Top Tips to Care for Cats With Skin Infections and Open Wounds
Like many other pets, cats can get skin infections and open wounds. Cats are especially prone to these injuries because their fur keeps them warm and prevents air from drying out a wound.
Moreover, Cornell University claims that approximately 6% of cats have three or more skin issues that can become critical over time. The bacteria that live on your cat’s skin thrive in warm, moist environments, so if your kitty gets injured or develops an infection in the form of an open wound, it’s essential to act quickly.
Here are some tips for keeping your cat clean and healthy:
Don’t Use Chlorhexidine
Chlorhexidine is a popular antiseptic often used to clean wounds, but it’s unsafe for cats. The substance can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions in felines, which may lead to increased licking at the site of injury and even infection if bacteria are introduced into the wound.
Chlorhexidine can also be toxic to your cat’s liver, so if you have no choice but to use this product, make sure you have access to emergency veterinary care in case your cat has an adverse reaction or suffers from any other side effects from chlorhexidine exposure.
Use Triple Antibiotic Ointment for Cats
If your cat has an open wound, you should use Triple Antibiotic Ointment for cats. It is safe for cats and can be used on scratches or cuts. Triple Antibiotic Ointment will also treat the infection if your cat’s skin is infected. The ointment works by preventing bacteria from multiplying on the skin, which will help to heal the wound faster.
Many triple antibiotic ointments are available at pet stores or online. However, some contain zinc oxide, which may irritate some cats. When choosing an ointment for your cat, look for one with neomycin sulfate as its active ingredient instead of zinc oxide.
Keep the Wound Covered With a Bandage
To protect your cat from contamination and keep them from licking or scratching the wound, it is essential to keep it covered with a bandage. There are many different types of bandages available for cats. Some can be applied directly over the wound, while others require a layer of gauze before applying the bandage.
In addition to protecting your cat’s wound, an ace bandage provides support for their legs if they have an injury that renders them unable to walk without assistance. It will ensure they are comfortable while recovering from surgery or another type of injury requiring immobilization.
Clean the Wound Twice Every Day
There are many ways to clean a cat’s wound, but the most important thing is to do it twice daily. You can use warm water, mild soap, or alcohol-free hydrogen peroxide if your cat’s parasite load is low. Make sure you rinse any residual cleaning product after cleaning the wound with water or hydrogen peroxide so that it doesn’t irritate your cat’s skin further.
After you’ve cleaned the wound, apply an antibiotic cream or ointment before covering it up with gauze pads or medical tape. Depending on the pus in the infected area, you may have to change these pads every few hours for several days until all of the pus has drained out and healed completely. It will prevent any potential infections from spreading further into other areas of your cat’s body.
Prevent Your Cat From Licking or Scratching the Wound Site
The first step in stopping your cat from licking or scratching a wound is to keep the area covered. Use a large bandage, cloth, or even tape to cover the wound site. You can also purchase a cone collar to prevent your cat from licking or scratching. If you have a small kitten too young for these options, use Vetrap bandages instead. They are made of soft material and will not irritate the skin if left on for more than 24 hours.
If covering the wound does not deter your pet from licking at it, try using Vetericyn spray or gel on it instead. Vetericyn is made with all-natural ingredients like aloe vera and chamomile extract, so it won’t sting when applied directly to open wounds.
It can be purchased over the counter. Thanks to the growing popularity of pet adoption in the country and pet-care awareness among consumers, the pet OTC medication market size is expected to touch USD 13.2 billion by 2032, as per Future Market Insights (FMI).
Infections Can Be Avoided by Keeping an Open Wound Clean and Protected
To keep a wound clean and protected, you must keep the area free of debris and fur. It means cleaning your cat’s body or cat bedding regularly and making sure there are no objects that can hurt their skin. Moreover, to ensure that your feline friend’s skin is not irritated, use a shampoo with a pH level ranging from 6.39 to 6.64, which is the skin pH level for normal cats, according to ResearchGate.
It’s also essential to ensure your pet does not scratch or lick their wounds, as this will only spread bacteria further into the system. Contact your vet immediately if you notice any signs of infection on your cats, such as redness around the wound, swelling, or a foul smell.
Remember, a small wound can become much more severe if not cared for properly. The sooner you start treating your cat’s skin infection or open wound, the better. And remember to give them lots of love and attention during this time. It will help them feel better and heal faster.