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Cat Bites and Abscesses

17th August 2018

Cat Bites and Abscesses

Cats are territorial animals. This means that they may fight with each other over territorial disputes. Entire male cats are especially territorial; therefore, neutering may reduce the likeliness that a cat will fight. However, it will not completely eliminate the occurrence of fighting, as neutered cats may still fight.

If a cat gets into a fight with another cat, it may get bitten. Cats have a lot of bacteria in their mouths that can be injected into another cat’s skin through biting. These bacteria can cause an infection under the skin.

If you see what you suspect to be a bite wound on your cat, bathe it with salt water (one tablespoon in a pint of water) and take your cat to a vet, who can start any treatment required.


You may not always see visible puncture marks if your cat has been bitten, as the area often heals over quickly, but the area may be hot to the touch and painful to the cat. The cat may be limping if bitten on one of its limbs. Other signs may include listlessness, inappetence (lack of appetite) and may resent being touched or held.

After two to three days the bite wound may develop into an abscess – a swelling filled with pus. Cat bite abscesses are most often found on the face, neck and tail. If left untreated an abscess may burst, in which case you will see pus and may notice a bad smell. Abscesses are often very painful.

If your cat develops an abscess, take it to the vet. Your vet will lance the abscess, drain it and flush it out until clean, and may give the cat a course of antibiotics to clear up the infection.

Your vet will advise you on how to look after the abscess wound after it has been treated. The wound should heal within a few days. If it does not, take the cat back to the vet.

If you have been bitten by a cat, then you should immediately see a doctor who will clean the wound and may give you a course of antibiotics.

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