If you have an outdoor cat, you may find that one day he comes home to you and has sustained a wound, possibly from a fight with another cat. This can be alarming, particularly if there's blood, but there's no reason to panic. Cats are often resilient animals, and though wounds can cause pain in cats, with quick treatment and a little knowledge of first aid for cats your pet will likely be right as rain soon.
First steps when your feline is wounded
As soon as you notice that your cat has been wounded, you should take action. VCA Animal Hospitals reports that the first effort should be to try to stop any bleeding by applying pressure to the affected area. If you have the supplies, wrap a piece of gauze on the wound, followed by a bandage or clean, dry cloth. It's also best to raise the location of the wound above the level of the heart, which can also reduce bleeding. Do not under any circumstances apply an ointment, lotion, disinfectant or cream to the wound - this could end up slowing the healing process.
It's important to leave the wound open until you get to the vet's office, because there may be dirt, bacteria or other foreign materials inside it that could cause infection. Don't try to treat such wounds on your own - instead, allow a vet to take care of the disinfecting process.
After the vet's office
The vet may leave the wound open even after your visit to the clinic, because some wounds need extra time to heal. The pet health expert will likely give you instructions on how to clean the wound, and typically this will mean using a mild antiseptic solution or warm water to clear away any discharge. You may also need to change or clean bandages to help prevent the cat from licking the wound. Some cats may be given antibiotics to treat any potential contamination, according to VCA.
Preventing future fights
If your cat is frequently involved in fights, it may be because he is particularly aggressive. There are many ways to help treat this issue. Some felines may feel territorial, and if so, it may be time to help them transition into an indoor lifestyle. Neutering or spaying a cat can also help cut down on aggression and territorial behavior.