How to Treat a Stray Cat's Wound

Updated on December 26, 2016

A stray cat may have seven lives, but because they tend to live on the wild side it is not unusual for them to have some sort of injuries going on. The cat may have gotten into a fight, scratched its skin against barb wire, or worse, a stray cat may have gotten into a car accident. The protocol for treating the wounds of a stray cat remain the same as treating the wounds of any domestic cat, however it requires an extra ounce of care.

Things to Consider Before Caring for a Stray Cat

-If the cat is feral many times it is best to simply call animal control or your local shelter. They are equipped with special cages and other equipment to restrain the cat and then provide it with the care it needs. Some stray cats can be hard to capture and may as well display aggressive behaviors, especially when they are hurt.

-If the cat appears to have a good disposition and is friendly you want to assess the cat's injury first. If the injury appears to be bleeding extensively, if the cat is unable to walk, if there are signs of infection such as pus or odor or if there is a large gap suggesting the need for sutures, try to place the cat in a carrier and take him to the closest veterinarian.

-It is best to wear heavy duty gloves, because the cat may not be used to human touch and therefore, may not understand that you are there to help him. Cat bites can be serious because cats have a lot of bacteria in their saliva, significantly upping the chances for infection. Also, you never know the history of this cat, it could even have rabies, a very serious disease you may not want to take chances.

-If you own other cats it is advisable not to take this cat into your home. Stray cats may transmit serious diseases such as Distemper, Feline Leukemia, Feline Peritonitis an so forth. So keep your cats safe and far from harms way.

How to Care for the Cat's Wounds

-If the wound is bleeding applying firm pressure with a sterile gauze for a few minutes should help halt the bleeding. A little bit of blood is helpful to help the body flush the bacteria out.

-Trimming some of the fur around the wound may help prevent infection and make the area easier to treat. This also increases air flow making recovery easier.

-Flushing the wound with fresh flowing water and some antibacterial soap such as Dial will help clean the area and remove any bacteria or debris.

-The cat's wound can be disinfected with some diluted hydrogen peroxide with water. Kept at its natural state, hydrogen peroxide may actually damage tissue. Betadine often is a better solution.

-A thin layer of Neosporin can finally be safely applied to prevent infection.

Wounds do best if left uncovered, however, this often means that cats may abide to their natural instinct of licking the wound. Some bitter apple spray may be applied on the fur surrounding the wound or an Elizabethan collar may be fit around the cat's neck.

Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        Lucy Hightree 

        6 weeks ago

        Hi! New here. Not new to cats though. I just brought in a very docile stray cat. Scabs all over. I've washed her once, and things seem a little better.

        I have her in a bathroom. Is that safe enough to prevent feline him or leukemia from my other cat? I'd like to keep her... I'm poor!!!! I don't know where to start...

      • profile image

        Sandra 

        7 weeks ago

        An outside cat was dumped on me it left come back with a wound on neck hide is gone raw meat showing appears no infection?! How can I treat. He let's me and no one else pet and live him he had beautiful hair I only wish you knew how beautiful this cat once was. He's a msinecoon I believe I'm not a cat person just a lover of animals. Help me please

      • profile image

        Hannah 

        9 months ago

        This stray cat is very friendly and is very attacthed to me. He didn't return the whole day and when he came back in the eveneing today, he hada wound on his back leg, with puss in it, i applied vaseline that he licked away but i don't know what to do, small portion of meat is missing from there. Guide me so i can treat him correctly. VET around my neighborhood don't treat strays -.- so do guide me what should i do. Should i put pyodine and wrap it in a cloth or should i leave it open?

      • profile image

        Helen C ain 

        8 years ago

        A stray cat has been hanging around and I am feeding him and putting out water. He has lost weight and has some discharge around his mouth. (Now dry) His eye may be infected and ozing inside. What can I give him to help him?

      • advisor4qb profile image

        advisor4qb 

        9 years ago from On New Footing

        Yet another helpful and interesting hub! Thanks!

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