When I was a child growing up I always remember cats around. There isn’t a point I can think of that there wasn’t a least one cat, and at some points several. These cats were not always pampered indoor cats, but often (as they often they are) were the rough and tumble sort of outside cats. Maybe livening under the shed, and perhaps spending most of their time lurking somewhere in the barn, only to grace the front porch for meal times or particularly hot and lazy afternoons. Inevitably with that rough and tumble sort of barn cat, or with any cat really, there is a chance, at some point you will have to deal with an injury.
Wild At Heart
Lets face it. All cats, indoor or out, are still a little wild at heart, and can get themselves into precarious cat situations. The last thing any pet owner wants to see is their fur baby hurt, but if it happens… Don’t Panic! With a little bit of easy kitty first aid you can help your cat on its way to a swift recovery!
Fist thing is to identify that your cat is injured. As cats are natural hunters their instinct tells them to hide injury. In the wild an injury would show weakness and invite attack. Here are some ways to tell if your cat is hiding pain.
Signs Your Cat Is In Pain
- Hiding. Haven’t seen the Cat or the cat won’t come out from hiding for food or litter-box
- Mobility. Cats not moving or is moving slowly or gingerly
- Loss of appetite. The cats not eating or drinking its usual portion at meal time
- Grooming. The cats not cleaning itself
- Bathroom. Litter box is clean for several days
- Changes in meow. Cat might tell you it’s in pain with its voice
- Changes in personality/aggressiveness
Once you have identified that your cat is injured the next step is to identify the injury. This will take a physical inspection of your cat. The best way to do this is gently. Show your injured cat affection by soft pats and slowly work your cat’s body from head to tail putting special focus on your cats reaction to your touch. Your cat will tell you when where it hurts, possibly with aggression (remember they are injured!) or vocalizing. Sometimes your cat is not going to put up with a gentle prodding and resist you attempts to inspect. In that situation don’t be afraid to gently but firmly hold your cat down for a cursory inspection. A good technique is use a towel to avoid injury
If you find the location of the pain but it appears to be an internal injury the best thing to do at this point is to call your local veterinarian. At least if the pain is identified you will have a better idea on how to get your cat safely and comfortably to the animal hospital.
If you inspect your cat and find bleeding or an open wound there is some simple things you can do. You will want a clear look at the wound to get an assessment on its severity. If after a through investigation you determine the wound is minor you can move on to cleaning. More serious wounds such as deep cuts or punctures should be treated by a vet immediately. Those types of wounds are highly susceptible to infection because as they heal over they trap bacteria.
Hopefully there is only a mild injury and you can go straight to cleaning and skip the vet all together. When cleaning the wound use warm water and an antibacterial soap. Do not use rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide as they can cause further tissue damage. You don’t generally have to worry about applying a bandage as its better for the wound to get air, and we all know your cats going to probably have the bandage off as soon as it’s on anyway. If you feel the need to bandage the area use a clean wrap with medical tape and change it often.
Remember to keep close watch on your cat for signs of infection. If your cats injury is on its leg or paw a good idea is to switch your kitty litter for newspaper until the leg or paw has healed.
For more information from some experts watch these two videos below!