an abscess forming.
  • If you notice signs of an abscess, take the animal to the vet for tests and antibiotics. This will reduce the possibility of a more serious infection.


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