How To Treat Cat Scratches At Home

BY | October 25 | COMMENTS PUBLISHED BY
How To Treat Cat Scratches At Home

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At scratches can be menacing to treat. Cats arenโ€™t the forgiving type so when your child mistakenly steps on your catโ€™s tail, your cat will obviously retaliate with a well-placed scratch. Not only can cat scratches be painful, but the wounds from the scratch can bleed, swell, sting, get infected and sometimes even make us sick! Although the deeper scratches need proper medical attention, some of the more minor scratches can be easily treated at home. Some wounds require more attention and care than others.Cats can do a lot of damage with a simple swipe of their paw. Cats have sharper claws than dogs do. Thatโ€™s why they can give you deeper scratches that can cause a lot of trauma in the long run. The deeper the scratch, the higher the risk of swelling, direct exposure to our blood supply, and chances of infection.After youโ€™ve been scratched, you have to consider a few factors to determine the depth of the trauma. These factors are the depth of the wound, the location of the wound, the catโ€™s medical history and other considerations, your own medical records.

How To Treat Them 

You have to first wash the wound with some soap and warm water. If the wound is still bleeding, apply direct pressure on the wound by using a dry, clean gauze pad. Seek medical attention if the bleeding continues even after youโ€™ve applied pressure.Scratch wounds to the limbs are more at risk of being infected than wounds in other areas. Scratches to the face and other parts of the body causes scarring. A direct scratch to the inside of the eye needs immediate medical attention. That can get ugly really fast if you leave it untreated. Keep in mind that if you have other medical conditions that have weakened your immune system, then that makes you more prone to infection.An antibiotic cream can then be applied to the wound after youโ€™ve washed it thoroughly. Cover the wound with a sterile, dry dressing and leave it be until it heals completely. Monitor the wound closely and at the first sign of any unusual symptoms, seek medical help immediately. The wound might not always be as minor as you may think.Infected wounds are characterized by warmth, an increase in redness, tenderness, swelling, pain, or the secretion of pus. Typical signs that show that the infection has spread to the body are fever, body aches, chills, swollen glands, and fatigue.If youโ€™ve been scratched by an unknown cat, it is safer to get a round of vaccine and antibody injections for rabies as a precaution.

Here Are The Six Simplified Steps For Treating Scratches: 

  1. If itโ€™s an unknown cat, find her! If itโ€™s your cat, take her medical history into consideration.
  2. Assess how severe the scratch is according to the location, the depth, and your medical conditions.
  3. Clean the wound with some soap and warm water, after youโ€™ve stopped the bleeding.
  4. Apply an antibiotic cream that can be bought over the counter.
  5. Bandage it carefully and keep it covered for at least two days.
  6. Monitor the wound for any signs of infection.

Home Remedies for cat scratches

A cat scratch could be more than extremely painful. The wound may become infected, swell, bleed, and even sting. You could also fall sick. You can treat minor scratches by yourself. A few wounds, however, need special attention. The claws of a cat are much sharper than that of a dog and much more probable to result in massive trauma. Greater trauma means more significant swelling probability, exposure to the blood supply, along with a chance of infection. If you get scratched, consider some factors like the location of the wound, depth of the wound, and the nature of the cat itself. Your health is also important in such a case.

Superficial Wounds

If the cat scratch is a superficial one, then you can wash off the wound using soap and water. In case the area bleeds, apply a little pressure with a clean and dry gauze pad. Visit the doctor if the bleeding does not cease even after you hold tension. Feet and hand wounds are more susceptible to infection. If the cat scratches the face, then there could be cosmetic damage like scarring. Any scratch to your eye needs a visit to the ophthalmologist. At higher risk are individuals with compromised or weakened immune systems. You can apply standard antibiotic cream on to the wound. Cover it with a dry and sterile dressing. Continue until the wound heals completely. It is important that you keep watch over the wound. Any change for the worse needs a visit to the doctor. The signs of an infected wound include variable changes around the wound site and increased redness. There will be swelling and tenderness. You will feel pain when you move, and the glands will be swollen. There could be pus drainage too. The signs of generalized body infection are swollen glands, fever, fatigue, and body aches. Development of lymph nodes or swollen glands within a week of the scratch indicates a bacterial infection.

Feral cat and CSD

If you get scratched by a feral cat, then follow the identical preceding treatment but inform the local health department or animal control. The severity of scratch and chance of it followed by a bite requires the identification of the animal. If needed, the cat could be quarantined and checked for many diseases like rabies. Your doctor may recommend a rabies vaccination if the animal control personnel cannot entrap the cat. You may also have to get a tetanus shot if you did not have one during the last ten years. The most severe disease associated with cat scratches is Cat Scratch Disease (CSD). It is caused by the Bartonella bacteria which gets transmitted to cats from an infected flea bite. You can also suffer from CSD if your Bartonella infected cat licks your open wound. Visit the hospital immediately.

Managing Cat Scratches

If you own a cat, there is more than an even chance of your sofa being in tatters-along with your nerves. You know it is futile to scold your cat. When you stare at your kitty, it also looks back at you in a puzzled manner, trying to understand why the human is so angry.

Do not declaw

Whatever you do, it is not permissible to declaw your cat. Your cat is a beautiful, loving, and independent animal. Declawing it will destroy all these, and you have no right to take it from a beautiful animal. A cat's claw is not equivalent to a human's fingernails. The claws are an important component of the cat's anatomy. They are essential for balance, survival, and mobility. Declawing refers to a surgical procedure which cannot be reversed under any circumstances. The cat's toes get amputated until the first joint. It is equivalent to cutting off your fingers.

Declawing could lead to secondary contracture of tendons. A declawed cat could find it uncomfortable to walk. Since there are no last joints in her front paws, it compensates by placing increased weight on the hindquarters. This results in being the cat out of balance. The body weight shift to back feet could result in atrophy of the front limbs muscles. The back ones may suffer from strain injury. To a cat, being imbalanced is a curse. Declawing also makes the cat defenseless. It has no means of self-defense from other predators. The cat will be distressed and urinate everywhere.

Marking territory and non-punishment

Cats scratch for many reasons. They do not want to irritate you just for the heck of it. Scratching helps them to mark territory. It is a kind of territorial instinct by which cats establish their turf and placemarks. Claws do more than visually marking territory. The paws contain scent glands which leave a distinctive scent on the object. Scratching is a cat's way of interior decoration.

Do understand that for cats, scratching is an entirely natural behavior. There is proof everywhere for this. Your bedsheets, sofa, and chairs are scratched threadbare. If you think you can win the fight, you would not. Get a scratching post instead. It is not possible for you to stop your cat from scratching. Since it enjoys scratching, the cat will continue to do so. It will completely disregard your commands and requests.

Do not punish your cat. It does not know whether you punish it or just making some weird noises. However, it will soon feel insecure and out of sadness scratch some more furniture. After some time, you will never get back the cat you have lost. Do understand that a cat can hold a grudge for a long time.

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