Helping your cat recover from a fight
No matter how hard you try to keep your cat out of harm's way, now and then you might find a battered puss strolling in after getting into a fight with the local tom cat or cranky dog. Here are some tips if your cat is looking a little beat up and needs your help to recover.
Give them some space to recover
Your cat will need to sleep even more than usual and needs somewhere safe to sleep. Set them up with a comfy rug or towel in their favourite spot and make sure they can't get outside and get into any more trouble. Place a bowl of water and some food close by so they can wake, recharge, then get straight back to sleep. In many cases, cats will be able to naturally heal themselves with some time and space.
Keep an eye on their wounds
Cats tend to be a little shy about their wounds, so it's up to you to try and keep an eye on how any open wounds are healing. After you give their wounds an initial wipe down with saline, cats will do their best to keep the area clean with grooming. In some cases, they cannot conquer the bacteria and the area might become infected or abscessed. If you do find a wound continues to be red and angry looking, or leaking pus, then they will need to take a trip to the vet for some antibiotics and wound dressing.
A vet visit
As mentioned, a vet visit might be needed if a wound doesn't heal or the cat seems particularly hurt (i.e. if they have been seriously injured by another animal). The vet can treat the wounds and may also recommend some vaccination boosters if the cat seems to have been fighting with stray animals.
They may also give you some tips on how to prevent your cat from getting into fights, which can include neutering animals (especially if male, as intact males are much more prone to fighting), keeping your cat inside and potentially working on any underlying behavioural issues driving the fight. Cats often fight if anxious over territory so behavioural and environmental modifications can be very effective in limiting fighting, as can feline anti-anxiety medications in some cases.
No matter how scary the initial injuries may look, after some TLC with their owner and help from a vet at a clinic like Ivanhoe Veterinary Clinic, your cat will soon be on the road to recovery.