Cat Bite abscesses are one of the most common problems we see at all our Vets4pets practices. Unless kept 100% indoors, many cats will encounter this problem. Cats are very territorial animals and intruders are not very welcome. Sometimes it may not be your cat picking the fight, there is always a local bully around waiting to pounce.
Keeping your cat indoors at night does not necessarily prevent the possibility of a cat fight, since it can happen any time of the day or night.
What are the symptoms of Cat Fight Abscess?
Most cats are a bit sore on day one. Pieces of fur might be missing; there can be visible wounds or scratches visible. Dry of fresh blood can be also visible on coat.
On day two some appear to be normal but many start slowing down. Lacks of appetite, withdrawn, hiding and sore and hot to touch are common complaints.
On day three many get pretty cranky and hard to handle. Many owners will find a lump which may feel like a balloon filled with water or there is some pus found on the coat or a gaping wound is found.
This is very often when the cats are brought in to see us at our practices.
How is a Cat Bite Abscess treated?
It depends on the severity, with small abscesses all the cat needs is an injection of antibiotic and pain relief. Most of them will improve just with this treatment.
More severe wounds have to be surgically repaired if there are large gaps in tissue. Most of these wounds will be sutured and a drain put in the wound. The drain is removed in 3-5 days. Prognosis is excellent and most of the cats do well.
Cat Bite Abscess and FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus)
FIV or Feline AIDS is a disease caused by a virus and it is reasonably common diagnosis in Adelaide. It is mostly transmitted by feline saliva and so fighting other cats is one of the major causes of infection.
Once infected this becomes a problem for life and is an incurable disease. The signs of it can be chronic and recurrent infections, oral/mouth/ infections, and non-healing wounds. There are some studies conducted in Adelaide indicating that up to 20-25% of the cats are infected with FIV.
What can I do to avoid my cat getting into trouble?
1. There is a vaccine for FIV which works well and is available at present. Please talk to your vet for more information about it.
2. Keep your cat indoors at all times if possible.
3. Building an enclosure is a good idea....it will stop FIV as well and cat fights.