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How to Treat an Open Wound on a Cat

| Updated September 26, 2017

Things You'll Need

  • Scissors

  • Tweezers

  • Antibacterial soap

  • Sterile saline solution

  • Gauze

  • Surgical tape

Cat wounds can be treated at home if they are not severe. However, severe wounds which are profusely bleeding must be treated by a veterinarian due to a possible need for stitches. Apply pressure to the area with a clean towel or gauze until the cat is in the care of a veterinarian. Other open wounds may be mild enough that you can apply first-aid at home. To apply first-aid at home, you may need someone to assist you. This person can help keep the cat calm by lightly petting it or gently talking to it. They can also help you hold the cat still, while you follow first-aid procedures.

Cut the hair around the wound. Using scissors, clip the hair around the wound so you can get a clearer look at the wound. You, or an assistant, will need to hold the cat in place. Electrical razors are not recommended--they may scare the cat.

Remove any foreign objects. Use your tweezers to remove any small rocks, leaves or other items from the wound. You may use a flashlight if you cannot see.

Clean the wound. Pour a sterile saline solution over the wound to clean it. If no solution is available, you can gently lather the area with antibacterial soap. Rinse the area thoroughly with warm water. Use a towel to gently pat the area until dry.

Bandage the wound. Place gauze over the open wound. Using surgical tape, secure the gauze. If you don't have surgical tape, any tape that will hold the gauze in place will work. Your cat may try to remove the bandage. If this happens, reapply the bandage as necessary. Replace the bandage with a fresh one twice a day.


  • Optionally, you can apply antibiotic ointment to the wound twice a day.


  • Do not use hydrogen peroxide on an open wound. Hydrogen peroxide may kill bacteria, but it also kills other important cells that may help the wound heal.