Although cats are graceful, fairly calm creatures, they may occasionally get minor flesh wounds that need care. With a few basic supplies, you can dress your cat's minor scrapes, cuts or lacerations until you can get the cat to a veterinarian. Depending on the placement and nature of the wound, some ingenuity may be needed. Feline first aid for cuts is similar to human wound care, but the approach is somewhat different.
Hold onto the cat firmly but don't alarm the cat by chasing it. For larger or feistier cats, you may need a friend to help hold the cat. Grasping it behind the head can prevent it from biting. Wounded cats may resist being touched.
Assess the wound. If there is no bleeding and only minor visible damage, consider leaving the wound alone and monitoring it for swelling or future bleeding. Cats can treat minor wounds themselves without the stress of being held down and bandaged.
Stop the bleeding on moderate to severe wounds. For gushing or spurting wounds, make a tourniquet above the wound on the limb with tightly bound gauze or other materials. For light bleeding, apply a sterile gauze or medical pads with some pressure to the wound until the bleeding subsides.
Dress the wound by daubing it with hydrogen peroxide or other antiseptic chemicals. Place a large piece of sterile gauze over the wound and tape the gauze onto the cat. Most feline wounds occur on the limbs, and it is difficult to keep dressings on wounds. To maintain the dressing, wrap it with enough tape so it will fit tightly without cutting off circulation. If the limb swells or the cat mewls uncomfortably, the dressing may be too tight.
Consult a veterinarian to treat serious wounds that bleed beyond your control. For moderate lacerations, monitor the area and change the dressing frequently. If the wound swells, changes colour or continues to bleed for longer than a few hours, take your cat to a vet.
Things you need
- Gauze or medical pads
- Surgical tape
- Hydrogen peroxide or iodine