The Ultimate Guide to At-Home Wound Care for Cats

by | Jun 28, 2023

As responsible cat owners, we need to take good care of our feline friends even when it comes to minor wounds. While it is best to bring your cat to The Cat Hospital for proper wound treatment, there are times when wounds occur unexpectedly and might need temporary attention while you’re at home.
Our vet has provided you with these tips and steps you can take when it comes to at-home wound management for cats, making the process less daunting and easier to manage.
***At home treatment (without veterinary consultation) does not alleviate any pain caused by the injury.***

Assess your Cat

Before inspecting the wound, make sure to assess how your cat is behaving. If your cat is fearful or in pain, it might be hiding or angry when you attempt to touch them. When they are like this it can be extremely difficult, even dangerous, to find and examine any damage they might have. Do not attempt to treat your cat without veterinary intervention when they are like this. Your vet may prescribe medications to reduce your cat’s fear or pain, so that at home monitoring is successful. Pain is also a good indicator that the wound may be more extreme that it appears.

Assess the Wound

It is vital to assess the wound’s type and severity before taking any action. Is it a small, superficial scratch or a more serious puncture wound? If your cat is bleeding heavily, seek emergency veterinary care. For minor scratches or superficial cuts, you may choose to treat the wound at home. Gently clean the wounded area with slightly warm water and a mild soap. To avoid problems caused by imbedded debris, gently run water over the area and any debris should be flushed out.

Keep it Clean and Dry

One of the key steps in wound care is keeping the wound clean and dry. Once you have cleaned the wound, pat the area dry with a clean towel. Do not use any disinfecting agents such as hydrogen peroxide or alcohol, as these hurt and can damage healthy tissue. Instead, you can rinse with a saline solution, which you can make by mixing 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water. This solution helps keep the wound clean and won’t damage healthy tissue.

Using Topical Antibiotics

It isn’t recommended to use a topical antibiotic unless one has been prescribed by a veterinarian. Antibiotic resistant bacteria are becoming more common, so unless there is an infection an antibiotic should not be used. Human grade topical antibiotics can be toxic, either because of their type or strength. Most superficial, minor wounds heal without infection or the use of antibiotics. If there is thick smelly green, yellow, or cloudy discharge, you should visit a vet for advice.
Cat going to a vet for a check up

Monitor Your Cat’s Wound

Once you have cared for your cat’s wound, monitor it over the next week or so. Keeping your cat inside, if they go outside, will help with monitoring. Observe how your cat behaves and if there are any signs of infection. Redness, swelling, discharge, and fever are all signs of a wound infection. If you notice any of these, call us. Additionally, ensure that your cat does not scratch or lick the wound to the point of reinjury. You can use a homemade bodysuit, textured baby socks on hind feet, or an Elizabethan collar (i.e., “cone”) to prevent this.

Watch for Healing

Finally, keep an eye on the wound’s healing progress. You can apply a warm compress to the area for ten minutes, twice daily for a few days, to promote faster healing and reduce inflammation. The length of the healing process may vary depending on the type and severity of the wound. But, if the wound is clean, dry, and there are no signs of infection, your cat is on their way to recovery.
Wound healing is a natural process, and cats are excellent at it if given the right care. While at-home wound care for cats is not a substitute for professional veterinary treatment, it is important to know the steps to take in case of minor wounds. Assessing the wound, keeping it clean and dry, using topical antibiotics, monitoring the wound, and watching for healing are all essential steps in caring for your cat’s wound. When followed correctly, these steps can help your cat’s wounds heal faster and promote a quick recovery.


If you have any questions about home wound care for cats, call us, the only veterinary cat clinic in Kamloops that offers a full list of services to keep your feline friend healthy. We provide consultations, wellness exams, X-rays and imaging, soft tissue surgery, dental care, diagnostics, and spaying and neutering services for cats. We love cats, and we know you do too!
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