If your cat spends time outside, it could suffer from a variety of injuries, including those caused by animal attacks or automobile accidents. Being prepared in advance will help you provide immediate attention for those injuries. Here are four steps you'll need to take if your cat suffers from injuries while outside.
Calm Your Cat
The first thing you'll need to do is calm your cat. It may be panicked, or in shock, which means it might not want to hold still for you. Gently wrap your cat in a clean towel or small blanket. Hold your cat in your arms, applying just enough pressure to prevent your cat from breaking free and running away. Once your cat has calmed down, you'll be able to examine the wounds better.
Clean the Wounds
When you start tending to the wounds, you'll need to give them a thorough cleansing. Fill a basin with lukewarm water and add several drops of antibacterial soap. Soak a clean cloth in the water. While still holding your cat, squeeze a flow of water over the wounds to remove any debris that might be present. Once you've flushed the wound, wring the cloth out in the water and gently wipe the area. Apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment to the surface of the wound. To keep the area clean, you should cleanse the wound at least once a day and apply a fresh layer of antibiotic ointment.
Watch for Infection
After you've cleansed the wound, you should continue to monitor it for infection for several days. Infections can cause serious health risks for your cat. Some of the signs of infection you should look for include the following.
- Swelling and redness
- Foul-smelling discharge from the wound
Seek Veterinary Care
If your cat has been injured during one of its trips outdoors, you should be able to provide care for it on your own. However, if the wound is deep, covers a large area of the body, or is bleeding uncontrollably, you should seek veterinary care as soon as possible. Keep your cat wrapped in a towel or blanket for the transport. If your cat won't hold still, wrap it in a towel and place it in a pet carrier for transport to the veterinarian. Be sure to call ahead and let them know that you're bringing in an injured pet. This will ensure that they're prepared to provide immediate care for your cat.
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