Several common injuries befall cats fairly regularly. If you have a cat, you may have encountered any number of these.
To help you know what to do right away if your cat is hurt at home, we’ve created a list of the most common cat injuries and what to do to treat them.
Most Common Cat Wounds and Other Injuries
1. Exposure to Poisons
Cats love to explore. Unfortunately, sometimes, they explore a bit too much and get their taste buds into trouble by eating something they shouldn’t have.
Taking a look around your house for some common toxins can prevent future veterinary visits. Check your garage- is there rat poison out? Your kitchen counter- is there a bouquet of lilies? How about the barn- do you keep fly spray around for livestock? Ensuring all medications are kept in a cabinet that your cat cannot open is important. While Tylenol is a safe medication for even young human babies- it is very dangerous for cats.
Below are some common toxins in cats that can easily be avoided with a quick look around your home:
- Lilies (even a small amount of pollen can cause your pet to get sick)
- English Ivy
- Sago Palms
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol),
- Human or animal NSAID pain relievers (Ibuprofen (Advil), Naproxen (Aleve), etc.)
- Other human medications such as Effexor and Aderall (Cats seem to enjoy the taste)
- Rat poison
- Permethrin (Found in insecticides, dog flea and tick medication, livestock fly sprays)
- Onions, garlic, chives, and leeks
- Vitamin D3
If you believe your cat has ingested something that could be poisonous, such as a human medication, toxic plant, or household cleaner, for example, it’s important to take immediate action. Gather as much information as you can about what your cat ate, and call or visit your vet right away. Watch for symptoms such as weakness, lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, excessive activity, tremors and seizures, and drooling.
If your cat gets any sort of chemical on their coat (such as dog flea and tick medication or fly spray), immediately contact a veterinary professional and remove the pet’s collar. If instructed, you may be asked to bathe the pet with dish soap to remove the chemical.
There is a resource available called the Pet Poison Helpline. This service costs $65 to call and is available 24/7. A call includes follow up consultation. The can be reached at 800-213-6680 or at PetPoisonHelpline.com. Please always follow up with your veterinarian.
2. Bite Wounds
Bite wounds can happen from any type of animal. Other cats, dogs, snakes, and insects are the biggest culprits. Keeping your cat indoors will help prevent cat wounds like these, but when the damage has already been done, it’s crucial to take your cat into the vet immediately.
Bites can cause serious blood loss as well as put your cat at risk for diseases. All mouths have bacteria, so all bite wounds will be contaminated by bacteria. Your vet will clean and dress any wounds and may suture them as needed. Antibiotics may also be prescribed by your veterinarian to control infection. They will also check your pet for signs of rabies and other diseases.
Bite wounds are also painful, and your veterinarian can help with pain management following an injury.
“With cat bites we worry about abscesses under the bite. Cat bites usually result in small puncture wounds that may not be obvious to the pet parent until the abscess forms. Some viral infections like FeLV or FIV can sometimes be transmitted via bites as well.” – Dr Lucas White, DVM
3. Eye Trauma
The exploratory and curious nature of cats can also get them into trouble with their eyes. Cats who like to jump around and wiggle into tight spaces may end up with an eye injury caused by a jagged furniture edge, branches and thorns, or other objects. When this happens, it is again important to take your cat into the vet. They will be able to flush your cat’s eye, closely examine the wound, and provide treatment for fast, clean healing. It is not recommended to use human eye medications or leftover pet eye medications when this happens, as some eye medications contain steroids that can delay the healing of eye injuries.
Scratches or ulcers on a cat’s eye from an injury can quickly become infected, and if left untreated, can lead to eye rupture.
Some eyelid injuries may require stitches to heal properly, so if any wounds are noticed around the eye it is important they are examined.
4. Hit By Car
For our kitties that live any part of their lives outside, we don’t just worry about other animals injuring them, we also worry about the roads! Cats are very small and quick, so unfortunately that makes them prone to being missed by the eyes of drivers. Common injuries from cars that cats can sustain (if they survive the event) include road rash, cuts and scrapes, broken bones, injuries to the lungs and abdominal organs, and head injuries.
If your cat comes home from an outdoor adventure and has any signs of being hit by a car, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately, as some injuries are internal and cannot be seen without an x-ray or advanced imaging! Some signs your cat may be hit by a car include cuts or scrapes, missing hair, broken bones, limping or difficulty walking, trouble breathing, and disorientation.
Visit Sunset Vet for Any Injuries to Your Cat
As you can see, any serious injury to your cat demands that you immediately contact your veterinarian. At Sunset Veterinary Clinic, we are always available to help if you have a cat injury emergency. Our vets will either be able to see your cat right away for immediate treatment and/or instruct you in proper cat wound care.