Cat-bite Abscess

Abscesses are often the result of a bite wound.

Overview

Abscesses are a form of localised infection that occurs under the skin. They are often filled with pus and occur following a puncture wound from a cat fight.

Signs

Abscesses can be open or closed. Open abscesses can ooze pus or look like an open wound. Closed abscesses feel like a fluid-filled mass under the skin. Cats can appear lethargic and have a temperature.

Common signs of an abscess:

  • Soft swelling
  • Pus-oozing wound
  • Lethargy
  • Warm to hot lump on touch
  • Fur loss

Management

If the abscess is open, keep the wound clean and dry with regular sterile saline cleaning. Veterinary care is usually still needed as pockets can harbour pus and can linger. For suspected closed abscesses, seek veterinary attention immediately.

Management of abscesses:

  • Surgical treatment to drain and flush the abscess may be necessary
  • Removal of any foreign bodies
  • Antibiotics
  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Ongoing bathing with sterile saline to keep the area clean

Abscesses are not only uncomfortable but fighting can transfer Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). It is recommended that your cat is tested for FIV  2 months after a fight to see if it has contracted FIV.

If your cat spends time outside he or she may be at risk of becoming a victim of a cat fight. Ask our friendly team how you can protect your cat against FIV infections.

Prevention

Tips to help prevent abscesses:

  • Desexing (entire males tend to fight more)
  • Restrict access to the outdoors (particularly at night)
  • Prevent fighting