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Published: Nov 18, 2011

Cats are curious creatures which makes them prone to getting injured, therefore, owners should know how to deal with injuries such as an open wounds.

According to VCA Animal Hospitals, an open wound is defined as a break in the skin, whereas a closed wound is considered a contusion or a bruise. If an owner sees their cat bleeding, he or she should first try to control and stop it by applying direct pressure to the site. VCA recommends using a dry gauze and a layer of bandage material or a fresh cloth as these fabrics are more absorbent and can protect the wound. VCA reports that owners should never clean a wound with hydrogen peroxide or alcohol as these can be damaging to a cat’s delicate tissues. If possible an owner should try to lift the wound over the level of the cat's heart to decrease bleeding. This is only effective if the wound is located on a limb or the tail and should not be attempted if the cat reacts in pain when the wound is touched.

All open wounds should be evaluated by your veterinarian as soon as possible. Some open wounds require surgical cleaning or even stitches and some will be left open to heal on their own. In this situation, owners will need to be instructed in diligent cleaning to keep the wound free from infection so it can heal properly.