With spring well and truly sprung, cats are out and about enjoying the outdoor life. However, they are strictly territorial creatures and “Might is right”. Territories are marked out by urine, and most cats prefer to avoid entering each other’s patch.
However, as we humans tend to live in small areas (in cat terms) our pets may well end up living within another cat’s homeground. This is why bite wounds and abscesses are one of the commonest feline ailments we treat.
Why do the bites go septic?
Cats have powerful jaws and carry a lot of nasty microbes in their mouths. The long canines produce very deep punctures, which often seal over quickly allowing the infection to develop into an abscess.
This is very painful and usually results in the wounded cat suffering a fever and becoming quiet and off its food. Over the next few days a pus-filled swelling may develop. If this ruptures, the smell is truly horrible! The bite wounds may also be associated with being infected with FIV and other viruses.
Does my cat need to see the vet?
Bites and abscesses are very painful and the infections can be dangerous. It is best to have your cat checked over: an antibiotic and pain relief may be needed. If an abscess has formed, lancing and flushing with saline is the best treatment and usually gives a great deal of comfort.
And for prevention:…move to that farm in the country? At least ensure your own cat is neutered and vaccinated. If you have a neighbourhood stray ‘Rambo’, a local charity may be able to catch and neuter him.
by Jacky Macqueen