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Cats and Abscesses: Don’t Let Them Go Untreated!

Abscesses are a serious condition that warrant treatment — and frankly, they are pretty fun to treat. At Greenbrier Emergency Animal Hospital, we generally see abscesses in our feline patients who spend time outdoors socializing with other neighborhood cats and creatures, since abscesses are usually caused by a bite from another animal. We tend see to them on the back part of a cat’s body, although they can occur anywhere. Typically, a cat will receive such a bite while running away from a predator — and trying to escape a potentially much more serious injury (or worse).

Because most cats are furry, a puncture wound or bite wound will typically be covered by hair, so it will be difficult to spot. And when your cat returns home, it likely will resume its normal activity (eating and sleeping), so you probably won’t suspect a thing. But after a bite, there’s often trouble brewing beneath your cat’s skin.

Bite wounds frequently cause small punctures where bacteria from the predator’s teeth are having a grand old time. The skin wound seals up, and the bacteria continue to multiply and fester below the skin surface. About four days after a bite takes place, you may start to notice that your kitty’s appetite is diminished, or that it doesn’t want to come out from under a bed. In short, your cat just may not be acting like its normal, happy self.

At this point, your cat needs to see a veterinarian. Most cats with an abscess will have a fever — and if left untreated, a simple ailment can spiral out of control and become a much larger, more serious medical issue. Dehydration is also common in these cases, since cats who are feeling crummy tend not to eat and drink as they should.

At Greenbrier Emergency Animal Hospital, in this kind of situation, a full physical exam will be performed on your pet, and an estimate will be presented to you before any treatments are carried out. Generally in this circumstance, your cat will need to be sedated for treatment, and the abscess will need to be lanced. The wound will be flushed out, and often a drain will be surgically placed so that the wound does not seal right back up. The wound will need to drain for 2-3 days, after which time the drain can be removed by your family veterinarian.

Antibiotics and sometimes pain medication will be dispensed to take care of the infection and treat your cat’s discomfort. We often offer an injectable antibiotic that lasts for 2 weeks, in order to keep you from the hassles of trying to get your cat to take an antibiotic pill or liquid at home.

Recovery from an abscess generally takes a few days, but your cat should perk up and want to eat and drink normally within 24-48 hours. If at that point your kitty still isn’t feeling up to snuff, a recheck exam should be scheduled as soon as possible.

© 2010 Greenbrier Emergency Animal Hospital. All rights reserved.

967 Comments
  1. Reply
    keiko55

    I have a cat, indoor, that gets an abscess once a year no fight just a zit. Could I do anything to treat it at home? No head yet just sensitive. K

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Sounds very strange if it is yearly. Although I can not diagnose without seeing the cat. You might want to consider a yearly allergen? Cats also get feline acne and this could be that. If the cat is drinking out of a plastic water bowl or food bowl and the acne is on its face, try changing to steel. Otherwise I would try to make a vet appointment when the mass is present and they can take a look. Good question.
      Dr. Tripp Stewart
      Greenbrier Emergency Animal Hospital.

      • Reply
        Keegster8555

        My cat is between 10-12 years old has a bump on his face looks kind of hard its a bit pussy and bloody and grotess we gave him 2ml benidril thinking it was an allergy last night just once we if course searched it up but that did nothing can you give us a hand if its and abscess cancer or a fungal infection

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          No way to tell without seeing it. Can you go to a vet and have it looked at? That needs antibiotics at the least.

          • Robin

            What kinds of antibiotics so the give a cat for an abscess? Amoxicillin?

          • Dr. Stewart

            I try not to answer very specific drug and dosing questions. Please call your local vet. Sorry.

          • Jennifer

            My cat had a abscess removed two weeks ago, I woke up this morning and their was infection all over her again, another ruptured abscess in the same spot. What do I do

          • Dr. Stewart

            Go see a vet about antibiotics. Make sure it is not new or a continuation of the old one.

          • david guzman

            My cat got a pretty big one after a dog attack and it popped no bleeding or stench
            Should I take him in?

          • Dr. Stewart

            I always advise a check up if you are concerned. They can get worse fast.

          • Amanda

            Can you help me?

          • Monay

            My kitten scratched a little but noticeable hole in his neck and it looks like yellow liquid came out I tried to call a vet but they had no doctors in and I covered it the best I could what should I do ??

          • Dr. Stewart

            keep it clean and dry and take him to the vet tomorrow. Use mild soapy water and rinse it well.

          • daniel abell

            ok you get this all the time. but my cat has a absyss on his head. ive cleaned it for about 2 weeks but if anything getting worse. I love the little bastered but im on a pension. and need a cheap way to treat him or my nefue will put him down. and I don’t want that

          • Dr. Stewart

            You nephew needs to be re-educated or scolded. Take hi to a vet for an antibiotic shot. Call an SPCA and see if they have an assistance program, or call local vet offices to get a price. Someone will help you. The cat needs to be seen and figure out what is going on. It might be something worse if it is not getting better.

        • Reply
          Nahla's mom

          I have an indoor only, 7 year old Egyptian Mau. She is up to date with all her vaccinations. Last month we noticed a bump on her back about an inch above her tail. She doesnt like it to be touched. We took her to the vet. They felt it and said it was a cyst, gave her a shot of antibiotic and sent us on our way.
          The bump is still there. Should we take her back or does it take a while for the cyst to go away? What do you suggest? She is our baby.

          • Dr. Stewart

            Cysts come back and will stay and even grow if that is what it is. I would bring her back and have then stick a needle in it or remove and biopsy it if it looks bad. I would guess they are right and it is just a cyst. If so, leave it unless it grows too big or gets very painful…..

          • Trista

            Please help! A cat that lives outdoors had a severe infection right above his eye. Its swollen about the size of a pistachio but the cost of surgery was so far out of reach- i live paycheck to paycheck and had to borrow part of the 200$ it was for the antibiotic shot and visit. Anyways the shot didnt help,it seems like theres more visible patches of meat and i cant afford for another visit, not for awhile. Is there anything else i can do? Ice packs, heat packs? Ive brought him inside ever since the vets and hes just been sleeping like 20 hours a day. Hes very old, im thinking probably 14+ years. He still purrs when i pet him and hes not crying out of pain but it looks awful

          • Dr. Stewart

            There is not too much more I can advise without knowing the cause (infection, cancer, trauma….). You can certainly use warm and cold compress (depending on the cause) and you can keep it clean with warm soapy water and rinses. Otherwise you needs to see what happens. It might be cancer in which case there is nothing you can do, or it might be infection and doing what I suggested will help. Good luck.

          • Aaron

            So I’m assuming my cat has an absess that has not yet drained yet, considering theres nothing but a small scab and the fur around it is bare. It feels soft to the touch as if theres fluid inside. It doesnt seem to be very severe since she is playing around, drinking and eating fine. I know I’ve seen people recommend a warm compress to get it to drain. Any advice other than to just take her to the vet? Vet costs have become so expensive and I can hardly afford it.

          • Dr. Stewart

            If you can not go to a vet, then just warm compress it and try to remove the scab and see if you can milk out the puss and drain it. HOWEVER, that is assuming it an an abscess and not cancer, cyst, foreign material…… the safest and fastest way for it to heal is with vet care and antibiotics.

      • Reply
        Daniel

        My cat was limping recently and I took him to the vet. They believe he burned his paw and gave him an antibiotic shot and put a cone-shaped collar on him to prevent him from licking it. I just noticed that he has what appears to be a blister on his lower lip. Is this likely related to the shot?

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          Probably not the shot, but might be some more infection. If this remains for more than a few days bring him back to the vet. He might need to have it lanced or injected.

          • kaitlin

            My cat Zoey is about 1 year and has 2 kittens she bites only one on the neck and now it is really bad it has no fur and it’s red and is alittle bloody do we need to start nursing the kittens I don’t know what to do but the kittens r only 4 weeks. Please help!!!

          • Dr. Stewart

            Take the kittens away and try to feed them soft cat food. If they will not eat soft cat food then start to bottle feed them for a week or two and transition them to soft food as soon as they will eat it.

          • Stephanie

            Hi there! I had a feral cat taken to the vet the other day and had a foot abscess i&d… he is post op day one and the foot is swollen still (like a duck with toes spread) and is having some serosanguinous drainage. Is this normal? I am not familiar with post op cat situations. Thanks!

          • Dr. Stewart

            Yes, this can be normal a day after surgery. I would watch it another day or 2 then bring him back to the vet for a follow up.

        • Reply
          Fatima

          My cat has an open wound filled with puss I guess, but that puss won’t drain out even when the wound popped open.
          I have given her amoxicillin for now.
          She’s fever and the place where that thing is popped open feels tender , hard like a stone to touch.
          I am taking her to vet today in the evening but I am worried about her life also. She’s our only baby. What should I do ?

          • Dr. Stewart

            Go to the vet and do not in the future start amoxicillin without seeing the vet first, they might change the antibiotics and that is not ideal. Get to the vet asap.

      • Reply
        Nikki Tozer

        My cat was treated for a burst abscess this morning, with a shot of congenial and 4 days of pain medication. The vet left it open and it is still bloody. Is this normal?

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          Yes, that is normal. That is the correct treatment.

          • jaen claude

            They gave me some antibotics and pain pills for the cat today is the second from the vet it did improve butt its not looking so good is that normal any info plz

          • Dr. Stewart

            Give it another day or 2 then go back…. hard to say. Sorry

          • Sheila

            I had this same question. The wound seems very large to close up on its own. It is at least an inch square. Will I have to take her back for stitches once it stops draining?

          • Dr. Stewart

            It depends on the wound. Often you can let smaller wounds heal on their own. Never close an abscess that is still infected.

      • Reply
        Gima

        I found a cat that had been run over and I don’t have the ability to take it to the vet. I have put him on my back porch and it has been 4 days now. He is very sweet and doesn’t appear to be in pain but very sore. He has walked around a little bit, he has peed and pooped with no signs of blood but he is very swollen around his rear left leg and side. I have laid my hands on his rear when he walked and I can feel something pop or snap slightly. Skin appears very bruised but no open wounds. Can’t get him to drink any water but he has had some goats milk and half a can of moist food…any advice??? Can I order any antibiotic for him?

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          Sounds like its dislocated or broken. If the cat is nice then it is an owned cat and someone is missing a cat. Call the SPCA or post posters around looking for the owner. I do not think antibiotics will help if it has a broken leg or displaced joint. You need xrays and a vet visit. Sorry.

          • Keila

            Hi my cat have this swollen cushion at least 3 x in past years , it swelled up and it warm to touch , he doesnt let anyone near him beside myself and have to be sedated to see the vet , this tive she ask me to send pictures bc she didnt want to stress him out and get him under again , she prescribe clavamox ,this has been goin one for more them one week , i gave all the clavamox , and now i can see a openi g like a lil crack on his cushion , he is eating drinking ,playing , runing with the other cat , with me acting normal just lil limp and favoring that paw sometimes not too offen , what should i do ?

          • Dr. Stewart

            Good question. Maybe a biopsy next time to see if there is some auto immune or cancer component? Allergic? I really do not know. If the clavamox works great, if not you might try steroids next time? Good luck, sounds interesting.

          • Keila

            Hi just adding to my question , he is a indoor cat , up to date on all his vaccines ,

        • Reply
          Mimi

          Hi Gima, did you manage to call the RSPCA? if you need any help with organising them to come and pick up the poor cat you have very kindly helped just reply with your email address and I can get some more details from you and give them a call. M

        • Reply
          Karol

          that’s nice if you to do that,
          iv done this twice, but depending where you live if uk call the rspca asap and give them all the details. they will collect him don’t leave him because you don’t know if his suffering any internal injuries as well or head trauma

      • Reply
        jaen claude

        I my 2 0ld ginger male cat have been bittin in the nek by a wild cat tuesday night the next day i took him to the vet for some intecsins and so on and he did improve in this two days any info for help plz

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          He should improve in 2-4 days. If not then bring him back for more treatments. Impossible to tell you without touching the cat. Sorry.

      • Reply
        Candace

        So I took my cat in and got him the surgery and drain. Today at his follow up the skin around it Isn’t doing very well. Is there any thing I can do at home to try and save the skin?

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          Warm wet compress to increase the circulation and drainage usually is very helpful if the animal will tolerate it. Otherwise time and nature will take its course. Good luck.

      • Reply
        Laura Tate

        Hi, I’ve got a female cat who usually likes to go outside explores for a few hours and comes back in, well these past few days she hasn’t been her self! When I say she hasn’t been her usally self it started when I was stroking her and she cried and went for me, this was very odd as she’s usally all loving never hurt anyone. As I was checking her over I noticed it was her front leg coved in bite marks all round the top shoulder. The next morning she’s started with a limp she hasn’t broken the leg as I checked by moving it in and out and didn’t hurt her.. But it’s been like this for a few days now where she’s limping. What would you advise me to do thanks

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          GO TO A VET! Sorry for the caps but what do you expect me to say. Imagine if it was your child and they had bites all over them and were not acting right, and were in obvious pain and and not themselves. Please….go to a vet.

          • Laura Tate

            Yes I’ve booked it going tomorrow!!!

          • Dr. Stewart

            Great!

          • Tasia

            My kitty has a abscess on his upper neck from, well, we don’t know what, he’s an indoor and we cleaned it up, (we are trying to avoid the vet) but he keeps scratching it and opening it up and it starts to bleed a lot, it’s too high to try and cover it, so I really don’t know what to do.

          • Dr. Stewart

            Got see a vet to get it to heal faster and get an e-collar.

          • Rachael Anderson

            No offense lady but well put Doc!

          • La Toya

            My 15 year old male cat was treated for cellulitis 2 days ago and the swelling seems to be getting worse. Is this normal? The vet gave him an antibiotic shot and pain meds. Just worried that the infection will turn to an access and make him super sick.

          • Dr. Stewart

            Im not sure why he had the cellulitis. Hard to speculate. These are things you can certainly call your vet office and ask about.

          • Blanche

            Some people can’t afford a vet for a few cuts. She’s asking are there any home treatments. I wouldn’t necessary go to a doctor for some cuts on my shoulder.

          • Dr. Stewart

            Very hard to give any advice on something I can not see or is not well described. The point of this blog/free advice is not to allow people to avoid sing a vet for something, but to offer some “quick minor” advice in a pinch. I certainly agree that not all scratches need a vet, but without more history, and description I have no other choice but to refer someone to a professional.

        • Reply
          Brett

          Hi, I have a 2 year old Male Mog, He started limping off his right leg, It seemed to happen over night, Then very quickly got worst. I took him to the vets & they X-ray ed & only saw an extra peace of bone in the shoulder but nothing broken or fractured . We brought him home with pain killers & kept him in.
          After a month staying in he seemed to get even worst & poor thing wasn’t a well cat.
          I booked him into vet again & that very morning before vets I noticed a big red spot on his right shoulder under his neck line. Full of puss!
          The vet squeezed out a lot of puss, then we booked another X-ray & the abscess to be cleaned.
          After that brought him home on pain killers & antibiotics injection & from then he was a new cat. After another 3 weeks in & a collar on he was all fixed & back to normal. Phew!
          BUT! Now after 1 month later he’s started to limp again! Not sure my insurance will pay for more treatment.
          Do you think this peace of extra bone is causing the infection?

          • Dr. Stewart

            Great questions. Not sure what an extra piece of bone is? A broken piece? Could just be another or more of the same abscess. Your insurance better pay for it, they have no choice. Have you vet raise a stink if they dont. Go back on pain meds and antibiotics. Try it again. Good luck. The bone piece could be something for a boarded surgeon to look at. Maybe send the xrays off to have them reviewed too. It costs between $50-$100 to have an expert review.

      • Reply
        Leon

        My cats has an abscess just above its left eye and I have cleaned but the next day it scabbed over should I re clean it or just leave it till I take it to the vet?

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          I would always recommend a vet visit if you have any concerns. Keeping it clean is very important….so Both?

          • Fyzah al-husainy

            Portia..my beautiful rescue cat.. was not treated well by a vet. I took her for an ear infection. No swabs taken.. but polyps seen and I clean her ear every dsy..gently. hoerver the vet broke her ear drum with and ear bud. It bled for a week.ut was cleaning. This vet had her on antbiotics ( a guess as no swab) for 2 years.. and ear drops. She changed the drops after breaking the war drum and Portia has a fit and lost her balance following the new drops.
            I left.. and I’m hurt and angry. A temporary vet swabbed and chose a relevant antibioitic… it seemed to dry her ear… only to stop pus dripping out of her ear…BIT6 over a perioid of 5 hpurs she grew a huge abcess full of pus under the ear. 3 months later I am still trying to clean and flush through everynight.. but now there a pus on top of the ear although it hasn’t burst .. I am presuming it is.. we are trying for surgery… but with no insurance this has cost me thousands over the years.. everybody says put her down… but not until she is not putting and shows complete disinterest in good.. have u heard of what I have describe above…. sorry..this is precis even! Very grateful for feed back
            Regards
            Fyzx

          • Dr. Stewart

            Very hard to follow the history here and without seeing the cat and seeing more of what was done I really can not advise. I would pick the vet that made you feel most comfortable and was the “best” and stick with their treatment plan. Do not mix different vet advice but stick with one vet and follow what they say. I would consider a dermatology specialist of possible too. Im sorry to hear about you cat’s ears, they can be very hard to treat if infected. There are a number of new very good medication that can be used so make sure you are seeing a newish up to date vet. Good luck!!

      • Reply
        Jo

        My 7yr old cat had an abscess on his head. It burst and the vet gave him 2 week long antibiotics. Within a few days it swoll up aroun his eye and this time the put him out and flushed his head. We have to “scrub” the wound with diluted *pink* wash that foams up but I think it seems to bother him, his nose is like a purple/brown dyed colour and I think it’s affecting his eyes, like it stings. He’s very upset and is looking haggard. I can’t keep the wound clean without this getting in his eyes. What can I do, it’s very upsetting.

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          Good question. Stop using that solution and change to clean warm water alone instead. if you want you can add a drop ob J and J baby shampoo or some tearless soap. Water should be fine. Volume of water to dilute the pus and bacteria is the key.

      • Reply
        sandra o'brien

        My cat has an abscess in his mouth on the gum, the vet checked only the left side of his mouth because that was the side facing her on the examining table. His gums were severely swollen and inflamed so she put him on an antibiotic and steroid. After taking them for a few days he seemed to be doing better until I had to lower the dose of the steroid, so I called her and she prescribed more steroid. However, it was after this that I found the abscess on the right side of the gum….so made another call to the vet and she said to stop the steroid right away and get more antibiotics,,, done that and now he’s in pain again. Well giving him the steroid for pain do more damage than good…my vet seems to think so but I hate to see him in pain????

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          Figue out what the abscesses are from. Stomatitis? Immune disease? Bites or fights? Kidney disease? Dental disease….the list goes on. Some of them are helped greatly with steroids and some are made worse. Steroids have very little pain effect too, so you might want true pain control. Time to see your vet again or a new vet for a second opinion about oral abscesses or “ulcers” as they are most likely.

        • Reply
          jane

          Hi my cat is five year old tabby she normally s healthy outside cat however the other day I woke up to find her limping holding her foot up and won’t put it down Iv let her rest but the only thing now is that a hole as appear in the top of her paw and its mattering she won’t put it down can u suggest what I do thanks

          • Dr. Stewart

            Bring her to a vet, sounds like an abscess ruptured and is infected. She needs pain medication and antibiotics. Warm soapy water soaks can help too at home until you get to a vet.

      • Reply
        Verna

        My cat had ine last year on the bottom of her neck, i treated it and it went away. Now she has several, n it seems as soon as one closes up another one begins. Is there any kind of cleaning i can do to help maybe get rid of this bacteria? The other cat she’s been bit by is my other indoor cat, and her “husband” he bites her neck even tho hes had the operation. I guess as long as he bites her shell Have them? They dont seem to bother her.. But u never know

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          Not sure what “ine” are but if they are abscesses then they need to be looked at by a vet. Too many is not good and she should be getting over them. If she is being attacked or bullied by the other cats then she needs to be separated or she will be very stressed and keep getting attacked. Sorry I do not understand the questions.

          • Tandra Pickering

            My cat is 3 years old. When he was about 1 year maybe less his foot sweled up so I took him to his vet. They said it was probably a cat fight and lanced it then gave me antibiotics. That was it. The swelling when down for a couple days and then swelled up again so I took him back. They gave me more antibiotics and that was it. The swelling never went down. Went to the vet mutiple times and spent over 5000 on test. Everytime it was nothing. So I took him to another vet. At the time it wasn’t bothering him so they told me it was just nothing that’s what his foot is going to look like now (by the way the foot is about 6 times the size of the other feet). Every now and then it bothers him. But he has been outside more lately and I come home tonight and he won’t move will barely open his eyes for me. Everytime he opens his eyes he moves his foot like I just grabbed him or something. What do I do? The vet always says it’s nothing

          • Dr. Stewart

            Wow, get a second opinion. His foot should not be swollen like that. Maybe it is some cancer or auto immune thing, but it is still not right. If the cat is so lethargic he cant stand there is a major problem. $5000 on the foot issue with no resolution seems very high, I would hope that that included an MRI! If he will not move and this is new for him, then I would have to assume the foot is not the cause and I would take him to a vet…… try a new vet? The foot issue sounds very strange and I actually do not have too any suggestions. Sorry.

      • Reply
        Jennifer

        I found a kitten three days ago; the vet said he is about 4 or 5 weeks old. When we found him he had a lump on the left side of his neck. Yesterday it ruptured, so we took him in to the vet for an emergency visit. She notified us that, since we are unaware how the kitten sustained the injury to his neck, we would have to put him on a 10 day evaluation period for rabies. He does seem sick or as if he doesn’t feel good; however, he eats well (not much interested in water, though he will drink it if given to him through a syringe), his eyes focus and dilate and his mobility seems to be progressing. For example, when we first found him he was barely walking (as if he was just learning; stumbling and falling down), but now he gets up and runs around, plays with his toys and is jumping from stoops. He is a bit wobbly when he walks, but I was thinking it could possible be CH. I do have a 2 year old child, though, and would just like to know how strong of a possibility it is that this kitten does have rabies.

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          Great question….no way to tell. Sorry. Rabies is not common in kittens but your vet is correct in having you concerned. I would Isolate the kitten from everyone, I mean EVERYONE, except one person who cares for it for the full 10 days maybe longer until the kitten gets better or dies. If the kitten gets better after that time period then you are usually ok. If the kitten dies in that time period then you MUST get the kitten tested (post mortem) by the health department. If the kitten is positive then everyone exposed to the kitten, maybe even the vet and the vet staff, need post exposure vaccines. I would isolate the kitten asap and watch it like a hawk and try to nurse it back to health but if not…… good luck!

        • Reply
          Jennifer

          I found a kitten with no wound but was falling and couldn’t find water no matter if I stuck its nose in it..I called animal control..the kitten was treated and being adopted now but it had distemper which is treatable if caught early,the officer also believed it was rabies but I had handled the kitten all day with no agression,just purred and wanted loved on..it mite of had distemper,its contagious also and if another cat got it mite of infected the poor lil guy

          • Dr. Stewart

            Remember, Rabies and Distemper in cats does not cause aggression always. This kitten likely had neither of those, but beware of Rabies suspects, that is very serious.

      • Reply
        Laura

        Hi Dr Stewart,

        Sorry to barge in like this but I found no other way to comment!
        I am currently in Indonesia, pretty much in the middle of nowhere. Found a stray kitten, maybe 10 weeks old, just skin and bones anmd sorry as can be.. He ate and drank fiercely for the first day I had him, yesterday. In the evening I decided to give him a warm bath to clean him up a bit and noticed green goo coming from the base of his tail! Found the hole and followed some directions as for abscess as I found online.
        I have a first-aid kit with me and this is what I did. Flushed profusely with salted boiled water (once cooled, of course) and applied a couple of drops of iodine ointment. He slept like a rock last night. Washed wound again out this morning. he’s very sleepy, barely eats some mush meat from my hands,m drinks a little. I can’t tell how active he is or should be. he certainly doesn’t play but can walk around fine when he’s awake.
        Anything else I can give him? I have a general amoxy anitbiotic, should I give him a quarter, or half?

        of course, here, nature would just have to take its course, but as you can imagine I’d love to give him a ‘good shot’ at recovery, then come what may. I am here for only another 10 days. No vets and no local interested in keeping/taking care of him. No mum cat to be found, either.
        thanks for any assistance you may be able to give.

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          Sounds like you are doing everything you can. I would add the iodine to the flush water rather than directly applying it to a wound but you seem to have done everything I would do. Antibiotics are tricky as I dont know the dose you have, the cats weight, the length of supply….so hold off of now. I would keep up the good work! Nothing else except let the kitten heal. Thanks.

        • Reply
          Sandra

          Hi DR.Stewart my kitten has been discharging puss from her vagina with blood how can soothe it I don’t have money for the vet right now. And her belly is very swollen as well what can soothe her till I can take her to the aspca next week ..

          • Dr. Stewart

            I really can not think of anything. She might have pyometra, or a severe UTI and needs to see a vet asap. I guess more food and water than normal and make sure she eats and drinks well. Please get her to a vet asap!

      • Reply
        Kelli Gregory

        Hi this stray cat appeared a year ago since then we’ve been allowing this cat inside our home. He chose to adopt us and we followed suit lol anyways a few days ago like Tuesday or Wednesday last week hend showed up limping and we brought him inside immediately. He slept for days. He did eat and drink normally and we took him outside to go to the bathroom… this past Sunday my husband said he found a wound. Note there was no previous sign of a wound, no cuts we could find no blood no nothing. So I looked and it was a small hole in his front right leg towards the very top of the leg. Immediately we cleaned the area and put a banana on him to keep him from kicking the area coz he was going to town prior. He’s been acting better I thought the hole was healing until earlier today when I went to go clean the area again puss was coming out. So I sat there with gentle pressure and pushed out the infection. Theven cat let me do this with little issue until the end when I got a big white clump, that seemed to hurt him a little. But now it seems after getting the infection out the wound area is bigger and I’m concerned. I would have taken him to a vet by now if I had the money but I just drained my savings to buy a new car because our last one died unexpectedly… is there something more I can do to help him at home without going to a vet? I think this could be an absess. We have a ton of stray cats in my area including 8 new kittens this year and one semi bully cat (he’s so sweet to people bit hates other cats, mostly coz he get beat up ALOT) I’ve been keeping the cat inside except trips to go potty. He eats and drinks fine acts normal except for the pain in his leg. Any help you could give me would be so greatly appreciated thank you!

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          Sounds like antibiotics would help a lot, but other than that you are doing the right thing. Warm compresses with clean or lightly soapy water and flush the area as much as you can. Keep him rested and well fed. You need to get a shelter or something out there to neuter the stray cats. Otherwise the numbers will build up and disease will start to spread…. but that is another story. This kitty sounds like you are doing the right thing. Take him to a vet as soon as you can for a check up, shots and maybe antibiotics if the wound is still there. BEWARE of rabies if it is in your area…..this is an unvaccinated cat with a bite of unknown origin. It might be rare but it is very very serious.

      • Reply
        kaynat

        Hi Dr. Stewart! My cat was bit by another cat last week and I took him to the vet and he gave him an injection and shaved off the area and gave him antibiotics for his pain for three days…he also asked us to clean the wound with antibiotics…I have been doing so but today his wound started leaking and no he keeps trying to lick it (but can’t because of his cone) and I keep cleaning the wound to get rid of the liquid but it keeps coming out and my cat is not letting me clean it anymore..what can i do and is this normal?

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          I would stop cleaning it with antibiotics and just use warm water for a day then stop all together for a day. I would see if the cleaning is just irritating the wound. If he got antibiotics, the cone and pain medication then maybe leaving the wound alone for a few days might be helpful. Sounds like you did everything correctly, and cleaning the wound can be helpful, but maybe the area is too sensitive now. If there is any colored discharge or bad smell, go for a re-exam.

      • Reply
        Trin

        My cat has a bump under his jaw. He isn’t acting normal either. His mouth hangs open and drool puddles out. He stayed in my bed in the exact same spiny from 11am to 5pm without getting up. He ate a couple tiny bites and lays down awkwardly. He had his body normal/straight and then he turns his head far left and lays it. He also wines. He’s going to the vet tomorrow but I was wondering if it could be a cessed or he had a stroke.

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          Maybe, but it sounds like his jaw is broken or he might have a tumor or abscess. Have the vet do a full exam and they might need sedation to really get a good look. Good luck.

      • Reply
        StephanieM

        Hello.I have a 13week old female kitten.She’s actually 1 of 2 that had been born out in our garage from someone setting there mother out in a box.Yes!It really sickens me, but hurts my heart too that people are so cruel.She had a idk if I’m saying this right but a”wolf worm” in the side of her neck.This has been a little over a week ago now that I grabbed it & pulled it out with sanitized tweezers.All of the worm was intact.Now she’s has a slit cut (looking) on that same side that to me looks like it won’t heal.it’s not oozing nor does it bleed or have anything dripping/coming out from it.I just have never ever seen anything like this before.I’ve gave her amoxicillin & poured peroxide & sodium chloride on it in an attempt to keep it clean since last week.I bought some self adhering wrap,but idk if wrapping it up would do her more harm than good..She acts completely normal.Plays,eats just like the sweet beautiful baby she is.Please any help would be much appreciated.

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          You should bring her to a local vet. I’m not familiar with a wolf worm but it is possible there are more? Ot the wounds are reacting to some remnant worm??? I really do not know without seeing her. SOrry.

      • Reply
        Morgan Thomas

        My cat had an abscess drained from a bite and they kept her overnight. They didn’t do a drainage system in her for a few days. Just said to keep the area clean and use warm wet compresses and gave her antibiotic. However she’s still afraid to jump up and jumps down very gingerly if I pick her up and put her on somewhere. The abscess was on the top of her back by her hips. Is this normal?

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          Yes, it can be. If the area is painful and the skin is still healing the cat will act gingerly. If the cat continues this way bring her back to the vet for a re-check in a week. It should be mostly healed by then.

      • Reply
        Mims

        My cat has a cyst below her belly it has hard puss in the opening I try gently to squeeze it and nothing happens

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          Have this checked out by a vet….. there is not enough info here to assess.

      • Reply
        Jeanne hyde

        My cat has a abscess on his back but the wond has heald up but infection is under the skin and now their is a lump in his belly seams to be drainage from the abscess into his belly been giving him antibiotics from a preavious abscess is this ok?

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          Nope…if they are expired, extra nope. This is how you build antibiotic resistance. Why didnt you finish them last time, and there will likely not be enough for a full course this time…… The abscess needs to be cleaned and drained first. See a vet please.

      • Reply
        Benjamin

        Hi,
        I took my cat to the vets two days ago for an abscess on his belly. The vet shaved the area and explained that the puss was thick and the skin was thick and she didn’t want to drain. He was fitted with a cone collar and was given a 2 week antibiotic shot and also prescribed metacam to be given for 5 days. Is this normal practice?

        Kind Regards

        Benjamin.

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          Yes, it can be.

          • Benjamin

            Sorry but no disrespect but your reply above my literally says the vet must drain and clean the abscess. I’m confused with these conflicting replies. He goes back on Wednesday (2 days time) Should I challenge my vet if she doesn’t Lance it this time. It hasn’t shrunk(or grown) and he’s fine in himself but it’s been over a week since we went to the vets. Again I mean no disrespect, I’m just very worried about my boy.

          • Dr. Stewart

            It really depends on the area that the abscess is and how thick the discharge it. There might even be minimal discharge and more skin swelling or serum (cystic not abscess). NORMALLY, we like to drain all abscesses or at least open them up to drain themselves with gravity or pressure, but I would hate to disagree with a vet that has actually seen your pet and made an educated decision based or an actual physical. I can only speak broadly here and every case is different. I would go back for the re-exam and talk to your vet about possibly draining the wound and ask why they choose on way or another…. These abscesses CAN heal undrained but often heal faster drained. I hope this helps in a broad sense, but your vet should have the final answer and be able to explain why they chose that route….

          • Benjamin

            Ok, thanks for the advice Dr Stewart. I really appreciate it!

      • Reply
        Kate

        My cats face is half gone but we cant afford a vet what do i do?

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          Take it to the SPCA or adoption center. You need to help the cat. Pets are a big financial responsibility, and they need the care they deserve. Bring it to a vet office and surrender it if you have to…… sorry.

      • Reply
        Donna Dillon

        Our cat was a stray cat (Lucky).
        We took and gave it a home about 4 years ago. The cat started leaking drops on the floor. Does this sound like an abscess? If not should we take to vet.

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          There is no info here. Bring him to a vet.

    • Reply
      Caitlin

      Hi I have a cat that is about 10-12 I believe she has ear mites that have gone untreated & now she has an abscess on her ear. Is there anything I can do at home until I can get her into a vet? Should I clean it or prevent her from rubbing it? I really appreciate the feedback.

      • Reply
        Dr. Stewart

        Prevent her from rubbing it, but that will be hard with the abscess and the ear mites. I think that the cat will probably get around anything you can use. Keeping it clean and dry is he next best thing until a vet can look at it and treat it. Get the ear mites and the abscess fixed at the same time and it should resolve.

        • Reply
          Jenna

          My cat went to the vet yesterday morning because of an abscess in his neck. The vet let some of the infection leak out over a course of 3 or so minutes and then proceeded to put this ointment on it, gauze it up, and send me home with the supplies. Today he is acting very lethargic, he is still eating and drinking but barely mobile. When I changed his gauze this morning he just laid his head on my leg and put up no struggle at all. Should I be concerned about his lethargy? Thanks!

          • Dr. Stewart

            Yes, bring him back to the vet to have his temp taken and get some antibiotics.

    • Reply
      Kain Martin

      Hi Im 12 i have no money but i really need help please my cat he’s 11 or 13 and it looks like he’s bleeding from the eye but its all dried up please again i need help! :”,,(

      • Reply
        Dr. Stewart

        Very hard to assess this without more detail. I would try to seek out vet care or visit the local spca for help. It could be nothing or more serious, but I can not tell from your description. Sorry.

    • Reply
      A M Paterson

      Hi Dr Stewart,
      I have a 14 yr old neuteured male cat indoors and just over a month ago noticed he was limping and his right front pad was very swollen. Took to vet he got a course of antibiotics no better after a week back to vets they did a needle aspiration and just blood came out so they thought maybe a cellulitis. They also did and X-ray and said it’s just soft tissue injury. So he got two weeks long acting injection of antibiotics and anti inflammatory. Cat is still limping and pad swollen. Back to vets today and they think possibly tumour to get more X-rays on Monday of foot and lungs I assume to check if any signs of any other tumours. Could this be s tumour? Should I be questioning why they didn’t think anything from x-ray before now. My cat seems content is eating and drinking but is limping on that paw. I know cats will often hide if in pain. Could this if it is a tumour be benign? And could it be an autoimmune response that maybe needs steroids rather than antibiotics. Very concerned just hope something can be done a caring animal lover

      • Reply
        Dr. Stewart

        YES is the simple answer. It could be the 5% that are tumors, yes it could be the 1% that are autoimmune, yes it could be cellulitis and infection that is resistant, yes it could be a non-radio-opaque foreign material embedded in there, yes it could be some “other” problem, yes it could be a tumor with an otherwise normal cat…… sorry but there are a bunch of possibilities. The most likely scenario of abscess seems to be less and less likely and the next diagnosis might be one of elimination where you rule out a bunch of problems and possibilities to get the answer. Please do not give up but keep looking until you find a cure, a problem, or it gets better with time. 14 is not a young cat and neoplasia and tumors must be considered. I would start looking at xrays and biopsies as my next diagnostics and they are not cheap or easy, but very informative. Sorry and good luck!

        • Reply
          Chelsea Reed

          Sorry i couldn’t find where to post my question… Anyways, I had a stray come up and she had 4 kittens. We got all of them fixed and shots and gave them to very good adoptive homes. We kept one kitten and this little one is very adamant about being outside so at about 3 months we gave in and she goes in and out as she choses. Well we noticed an abscess it was about the size of a quarter after it burst. Took her to the vet they cleaned the wound and gave her some meds for at home. Ok all healed great . now here we are 2 months later and her back has opened up again and it is starting to spread all over her back.. One bump bursting after another. This all happened in the last 3 days. This was odd because we didnt even feel the bump. She has a appt for Thursday morning and the vet didn’t seem too concerned but i am very worried. She will not go outside and has not been eating or drinking much at all. She is hiding under my tables and inside of my shoe bins we have. She is sleeping a lot. I called again this evening to tell them all this new info and again they are booked up. Im at a loss.. I have been cleaning it with warm water and a tad of peroxide. Any advice will help.

          • Dr. Stewart

            First, I always say a vet office can squeeze anyone in. I would change vets if possible. That is bad for customer service and business. A squeeze in is sometimes more expensive but if you are that concerned then you should be seen. You can always go to the ER. Ok, on to the cat. Sounds like abscesses and likely a spreading staph infection or other bacterial infection. She needs TLC, antibiotics, cleaning and possibly some fluids if she is not eating and has a fever. If the cat does not eat for 24-48 hours that is an emergency and she needs to be seen ASAP. When you have her there they can test for other diseases if you think these are cat fight bites. Those would be FIV and FELV. They can explain. IF the cat is eating and drinking, it can wait. If not, then go to the ER. Good luck

    • Reply
      Ricky

      Hi, we have an outdoor cat and he recently went under the knife to have an abscess lanced just beneath his ear and beside his. it healed up great and we had him wear a cone for three weeks after the treatment. Now we removed the cone, he has made up for the three weeks of no scratching (as much as we try to stop it) and the area has become red again and some swelling a little bit again.
      This is very concerning seeing as we spent a small fortune for the procedure and antibiotics afterward. it just seems we are back at stage one again only now the area has a scar and weak tissue.

      Any advise would be great.

      • Reply
        Dr. Stewart

        Put the cone back on and see you vet about a cause. Keep the cone on. It is likely his ear. Either a polyp or ear infection….might be something deep in the ear. Have you vet investigate.

  2. Reply
    Jacky

    Hi there,
    My neighbour just came over to show me her cats abscess after her cat and my cat fought the other day. We have decided to keep our cat inside as we’re worried that he might get hurt.
    How serious are these abscesses??

    She was clearly upset. I felt pretty back about it but I didn’t even know that this kind of stuff happened.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Great question. Cat abscesses can be very dangerous if not noticed and treated or they lead to sepsis of system wide infection. Usually, they will not be a huge problem except for the cosmetic and gross factor and the cat will rupture the abscess and they will drain and then slowly heal. It is always better to have a vet look at the abscess, drain it and start the cat on antibiotics as soon as possible. Warm compressing the area also helps.

      It seems like a good plan to keep your cat indoors and away from other fighting cats. You never know how much damage they can do in a fight, how bad an abscess will become or what diseases the other cats carry. Besides, indoor cats are usually more healthy and loved (my opinion only.)

      I hope this helps answer your question. Sorry for the late reply.

      Dr. Tripp Stewart
      Greenrbrier Emergency Animal Hospital
      Follow us on facebook for more discussions and topics too!!

      • Reply
        Tessa

        My cats has what appears to be an abscess on his face under his eye, by his jaw. Until today it was just swolen and I assumed it to be a bug bite or bee sting, but now it is leaking infection. How much does a vet visit like this cost?

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          No idea, call your local vets. If you live in New York City it will be different than Anchorage Alaska.

      • Reply
        Lauren A.

        First an foremost, I have an appointment set this Monday for my feline to be seen. She has TONS of abscesses (by the looks of it) on her belly that are huge, they’re dark purple. They have grown rapidly, and she looks completely miserable. I’m afraid it might be worse than something easily treatable. I also can’t afford a sky-high vet bill. My question to you is should I prepare for the worst? I rescued this poor thing not that long ago, and she has had many complications. I’ve grown attached to her, and will be worried about this till Monday. Was hoping you could give me some silver lining.

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          Sorry I can not help you. I can not diagnose without seeing the cat. I would just explain to the vet your financial situation up front so they can target and maximize your money. Could be simple plaque or more serious cancer…. good luck!

          • Rachel

            Hello my cat has a big open wound on his arm is healing and getting smaller so i didn’t worry, however today i noticed he’s peeing bloody urine. Could this be related and Is there something i can do at home because his wound is about 75% healed and closed ?

          • Dr. Stewart

            Unlikely to be related unless there is a sepsis or severe infection. I would see a vet asap about both of these issues. Male cats with urinary problems can be an emergency.

          • Connor

            Hi my cat had a abscess and it popped and a lot of blood and puss was drained and he eats and drinks and is not constipated but I’m just concerned he’s not still fully recovered like the wound where it popped its fully healed yet were having him I think moxacilin I just want to know your opinion of what to do were poor and cannot afford to go to a vet

          • Dr. Stewart

            Make sure the antibiotics are the right dose, right kind, not expired and given correctly first, second keep the area clean and dry and it should heal. If it is not healing in 7-14 days he really needs to see a vet. Good luck.

  3. Reply
    Crystal

    I recently adopted a cat from my local animal hospital. He is currently recovering from an a 5 in. abscess on his chest. At first his recovery process was going well and it seems to be closing, but now I noticed a smudge of blood. At this moment it is still open about a centimeter. Should I take him back to the vet?

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      It seems like your cat is healing, but sometimes they need a little help or more antibiotics to finish the process. There is also the possibility that there is foreign material in the wound not allowing it to heal. I would certainly recommend taking your cat back to the vet to have a check up. At the very least you should measure the wound and document its healing over the next few weeks.

  4. Reply
    Carol

    My 15 year old cat was diagnosed with an abscess on his face four days ago. No sign of any issues in his mouth. He was not acting sick, does not seem to be in pain and is eating as usual and I was concerned that he had a tumor but the vet aspirated it and said it was filled with puss. The vet gave him two antibiotic shots, one short term and one long term, and then sent him home. Is it possible that the abscess can go away without being lanced?

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      It is definitely possible for abscesses to heal without lancing, but there is often a “root” or focus to the abscess that needs to be addressed. I would see if the antibiotics fix the problem, because they might. If they do not fix the problem, it is time for more aggressive diagnostics and lancing. I would start with a tooth root exam and dental xrays. Cross you fingers for a full fix!

      • Reply
        Mirna

        Hi my cat is having a similar absess on the front side of his neck and he keeps getting an absess on this same spot. He has been seen by two vets and about to be seen tomorrow, my question is this, now that we have tried a couple rounds of antibiotics (oral and topical) what diagnostic testing should I expect for them to figure out what is causing it and then to prevent them in the future. It is an awful hole into the neck after it busts and does make me wonder why. Thanks so much

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          Biopsy and culture would be my next steps and immune disease testing. Sounds like something chronic not just an abscess. FIV tests, skin and tissue biopsy and infection culture. Good luck.

      • Reply
        Cheryl

        My cat developed an abscess and the vet aspirated it yesterday and gave him antibiotics. The slides show an infection and some salivary cells. I had thought it may be a tooth problem as he is 13. The doc left for a conference. I’m applying warm compress and waiting for the antibiotics to kick in . She did not lance it for some reason. Could it be possible he may have swallowed something like a wheat needle? The other cause could be a puncture from a young cat we adopted who is passive aggressive and did swat at him.

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          Those are both possibilities and become more real if the infection does not get better in the first 3-5 days. If the abscess grows, gets worse or stays the same then you should bring the cat back to the vet for a further work up including dental xrays and looking for a foreign body. A bite from your other cat is the most likely scenario and the vet was probably right to start with antibiotics and compresses. Give it a few days.

          • VickieL

            In mid June I found a small, hard lump on my cat’s bottom left jaw. It seemed to be growing from either her gum or the jawbone itself. Within a few days it grew at least 3 times larger and extended the entire length of her left bottom jaw, with a much larger section ( ball shaped) protruding from underneath the jaw near the ear canal.
            My vet suggested it was either an abscess caused by a bad tooth or a cancerous tumor. She gave my cat a shot of Covenia and the mass reduced a little. She then put her on a course of Clavamox which my cat stayed on right up until her death last night. I should explain that my cat was 17 and because she had Cardiomyopathy and CRF my vet felt it was unsafe to run the tests needed to determine the exact nature of my cat’s mass. The Clavamox did little to reduce the swelling, in fact the mass continued to grow until it pushed my cat’s jaw out of line and my vet feared the possibility of her jaw fracturing. She was never able to get a good look inside my cat’s mouth because she would resist too much. In a last ditch effort to help her my vet prescribed Prednisolone which did a remarkable job of drastically reducing the size of my cat’s swelling in just days. However, she had begun losing a lot of weight and blood work done previously had showed her kidneys had grown worse. After suddenly experiencing a few days of restlessness and poor appetite my cat’s hind legs began to grow increasingly wobbly and then she laid down and died. After her death we saw some blood around the now flattened area where the mass had been on the side of her jaw ( the ball at the back remained though was much smaller too). But we also thought we saw a large lump inside the bottom of her mouth underneath her tongue. We don’t know if it was growing from the bottom of her mouth or the gum. We asked that a vet at the emergency clinic where we brought her to be cremated look inside her mouth to confirm the lump but they claimed to be too busy. My question is, given everything I’ve written here, do you think it’s likely my cat had cancer and not just an abscess from a bad tooth? Thank you so much for giving your opinion on this.

          • Dr. Stewart

            Very hard to tell, it could have been either. They would likely both react the same way to the medications. I would guess cancer just based on the age of the cat, and the slow rate of growth of the lumps. I am surprised the ER would not look in the cats mouth, that seems like they could have done it at any time over the course of the night. Either abscess or cancer in an older cat these can be very hard to deal with. Sorry for your loss.

  5. Reply
    Kim

    Hi, I took my cat to the vets Tuesday and he had a abscess on his chest above his left leg lanced but by Friday had more fluid built back up so took him back to the vet and they stuck a big needle in to see if it was Blood or puss and it was cloudy blood that came out. He is on 2 lots of antibiotics and anti imflamitys but he still has a abscess about yhe size of a bouncy ball,how long does it take to clear or does he need to go back to the vet?

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Sounds like you cat needs to go back and make sure it is not something worse like a foreign object or even cancer. Those might be the “less likely” scenarios but need to be ruled out if you cat is not getting better. It is possible that the abscess just needs to be lanced a few more times or have an incision made and the area flushed. I would ask your vet about this. It all depends on the cat’s age and condition. Err on the safe side and have your vet take another look.

  6. Reply
    pip

    my cat has a decent abscess on his shoulder, i have taken him to my vet and they wanted to do general anesthetic and drain the absess then put the drain tube on him for a cost of around $500. I declined, I have just spent approx $3,500 there on my dogs and other cats and im all out of money. The vet I saw offered the two week antibiotic and I have the correct anti inflamatory meds at home. I have been giving him the antiinflam once a day, and to now the lump is still largish (no more heat in it though), cat is eating and drinking and very happy (he’s locked in his own room in house). Do you think this is satisfactory, will the abscess eventually disappear or must it be drained…….

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Every cat is different, some abscesses will clear up with antibiotics and draining others will continue to grow and make the cat very sick. I would talk about the options with your vet or seek another local second opinion as to the severity of that particular abscess. I the cat is acting sick or feverish, or the abscess grows or firms, I would certainly have it drained. I’m sorry I cant give more information without seeing your cat. Time might be your best diagnostic here.

  7. Reply
    Ashley

    A couple of weeks ago my cat had a burst abscess on his chest/leg. It didn’t seem to be bothering him at all until it burst and then he wanted to lick it (we knew not to allow that). It was a rather large wound (the size of a quarter) and deep looking, so we took him to the vet the next day. They shaved around it and gave him antibiotics and gave him a cone to wear, which he hated of course but we toughed it out and made him wear it until the wound healed up and he didn’t lick it anymore. Earlier today I was just looking at it and thinking how well it had all healed up and gone away, and then suddenly tonight it’s back, as big and wide open and deep as ever. It hadn’t looked swollen, it wasn’t bothering him, he’s been his normal active self, eating well, friendly and happy. I consider my vet’s a good vet, they’re certainly not cheap and I spent a lot of money that I really can’t afford right now (he was originally a stray that showed up, I didn’t go buy a kitten I can’t afford to care for or anything) because my cat’s health is a priority and I wanted it treated right, but now I’m wondering if there’s something more they should have done? Why did it come right back? Is it just going to keep happening and am I going to be forking over money every two weeks to the vets when it’s not helping? Is there anything I can do to help prevent it from happening again? the vet said to just leave it alone, but now I’m wondering if I should have been washing it or bandaging it up or something?

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      It is very hard to say without seeing your cat. It sounds like it might be more than a simple abscess if it keeps returning. Maybe there is a foreign object in there, or it is still infected, or worse… cancer??? It also might be the same abscess just never healed up. I would listen to your vet who has seen the cat and be honest about the cost situation. They might give you instructions over the phone to follow. For recurring abscesses I would certainly put the e-collar back on the cat and clean the area with a mild soap and water. Keep cleaning with a very mild soap solution as needed. Hopefully this will be enough, otherwise..back to the vet. Sorry I couldn’t be ore help.
      Dr. Stewart

      • Reply
        Shirley

        My cat had kitten s. Were she grabs them behind the next, this one has gotten an abscess on the side of it’s neck. I thought at first the momma would take care of it now I see I was wrong. It s so swollen now n infected that I don’t no what to do. The kitten is only 5 weeks old. It still eats n drinks . I’m taking it to a vet tomorrow , plz tell me he’ll b ok. I didn’t no it would get this bad.

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          See what the vet says, I’m sure it will be fine.

  8. Reply
    jessrae

    my cat has a lump on her side by her ribs. I am assuming that it is an abscess. She is eating a lot of food. I am keeping her inside from now on and I was wondering if an abscess can just clear up on its own. I read that hot compress works well but I am certain that she will claw bite hiss…she is already hissing at me when I pet her there. I just need some advice as far as making her feel comfortable before I can take her to the vet or possibly put a hot compress on it. Any advice on how to make her calmer during the hot compress process? I am really worried about her even though she seems to be acting like her normal self. I am thinking that I want to retrain her to become an indoor cat. We live on a lot of acreage and there are a lot of other houses with other animals and also the wild animals. This is really open my eyes to the importance of having your cat stay inside at all cost. I am considering using her harness for walks after we get this whole abscess situation figured out. At first she came home and she seemed different about 5 days ago. The lump on her side was hard at first then today it is more wiggly and puss filled feeling.any advice for this would be amazing and I would really appreciate it thank you so much.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      So, a few topics. 1) a warm compress might help, but I would not risk getting scratched or bitten in order to apply it. 2) If it is an abscess then it can resolve on its own, but it can also spread and get bigger or open and get more infected (or be an open abscess) 3) It might be something other than an abscess. The best option is to visit your local vet and have them take a look. Until then, if you cat is eating well and acting otherwise normal you probably do not have to concern yourself with making her more comfortable. She is comfortable enough. I would highly recommend making her an inside cat if she will tolerate it. Each cat is different. Indoor cats are far less likely to get into trouble, and as important, are less likely to cause trouble to native animals (birds and wild rodents.) If you want to play by the “odds” it is likely an abscess and will need to be drained and possibly given antibiotics. Good luck. Hope this helps.

    • Reply
      Lori

      my cat was perfectly fine and suddenly started screaming in pain. I noticed he had a large lump under the skin on his left side on his ribs. I rushed him to the vet and he died within 5min of getting him there. the vet said it was likely and abscess that ruptured. if you notice a lump, take them in, it can be fatal!!

  9. Reply
    Shanaaz

    My cat has just had incisions made and drainage inserted,however she has pulled it out and it is oozing>does she need to go back to the vet or should we leave it and monitor.She is dying to go outside but i do not want dirt to go into the open area.
    Thanks

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      It really depends on how big the incision and and how much drainage. If the drainage is slowing down and the incision is still open to allow more drainage then it should be fine to continue to stay open and drain. If the incision closes and a pocket starts to form, then you need to take her in again. I assume she is on antibiotics too? I would not let her outside to get the area dirty. You can always apply a warm soapy compress to the area to help keep it open and draining. Call your vet and ask what they think before making any drastic decisions.

  10. Reply
    Thayef

    Hi, I’m really in a tough situation here. My cat’s abscess just doesn’t seem to heal due to the dead tissue, as mentioned by my vet. It’s become so severe to the point where I may have to put him down. There is still a possibility of it healing but it seems very unlikely. I mean, my cat’s behaviour has been normal and I’m ready to pay for more treatments if possible but again, it’s highly unlikely for the abscess to heal up. Please tell me what I should do, whether or not the abscess will ever heal. I don’t want to put my cat down knowing there’s still a possibility of him healing.
    Thanks.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Very sorry to hear that. Has your vet talked about surgery to close the wound? There are veterinary surgical specialists that can do miracles and fix almost anything. Have you tried washing it and wet bandages? There should be no reason to give up if your vet is willing to help and you have time (and money) to try drastic measures. An open wound will heal eventually if given the opportunity. Try a veterinary surgeon, they might use vacuum healing or even skin grafts. Good luck and dont give up hope. Antibiotics, pain management and time are your least expensive but none- the less good options.

  11. Reply
    Demi

    I’m kind of in a tricky situation with my kitty, Mumford. He got into a fight (well ran away from one) and ended up getting bit on his back right leg/paw. It swole up, formed an abscess, and popped. I flushed it out with hydrogen peroxide and treated it with neosporin for a few days, until I thought it was fully drained. (All the while being on antibiotics).. It healed ok, however it’s been about 2 weeks and it’s back!! The puncture wound where it was the first time completely healed over however there is another one just a few centimeters away that is now open (it popped on its own yesterday). I’m wondering if both are from the same fight? Anyway, the closed wound, which is now hairless and almost a scar, is a bit swollen and red. I’m sure there is pus forming under it. Should I poke a hole or cut a slit so it could drain or do you think if I push in it hard enough the pus will come out of the open wound a few centimeters away from it ? Or are they completely different wounds? Do you think it’ll heal with just antibiotics on its own? He’s eating and drinking normally.. Very playful but in a little bit of pain when is leg is touched… What should I do?

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      It might heal on its own. Have you seen a vet? Maybe there is a foreign material in there or worse case it is a growth or resistant infection? It even could be another bite wound from a later date. I would be very hesitant to cut or open an abscess in an awake cat, just because of the potential for pain and more damage done. Hydrogen peroxide is not good for wounds and neither is neosporin (although this wont really hurt wounds, but it will encourage the cat to lick and the wound to not drain properly) so it is possible the would was not addressed correctly and is still not healed correctly. These complicated cases are best left to professionals. The vet might want to culture the wound and make sure it is not a resistant infection or a serious problem. If they do not heal with these kinds of supportive care, as many do, then I would seek professional help. Good luck.

      • Reply
        Demi

        Thank you! I did not attempt to cut anything open because the absess that healed over, ruptured sometime this morning and seemed to be completely drained. There’s no swelling and no more yellow pus oozing out. I will get him to the vet as soon as possible. Thanks again for the quick reply!

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          Glad it worked out. Might have been a second bite that too longer.

  12. Reply
    Stephanie

    Hi. My cat had an abscess which burst itself while waiting for the appointment. the vet clipped her & cleaned it. I kept it open the next few days cleaning it and trying my best to get the antibiotics down! It seems healed although there is still a tiny lump underneath. My cat seems fine, playing & eating. Should there be no lump at all though? It’s been 6 days since the vet visit.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Sometimes there can be foreign material in the wound, like fur or sticks that cause another abscess and a lump; however, more often than not it is just scar tissue and healing. Monitor the area for a week and if it does not get better have a vet look at it. If i grows it might be a second abscess and needs to be looked at or lanced. Good luck.

  13. Reply
    Colleen

    Hi Dr. Stewart,
    My cat has an abscess on her face which has opened up a hole right under her eye. I took her to the vet who told me to leave it be and let it drain and gave me antibiotics for her. It is now over 2 weeks later and not only has this hole not closed, but her face looks worse. She’s lost fur around the hole and it is just awful to look at. I’m going back to the vet tomorrow, but why isn’t this healing? She has been acting fairly normal but I’m obviously very worried. Any insight? Thanks.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      It could be a very bad abscess, or a tooth root abscess in which case she needs her tooth pulled under general anesthesia. It could be cancer, but the likeliness of this is based on the cat’s age. Under her eye is a strange place for a non healing abscess, but it is possible that she needs more time and more antibiotics. I would closely look at her teeth…

  14. Reply
    sarah

    Im needing to know if its too late to take cat to vet..we don’t know what happened because he was gone for few days and just seen him yesterday with a tennis ball size abscess on his chest with light blood on fur. cant see a puncture through all fur. He ate fine tho until today and now the size is bigger than a softball and about to go around his whole throught/chest area and blood has started coming out of eyes. he has not pooped or pee’d in few days either even with eating. He just sleeps in a corner by bed. he quit eating today and can hardly walk.. is it too late to get him treated or should we just have him put down if he makes it to morning?? We are so sad because had him for 6 years and feel bad for we were waiting to get paid so we could even take him in. we get pd tomorrow, that’s why waiting..Oh, and I still cant get anthing to come out of the abscess, still cant find a hole but his fur is coming out on the area of abscess and where blood seems to have been coming from at one point.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Not much I can say here. It sounds pretty bad. I would get him to a vet as soon as possible and be read in case the suggest to have him humanely put to sleep. I would be worried about tumors, abscesses or other serious problems. Take him to a vet ASAP.

  15. Reply
    Lucy

    About a month and a half ago, my 18 1/2 year old male indoor-only cat had a major tooth infection / abscess. He also had a corneal ulcer rupture as a result of the infection and has consequently lost his vision on that side. (The eye looks like Hell but he does not seem to be in any pain and the vet did not want to put him through the surgery to remove the eye.) The tooth was also removed but the abscess under his cheek keeps coming back. It gets drained once a week and consists of blood only (no more puss.) While we are there the vet gives him shots of antibiotics and steroids. I also give him low dose steroids and antibiotics orally each day. He is still eating (although not quite enough), drinking, snuggling, demanding belly rubs, using the litter box, etc. and does not seem to be an any pain. In fact, the cat just sits there and lets the vet pop the thing every week without so much as flinching! The vet says it keeps coming back because his immune system is not great given his age and the toll this whole thing has taken on him. However, since he seems happy and not in pain the vet thinks it is worth treating. What do you think?

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Wow, sounds terrible. I would be suspect of something more than a simple abscess. This might be a tumor or another tooth root infection, or just a terrible abscess that is not getting better. I’m not sure why your cat is on steroids, or getting steroid shots? They will certainly reduce his immune system significantly. I would consider visiting a boarded surgeon if there is one in the area, or having some better diagnostics done (xrays and bacterial cultures) to help get the the bottom of the situation. Certainly keep having him treated if you think it is helping, but maybe do a little more to figure out why the abscess keeps returning.

      • Reply
        Lucy

        Thank you for your reply. He has had xrays and blood work, but no bacterial cultures. The vet said that it is possible that there is an underlying tumor, but if it is cancer it is unlike one he has ever seen. I forgot to mention that he has had chronic upper-respiratory infections since he was 7 weeks old. The steroid/antibiotic “cocktail” helps with inflammation, pain, and for some reason has always helped him kick those infections. My fear about putting him through any further diagnostics, which I believe would be pretty invasive, is that I would be crossing the line between quality of life and quantity of life.

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          Sounds like you have done almost everything you can can do. I think you are right on track and need to always choose quality over quantity. When your cat stops enjoying life, it is time to consider euthanasia as an option. Sorry to hear about you cat, good luck.

          • Lucy

            Thank you so much. He’s always been so resilient but once his little body decides it can no longer keep up with his fighting spirit, we will have to put him down. Until then, he will be pampered and spoiled and worshiped and adored. Thanks again for your insight. I really appreciate it.

      • Reply
        Rachel

        Hi went to vet with my 1 year old cat haze he has an open abscess and it looks like he making it worse by scratching I have a cone could I put that around his neck until it heals and how would I care for him if I do as for as like would I take it off for a cretain amount of time each day?

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          Put on the cone and after a few hours he will get used to it. He will eat and drink if he can reach the bowls (make sure he can with the cone) normally. You can take it off if you watch him closely but otherwise he will do fine with it on. Nothing major.

  16. Reply
    savannah

    My cat had an abcess on his tummy we could not afford to get treatment so we did what we could to keep it clean and it healed up on its own and that was last week now the abcess is back only it is in a different place but in the same area. The first abcess was in the middle of his belly now this one is semi in the middle and semi on his thigh its looks pretty big but I can’t really get him to stay still long enough to look. We can’t afford medical treatment. We still are trying to pay of a 700 dolloar vet bill from last year because my other cat had a bladder issue. We can’t even afford to put this one down we can’t afford treatment and I don’t want to watch him die if this doesn’t fix its self I’m 16 and pregnant I’m highly emotional right now and the littlest things have been stressing me out. I can’t handle having to blurry another pet. Is there any advice you can give me?

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Sounds like you have your hands full in life. I would want to know if the cat is old or young, indoor only or goes outside, and if there are other cats he can fight with, and if he is neutered. Assuming the best case scenario for all of these questions: he is a young indoor neutered cat that can play with other cats, then we treat this like another abscess. Antibiotics are usually needed, and you might be able to go to an SPCA or other low cost clinic to get those. If you can not get antibiotics then the bast at home treatment in my opinion would be warm compresses with a mild soap or diluted betadine to help clean the abscess and take down the swelling. I would do this 2x-3x a day and see how it looks after a week. I cant give you any more advice after that with out seeing the cat. If it is not an abscess but a tumor in an older cat or an FIV positive cat, then your options are very limited. At the last resort, bring the cat to the SPCA and surrender him so he gets good care. Good luck.

      • Reply
        savannah

        He is 3 years we haven’t neutered him. He is indoor and yes we have other cats. He has had a breathing issue his hole life he barley made it ad a kitten. When you listen to him breathe it sounds like I guess crackling sound in his lungs. But havent neutered him because he shows no interest in females and we are also afraid to get him neutered because of the medication they would use to put him under we don’t know if it would affect his breathing. But besides that he’s basically had issues. But the abcess has already popped back open and its a hole again. What’s the best way to keep the hole clean I know antibiotics would be best but all of our money goes to rent, cat food, cat litter, and other house hold items so we have maybe 100 dollars or less after all the bills have been paid and everything has been taken care of. How much do you think antibiotics would cost I know all vets are different with pricing. And whereo can I get a cone for his head at. Is there any stores that sell cones.

  17. Reply
    savannah

    I just took another look at his hole and even with antibiotics I think he’s gonna need surgery and we can’t afford that so I guess the best option is to take to the SPCA.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      I think your cat needs medical attention and a neuter. It is hard to surrender an animal to the SPCA, but it is sometimes the correct thing to do and in the animal’s best interest. The SPCA and other humane societies are incredible institutions that help animals while often receiving very little support themselves. We must always consider what is best for the animal, and if you can not afford care, try to find him a new home that can.

  18. Reply
    savannah

    So my friend has a cat that had kittens they are five days old and as much as the female is becausbeing a good mother she doesn’t make them go to the batheroom regularly and I’ve noticed when I helped her wipe them to make them pee that the one little boy had blood in his urine and I was wondering could it be just a regular UTI or could he be blocked with possible Crystals?

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Good question about what it could be. It seems way to early to be crystals and even too early to be a UTI, although that is more possible. I would monitor it for a day or two and see if it persists and if it does, bring him to a vet to get a urine culture. It most likely is trauma to the genitals that is bleeding superficially or maybe a sterile bladder infection…. hard to know.

  19. Reply
    anthony

    My wifes cat caught a mouse she didn’t kill it but she was wondering if we should be concerned with any diseases she hasn’t had any shots at all to prevent her from getting anything. My main question is will she be okay I can’t affored to get her spayed or shots because we have a baby on the way and my money has been going towards our son

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      So… it is unlikely your cat will get anything from the mouse, but you never know about that. Fleas are a serious concern, ticks and other parasites for sure. These parasites can certainly cause problems with a pregnant woman. There are a bunch of diseases I would not want around my pregnant wife, including worms, toxoplasmosis, lyme ticks, fleas…. and more. You will also have a much larger cost when your cat comes into heat then gets pregnant (an almost certainty) and then what? I hate to say this but if you can not afford to keep your pets healthy and vaccinated and neutered, I would think about giving the cat away to friends until after the baby and when you get a little more money. This cat IS a risk, although not a huge risk. It is more of a well being issue for the cat. We certainly do not need more kittens in the environment and that will be a certain outcome. Rabies is not an issue from the mouse, but that would be my final concern with an unvaccinated cat in the house. Good luck with the new baby and maybe before then start to think about the cat.

  20. Reply
    Shea

    My elderly (14 year old) cat has an abscess on his cheek from rough-housing with another of my cats. It isn’t slowing him down, he’s eating well and running around playful and curious, but his face is pretty swollen. Should I take him to the vet or is this something that will burst on its own? He’s old and I don’t want to stress him with a vet trip if it isn’t required.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Take him to a vet because it might be a tooth abscess or a tumor that mimics an abscess. Also because he is older, his immune system will not be as strong in fighting it off. Better be safe than sorry. The stress of the vet office is usually worse for the pet owners than the pets themselves.

  21. Reply
    Jen

    My 17 ur old cat had an abscess in January of this year. When it burst I took her to the er. They put her on antibiotics and it cleared up two weeks later. Today I see that the abscess has returned. Do you think it will be ok to finish the antibiotics they have her in January?

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Not sure about the antibiotics or the expiration date. I would call your vet and ask. Usually it is ok, but you might want to check and make sure. Remember it is very important to finish all antibiotics given to prevent resistance with pets and humans. You shouldn’t probably have any left over, or did they give you too much?

  22. Reply
    LuAnn

    Cat got bit we think hole at above left eye and in left upper lip. 2 days later swollen at cheek. Vet drained abscess, flushed and commented that flushing drained out upper lip hole. gave pain and antibiotic shot. Same area swelled 1.5 days later, she reopened lip (above eye has scabbed and looks normal) and now lower hole is draining. Drainage mostly clear at start with little blood to final of just blood. How long should it drain till I should take cat back to vet. Cat is 13 years old and is back to normal attitute

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      I think 2-3 days of drainage is about what I would expect. If there is no color or pus or smell to the drainage you might give it another day. Clear drainage is a good thing.

  23. Reply
    LuAnn

    Thanks a lot for answering. Yesterday afternoon something opened while I was out as a blood spot was found on chair about 2 in in diameter. No blood on cat and nothing looked swollen. Today Mon afternoon top hole leaked same stuff as Thursday just a lot less. Mostly was red color after initial primarily clear. Drained as much as I could. Due to my sched. Earliest app is thurs. Will drain daily till seeing vet or get in sooner if she turns. cat is happy and still has good attitude. Thanks again. I realize how difficult it is without seeing the animal

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Thanks for the update. Sounds like it will wait until Thursday, but definitely get your vet to take a look. Clear or slightly blood tinged is not too bad. Might just be serum draining from a healing wound. Good luck

    • Reply
      LuAnn

      Since last writing did 2 more drains at 1530 and 1645 pst. Getting like sm blood clots out. Some very small, one was a lot larger out of 1645 drain After large one got a little like pus. No smell. Just like fresh blood and saline. Should I wait till thurs or go in to vet tues. Thanks again for your help. Office staff says thurs. Not sure should trust as they are not techs or the doctor

      • Reply
        Dr. Stewart

        Sorry, without seeing the cat I really can not advise too much more. If you vet office feels like Thursday is fine, I would tend to trust them. If the cat is acting normally that too is a good sign. Good luck!

  24. Reply
    Felicity

    Hi Dr Stewart, I have a ferral cat, she is 9 years old, i have had her spayed and vaccinated. About two weeks ago she had a massive abssess on her cheek and looked like an alien. Before i could take her to the vet, it burst, healed and closed all by itself. Suddenly, she became very lathargic, loss of appetite and just slept the whole night, it is winter here, but the she went out during the day to laze in the garden and returned in the evenings. I noticed rapid breathing, took her to the vet. He said couldn’t sedate her or xray, just pressed her body, she screamed in pain and almost bit him, him gave me an antibiotic, told me to force feed her water and liquid canned pet food with a syringe, bring her back in 3 days should she not be well. She threw up the antibiotic, refused the food, bu i tried to keep her hydrated. Took her back and another vet told me that my cat is very ill unaware that she was already treated there at their clinic. I could not put her down without knowing whether she had a chance or been diagonised for whatever her ailment is? She has been x-rayed, both lungs fulls of pus, drained and on the drip for 5 days, i am still awaiting the diagnosis as up today. I call everyday and they say she is fine, i am very worried?

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Wow, sounds serious. There is a lot of information that seems to be missing. Like is she FELV FIV negative, does she have some systemic disease that is affecting her her lungs and body or is this just the result of trauma. If it is trauma and there is pus in her chest, that is very bad but with excellent vet care maybe??? recoverable. If there is an overwhelming systemic disease then things are more grave. If her chest is full of pus, then I would want to find out what is causing that. 9 years old is not that old here in the states , but in some areas that represents an old cat. I would certainly be giving IV antibiotics and not force feed anything except food and water. Keep her on the IV drip and see how she does. The second vet seems like he/she is more aggressive in treatment and this is good. You really need to be aggressive in the fluids and medications. I’m sorry I can not give you more help. Keep me informed.

  25. Reply
    Anne

    Hello!
    I have a lemon of a cat…in the time I’ve had him (2 years, ages 3-5) he has been in serious renal failure (and then had an unexplained miracle recovery and now just gets watched for it), had anemia, fleas, 2 absesses, has chronic reddish conjunctivitus, and has a horrible case of dandruff…but he really is the sweetest! He recently just got an absess at the base of his tail which burst and was draining for a couple days. After I noticed it I cut some fur away and rinsed it with some hydrogen peroxide to help it along. Then the next day i read betadine is better so i bought that and switched to it! the wound is still open and is a little swollen and tender, obviously since he has had an open would on his tail for multiple days now. It’s now day 3 and it does not seem to be producing more pus. Does he need still medical attention in your opinion? I know they are commonly given antibiotics but we’re getting close to the top of this years vet budget and am hoping he can pull through without. thoughts?

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Sorry to hear about your cat problems. 1) never hydrogen peroxide, it can do more harm than good. 2) diluted betadine is ideal, but the dilution is up for debate. You never apply it full strength, it can burn the skin and tissue. 3) Abscesses almost always require some form of antibiotic, but they can heal with time and proper care. If there is no more pus and the wound is looking better and closing then you might be ok. Impossible to assess without seeing the cat. See how he does for a few more days and then decide if he needs a vet visit for this problem. I always recommend seeing a vet if you are concerned. Better sooner than later. Tail abscesses can be really nasty if untreated….just keep this in mind.

  26. Reply
    Stephanie

    Hi Dr. Stewart,
    My cat got in a fight with another cat about a week and a half ago. We let him inside and he went and hid in the basement for a day or so–but we didn’t notice any sores so we thought he was just freaked out. He is skittish and doesn’t usually get in fights. He seemed to be getting back to normal and then we noticed a burst abcess on his back haunch. It was pretty nasty but it was the beginning of a holiday weekend so we couldn’t get him to the vet. He also seemed to be getting better, spending more time upstairs, walking around some, and eating a bit. We thought about taking him to the vet after the holiday, but his wound was already scabbing over and he does terrible at the vet–it’s majorly traumatizing for him and he usually has to be sedated, so we thought we’d wait and see. The past two days or so his wound looks great but he has been very lethargic–sleeping all day and not eating or drinking. I noticed today that he hasn’t gone to the litter box to my knowledge. With the wound healed, what do you think could be wrong with him? Is there anything the vet can do this late in the game? Thanks for your help.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      The cat might be blocked (see blog for urethral obstruction) and the cat fight was just the stressor to help him get in trouble. YES!! Take him to the vet. If the abscess is healed and doing great then he should be back to normal. No urine and eating….these are terrible in a cat. It might even be too late now. I would not wait any longer.

  27. Reply
    Stephanie

    Thanks so much for the response, Dr. Stewart. We took him to the vet today and it was thankfully just the abscess recurring. They gave him some antibiotics and shaved and drained and cleaned the area so he should be better soon!

  28. Reply
    sharnee

    Hello.
    My cat was in a fight the other day and he was really hurt. The day after he would eat and was really limp I honestly thought he was dieing. Then yesterday we noticed a big lump on his back and a bit mark where it was. What do I have to do? Take him to a vet or try and drain it myself? Also we have a dog in the house to should I put it outside while the kitty has this issue??

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Take him to the vet. Do not pass go, do not collect $50. You have a cat that looks like he is dying. Do not try and drain it yourself.

      If people are using this blog to avoid going the vet, I will certainly have to stop posting.

      • Reply
        Vanessa

        So glad you finally said this Dr Stewart. Too many people posting here who haven’t read your original post and shouldn’t have pets. If your cat is sick – take it to the vet!

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          Thanks, if you look back you will see that “GO TO A VET” is often my advice.

  29. Reply
    sarah

    My cat got outside the other night and he must have gotten bit by another cat or animal, and he now has a abscess on his hind side. I just noticed it today since It ruptured and it the size of a quarter… also it smells disgusting, like feces. I cleaned it with peroxide and put polysporen on it (with great difficulty). He’s eating and drinking, he’s a bit cranking and refuses to be picked up, but other than that he seems fine. Do you think a vet is required or should I wait 48 hours and keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t worsen?

    • Reply
      sarah

      cranky**

      • Reply
        Dr. Stewart

        Bring him to the vet for antibiotics if you want it to heal much faster.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      I always recommend a vet visit. If it bothered you enough to google it on the internet then it should be seen by a vet. However, if there is just a small cleaned and drained abscess then you can watch to see if it gets worse. Make sure the cat is eating and drinking and acting normally otherwise. You would hate to wait too long and have this get worse. Having not seen the wound I can not properly advise. Closed abscesses are much worse than open draining ones that have been flushed and cleaned.

  30. Reply
    Kara Rowe

    Hello Doctor:

    I have a kitty who refuses to stay inside come weather above 32 degrees. Today when I picked her up to bring her inside I felt something warm & sticky under her arm.

    When I checked it out (I almost fainted), I saw an area, up under her armpit & about the size of a nickle with a surrounding area missing any sign of fur and which is flat & open like a bed sore! It appears to be down to the muscle or maybe the subcutaneous fat layer (very scarey looking).

    There is no sign of swelling, it’s not pathologically red or red at all, no sign of puss or discolored discharge. There’s no sign of a bite mark or any type of puncture wound.

    A few days ago when I was holding her I noticed she stunk & I said to myself … gosh you need a bath! So, maybe it was an abscess that ruptured??

    Her behavior is unchanged. She’s eating, running about as usual and doesn’t appear to show any discomfort. I understand cats can take a lot of pain but in the past she was in a fight & had quite an injury & I could tell she was having some discomfort.

    I have other kitties which are her babies. They do not get along and so we bring her in during the day & let them out. However, there are times when she’s tired of waiting for us to let her back out & so we put her in the car (only after it has cooled down & with all windows open of course). However, one time in the past week she got out & two of the other cats were fighting with her under the car. I’m thinking that maybe she may have been hurt even though we ran out quickly to stop the situation. Could an abscess occur this quickly? Can a scratch & not a bite cause an abscess? We live out in the country surrounded by woods & so I’m also wondering if maybe she was punctured by a stick.

    Any words from you would be appreciated. I will be taking her to the doctor on Monday regardless. I won’t take any chances with her health. Thank you in advance for your time. I appreciate it very much.

    Kara

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Sorry for the delay, I have been away for a week. I hope the vet visit went well. Seems like you dont have too many options. Make sure she is vaccinated and take care of all biites and abscesses that arrise.Good luck.

  31. Reply
    Danielle

    My cat got into a fight with a neighbor’s dog about three days ago and got injured on her pouch. I took her to the vet where she got antibiotics and painkillers. Now she is eating and drinking fine and has started hopping on the furniture too, but her pouch is swelling around the injury. I think it might be a abscess, but I’m not sure? She’s still got about a week and a half on her antibiotics. Should I take her to the vet again?

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      I would go back for a re-check because it sounds like there might be an abscess. It could just be swelling and bruising but better be safe than sorry. A vet visit is advised. Good luck.

  32. Reply
    Barrack

    Heya,

    Constantly dealing with our cat coming home with Abscesses. I typically locate the puncture wounds, clean around the surrounding puncture pre abscess exploding with alchohol wipes and saline solution; i then shave and cut away 2cm area of fur around the site and then remove the scab by soaking it in hot/warmwater and epsome salts and then plucking at the scab until it comes away. I then apply gentle and constant pressure around the extremities of the swollen area and watch for puss coming out of the wound, as this exudes it is wiped away with a sterile wipe, I will do this until all puss has been removed and then flush the inside of the wound with saline. I will then apply a 1% stable hydrolized hydogen perixide solution with a couple of drops of Tee tree oil and 30mls of saline solution and eye drop this directly into the wound. This has worked across multiple abscess sites, ie rump, face, head, and back, but as of recent the latest one is on the inside back leg where we have had an abscess explode leaving a well drained cavity. I have cleaned and drained this site but the concern is the appature of the rupture site itself, it is roughly 1cm in diameter, and i can see either the subcutaneous or muscle layers. My concern is having this sealed up, as to minimize the potential for secondary infection. The cat is not currenrtly on antibiotics but is acting his normal self with full appetite and cuddly nature, the only thing different is the hole in the size of his leg. Im wanting to know can i apply a staple or stitch to this or are there sergical glues that could be better utilized for this application. I dont want to go see the vet without me diving into my own knowledge base….typically they charge you for the visit, which is 10 minutes to administer a simple antibiotic shot…

    Man i wish we could buy can antibiotics….and or anesthetics…my partners pretty handy with a needle and thread….Im sure if i can stitch someones forehead up i can do the same to a cat….

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Not sure how to answer this.
      1) I would always recommend visiting a vet, their years of knowledge might not bet tested by a simple abscess but you will be sorry when the abscess is something much more serious and you are applying ointment.

      2) no Tea Tree oil. It has been proven toxic to pets and has been shown time and again to delay healing in wounds. Hydrogen peroxide is not nearly as bad, but again delays wound healing by killing new cells. Use diluted beta-dine or chlorhiexi scrub diluted. If you can get these, then peroxide is the next best.

      3) I have no idea, nor want to know how you plan to stitch up an awake cat with an open abscess. They usually struggle. Having said that, we do not advise closing open abscesses without he proper drainage and prep. They will just re-fill.

      4) Constant abscesses? Keep the cat inside or have it neutered (if not already) you seem to have a lot of bad cats in the neighborhood. This will eventually lead to FIV or another disease or a really bad bite.

  33. Reply
    Thea

    Hi Dr. Stewart,

    About 2 months ago we started letting my cat play outside, when he had always been an indoor cat (since I had adopted him at least, about 4 years ago). We live in a city, and of course about a week into his new exciting life outdoors he got into a fight with a neighborhood cat. He was a little roughed up but seemed fine. About a week later, his left cheek was swollen and inflamed, so we took him to the emergency vet. It was a mild abscess, so he had surgery to get it drained and cleaned, then did a course of antibiotics. The cat kept scratching at the wound, so we put him in a cone for a few days and that stopped, and it seemed to heal up fine.

    Now, about a month and half later he started scratching again! We just moved about a month ago, so I’m guessing he is stressed from the move. The wound is pussing and bleeds a little, but is not swollen like before. I’ve been doing warm compresses twice a day and put a cone on him, which of course he hates so he just mopes around all day.

    Do I need to take him to the vet for another expensive treatment, or is it something that will heal with time??
    Thanks for your help.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Interesting. It might be a tooth root abscess or something unrelated. It is possible that this is not the same abscess as it has been so long and after antibiotics. I would get him a quick exam by a vet. Tooth root abscesses are really bad and can get worse fast. They usually need surgery and tooth removal to heal. Sorry, wish I had a simple answer. If it is the same abscess then you have some nasty bug that was not fully healed and this would require longer stronger antibiotics. Good luck.

  34. Reply
    Destiny

    Hello. I noticed my cat acting funny. He kept his tongue out a little bit, almost like he was cleaning himself and halfway through a lick, just stopped. He was also drooling. Then he started acting lethargic, sluggish. He had sudden diarrhea, and when I saw, he had little drops of blood afterward. Mind you, he’s a year and a half old, not fixed. He also had tapeworm. But I made an appointment for the following day for him to be seen. This behavior wasn’t like him. But that night he seemed very unresponsive, he let me snuggle him under the blanket, which he hates. He wouldn’t even move his ears or open his eyes, no matter what noise was made. He was also breathing a little heavy.
    The next day he was acting normal, eating, playing, drinking. We took him to a clinic to get his rabies and distemper shots. I noticed a bump under his lower lip, which seemed a little weird. He sat through the shots, let dogs sniff him, even rolled over for one.
    We took him to the vet later. The vet said it was an abscess and ended up popping it. He had blood taken, but he became completely unresponsive. He went limp and couldn’t control his poop or pee. The vet recommended an emergency vet, which is what we did. All his blood work came back normal, but he had crystals in his urine. They put him on supportive care (an iv, all night watch, etc) we couldn’t afford to keep him more than 1 night, and couldn’t afford any xrays.
    We picked him up the next day, the vet said he didn’t think he would make it. She had no clue what was wrong with him. We were told he had clear mucus type diarrhea that just leaked from him butt. We took him home and made him comfortable. He was cold to the touch, so he got a heating pad as well. Within 20 minutes of being home, he stood up and tried walking away. Over a dozen times. We noticed he had muscle spasms, and he kept uncontrollably kicking his hind legs and moving his head. We gave him pain meds the vet gave us and he calmed down. We spent the day watching him, giving him baby food and water from little droppers. We gave him some electrolyte water as well. He managed to jump out of a 12 inch tall box we put him in, and he took off running into the kitchen. He laid down on the cool ground, but I got him back into the box. I wrapped him in a blanket and put him in the box. I woke up every couple hours to give him water and feed him and clean him up. But today he was up, walking around, still a little out of it, but act it more like himself. He was able to maintain a warmer body temp, was able to control his movements, ate and drank on his own, was able to poop and pee when he needed, and even tipped his water dish over (like he always loved doing) but we still have no clue what caused this. We think it was shock, from getting the shots, and the abscess popping, then they went near his face with the clippers, because they didn’t feel safe having to sedate him. Any thoughts?

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Wow, crazy story. Might have been a response to the vaccines and the abscess or sepsis from infection that he was able to clear. The only reason cats get that cold usually is heart disease, kidney failure, or sepsis (apart from being trapped in the cold or in a fridge.) There are other less common reasons but those are the big ones. I wonder if he was septic and the abscess was the tip of a bigger infection. Not sure. Hopefully he will make a full recovery. Did they give him antibiotics? I would give him antibiotics.

  35. Reply
    Michelle

    Hi Dr. Stewart,
    I found this blog post through a Google search and was hoping to get your advice on a kitty we rescued. We recently brought in an abandoned cat that was roaming our neighborhood (I think she was abandoned as she is incredibly affectionate and sweet). I took her to the vet for testing and vaccinations and the next day I noticed an open wound on her upper leg (near her anus). I took her to the vet after work and the vet said it was an abscess that he missed the day before. She was INCREDIBLY lethargic after the vaccinations, I thought she was maybe reacting to them, but she perked up once the “sore” appeared/abscess busy. He recommended sedation to clean out the wound and stitch it back up and quoted me $300. We just paid him $300 the day before and I honestly don’t have the money right now. He gave us 7 days worth of

  36. Reply
    Michelle

    Antibiotics, and I’ve been putting a hot press on the sore for 5-6 minutes a few times a day to help. It seems like only a blood/clear mixture is draining now, no puss, no foul odor, just a horrible looking open wound (Nickle sized). If it doesn’t get better, of course we will find a way to pay to have her all better, she’s now 100% indoor and our new baby. My question is, is it okay if she licks the site? Do I need to put her in an E-collar? How fast can we expect a recovery (how fast is too fast?) Also, the vet did an anal exam and said that the anal gland was swollen? Is that something that will be addressed with the antibiotics? Thank you in advance for your help!!!

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Sounds like the vet was right and did the correct treatment. Abscesses, like in the blog, are often missed because they are very hard to find on cats under fur and skin until they rupture and open up. I actually didn’t see one the other day until it opened a few hours later. Yup, hours not days. Keeping the area clean and giving the cat antibiotics will definitely help healing. Keeping the cat from licking the wound will help a lot too. I would get an e-collar to help with that. Cat tongues are very rough and very dirty and the bacteria they will place on the wound is much worse than the natural skin bacteria that would be there. If you can keep it clean with soap and water the cat will forget about it after a few days and you can take off the collar. The anal glands are another thing and should resolve themselves with good food and regular bathroom usage. If they do not, you need to have them addressed by the vet. Antibiotics usually do not fix them. God luck!

      • Reply
        Michelle

        Hi Dr. Stewart,

        I really appreciate the response. As much as I hate doing it, I will put her in an e-collar when I get home tonight. I’m hoping the anal gland problem will fix itself shortly. She’s starting to now have regular good food (who knows what she ate while she was outside in addition to the food we gave her). She seems to already have fairly regular bowel movements… and AMAZINGLY, only uses the litter box.

        She really is a wonderful cat, I can’t imagine why someone would ever put her outside 🙁

        Do you have a soap that you recommend?

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          Thanks, the soap we often use is dish soap like joy or dawn. It just takes a little and make sure to rinse it off after. Most every soap is antibacterial and you do not need soap labeled specifically as such. Just go with what your are using in your kitchen sink. Good luck!

  37. Reply
    margaret Anderson

    I have a 5 yr old cat that was diagnosed with the start of kidney disease. So her weight is almost half of what it was. When I adopted her she was farrow and weighed 9 lbs now 6lbs. She is extremely thin and it has been a struggle for 3 years to get her to eat. I keep trying wet and dry foods but she is so picky. Yesterday I noticed her fur all wet and discovered a large abcess on her neck/shoulder. Took her to vet where they confirmed that is was an abcess. Reached the point of a very strong smell. Tonight I get a call that they want to operate to close wound. It is about 2 x 2 1/2 inches around. They said as an alternative I could monitor her and change the dressing every day but then started advising me to send her to a specialist (that they send everyone to) to have xrays, more blood work, kidney checked and also to rule out cancer. Prior to the abcess her weight was way down to the 6 lbs and she was not eating hardly at all. She has not felt good in a long time and I can see it in her eyes. What this vet is recommending will amount to over $2500.00 just for diagnostic. I am at the point where I need to make a decision on her life. My little girl is just miserable.
    Am I being insensitive?

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      There are parts of the cat’s story that don’t make sense and need to be filled in. 5 years old with kidney failure is very young. That amount of weight loss is really abnormal at 5 too without obvious signs of kidney disease like vomiting, excessive water intake and increased urination. If the struggle has been 3 years, did she get the renal disease (kidney) when she was 2? I would not surgically close an abscess, but instead give antibiotics and let it heal on its own. This cat sounds like it might have a more serious disease like FELV or FIV or something really effecting its systems. You might want to seek a second opinion, a specialist would be great,at least just to see what they say. I would never imagine that it would be over a few hundred dollars to give you an idea of what is going on. $2500 seems like a lot of money for a few tests and a good second opinion. Do not be scared by specialists. If you want the answers get another opinion. I would say something is not right.

  38. Reply
    Chelsea Acosta

    I have a cat that is about 12 years old. I got a kitten whos a little over 1 year old. The older cat was declawed when I got him, but my kitten is not. They play fight and about 2 weeks ago I noticed a lump behind his ear. I took him into the vet and they have him antibiotics through a shot. They said it would last for 2 weeks and it’s been 2 weeks today. The abscess popped 5 days ago and now its a big hole and I’m taking him to the vet again today to check up on it again. I’m worried about him developing another abscess if my cats keep playing like they do. Is it normal for cats to grow an abscess after fighting even if they’re both indoor cats? I don’t want to try to keep the cats apart because when they arent fighting theyre always sleeping together. They love each other but Im worried for my older cat. What do you think I should do?

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      All cat bites and scratched can form abscesses regardless of if they are indoor. I would get this one healed, as you care doing correctly, then see if it happens again. If it happens again you should consider keeping them apart more. I know its hard, but they obviously play rough. My guess is that the younger kitten will mellow out a little and the play will become less bite am more wrestle. Good luck, you might be ok after this abscess heals.

  39. Reply
    tanisha

    My cat got into a fight with another cat and got a chuck out if his leg, the next day it seemed to close up but he has not eaten or drinkin, he bearly moves he’s just laying around when he does walk its very short distance and he hops ad to not touch that foot on the ground… today it seems it has begun pussing and bleeding a little, he will not let me touch his leg and I can tell he’s in pain, what do I do?

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      This is a clear case of- bring the cat to the vet- advice. This blog is not meant to treat, diagnose or prescribe, but is designed to be more informational. I would seriously advise a vet visit before your cat gets worse.

  40. Reply
    Jessica

    Hi Dr. Stewart
    I recently rescued a stray kitten about three weeks ago. When we found him we noticed that on his front paw the skin had been ripped off his second toe so we immediately took him to the vet. They rapped the cut up and gave us antibiotics and pain medication. We changed out the dressings every day as we were told for about ten days but the wound just wasn’t drying out. So we took off the bandages, kept him on the antibiotics and luckily a scab finally grew. Two days ago the scab fell off but I noticed a small abcess looking boil where the scab had been. It is now where near the size the wound was originally so we’ve kept him on the antibiotics also put a little neosporin on it. Today I noticed it looks dried out and a lot less swollen. I was wondering if this means it is getting better or should I take him to the vet again? His eating, playing, and sleeping habits have not changed one bit but I’m just a little worried. Also he is 10 to 11 weeks old.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      I can honestly not tell from the description. If you are at all concerned bring him back to the vet. If he is that young, better to get him fixed early than wait until her is weak or not healing well. Good luck. Sorry I could not be more help.

  41. Reply
    Zoe

    My cat has had a large a abscess under his jaw / chin which burst. We took him to the vets and they cleaned it, checked his teeth (fine) gave him an antibiotic shot and told us it was fine and to leave it as he was probably just in a fight with another cat. It was okay for about a week and then it started to swell again, just as we were about to take him back it burst (a lot of drainage) and he was back to his happy self. But now it seems to have swollen again, more on one side than the other. We will take him back to the vets for more antibiotics but I am worried it will just keep happening again.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Have a dental xray done or ask them to check for a tooth root abscess. It could also be something worse like a cancer…. or it could be a resistant bacteria and you need to change the antibiotics. Maybe have them culture the wound, or look a little deeper. This should not be happening again and again….. good luck. Good question.

  42. Reply
    JENNIFER

    I work with ferals and strays, and use veterinarians, as opposed to google. We have a cat who came in emaciated, dehydrated, full of maggots and wounds on leg and tail from a wild animal attack in a park. She came in at 3.9 lbs. She was scheduled for amputation at 8 days in, but was then found by blood work to be severely anemic. She had a transfusion and has since received 6 treatments in a HBOT chamber. Hyperbariac Oxygen Therapy. Her flesh is now covering the bone and tendons, and is nearly healed. I highly recommend HBOT. I also recommend not getting a pet if you can’t afford a vet.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      HBOT work is amazing and truly cutting edge. There is also vacuum wound healing as a step between HBOT and wet to dry healing. We have had great luck with vacuum healing at the surgical specialty office in our facility. Thanks for the heads up.

  43. Reply
    andrew hoover

    I am watching someones cats for 2 weeks with one week left, one cat has an abscess on her ear, I tried to lance it and some blood and puss came out not much and her ear is still swollen. the incision a made was very small, I didn’t want to hurt her, I have no money, no car, what should I do, should I try to make another cut and try to drain it or give it some time to see if she’ll cause it to burst, I saw her eat and drink, it didn’t look like much because I picked her up and checked her out it didn’t look any bigger, or should I wait until her owner gets home, she acts like it’s bothering her, she let me scratch it, it seemed to give her relief, I don’t want anything to happen to her, please help I don’t know what to do, thanks

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Wow, no money and no car as a pet sitter might not be the best situation, but I understand the problem. I would not make another incision. You can try a warm soapy compress and see if it pops or the swelling goes away on its own with time. I would highly recommend a vet visit for antibiotics and maybe a lancing if it needs it. The risk is the infection gets worse, it might not be an abscess, it might get infected by a different bug…… If the cat is acting normally then I would wait for the owner to come home. If the cat starts to really act lethargic or not eat then I would be more concerned. Good luck, sounds like a hard situation.

  44. Reply
    Tsjoom

    well my cat is really getting bad these days, going out to fight some outdoor cats. i just can’t control it he always keeps on meowing randomly so i open the door for him to go outside because it is so annoying. Now he has a big cheek in the right and im scared if it’s going to kill him… what if i leave it? will he die? And can you tell me any treatment that i can do indoor without a surgy in the vet so he can get better? And do you know how to keep the cat quite? he is always annoying me… thanks!

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Is the cat neutered or intact? Neutering a male cat makes them less likely to fight and go outside. I cant help you except to talk to your vet about his cheek. If he keeps getting in fights there is always the risk of an infectious disease like FELV or FIV and you should beware. Try to keep him inside with a litter box? Otherwise I really dont have too many ideas about keeping him away from other cats. Make sure he is neutered properly. Sorry and good luck.

  45. Reply
    Tsjoom

    sorry i mean without the vet

  46. Reply
    Tsjoom

    What if i bring a female to my home? Will she stay inside the home?
    And if i brought a female will he stay with her in the home?
    Because im thinking to bring a female so he will stay.
    Thanks for everything.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      No and No. You will just have kittens. This is a bad idea.

    • Reply
      Tiffany

      TSJOOM. WHY HAVE A CAT? Please get the poor thing a good home. If its hurt bring to vet. If you can’t i reiterate the good home suggestion. Also, if the cat is annoying you, i again reiterate – GET CAT A GOOD HOME PLEASE. Why suffer its annoyance and make him suffer at the same time. Irresponsible. Thank you!

  47. Reply
    Pat

    My cat had a broken tooth, and later developed an abscess from an infected root, and the vet pulled the tooth and I gave her antibiotics (Baytril) for 6 days. The cat is an adult now partly tame feral (it has taken me 2 years) and I could not get the 7th dose into her. Her mouth was better, but now 3 weeks later or so, her mouth is very swollen and it looks like the abscess may have broken thru her lower jaw, because there is a big blood spot there. I gave pictures of my cat mewing with her mouth wide open to my vet, who said (I didn’t talk to him directly, it was thru the vet tech) it’s difficult to tell from pictures, but it could either be infection back again and do antibiotics longer this time, or else I have to bring the cat in to be sedated so he can look at it again. Maybe cancer (it’s a young cat, about 3 or 4 years old I guess, and her tooth was broken, so there’s an obvious source of infection, so I’d guess that’s unlikely, but what do you think?)

    OK so for now I am giving her Baytril again, now for 2 weeks, and going to have to put her in tiny quarters because as I mentioned, she is only part tame. Restraining her is setting me back in my taming efforts, but she seems to eventually forgive me. Do you think I should take her in to be sedated, or better to wait and see and medicate her for 2 weeks? Is this abscess going to have to be drained to heal properly, or did the skin break through horribly accomplish that? I would guess my vet cleaned out the abscess when he pulled the tooth & this is a complication. I do not know her FIP/FIV status, but she has always been otherwise healthy and she’s vaccinated. I can’t find a webpage that discusses all the complications of dental abscesses. Thank you so much for this informative website – lots of helpful pointers.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Wow, great questions and good history. Her FELV/FIV status would help a lot in determining if she is immuno-compromised. If so, react accordingly. If she is negative then I agree with your vet. It could be a re-infection, continued infection, or another problem like cancer, or bone infection. If she has any of the problem other than cancer, I would continue the antibiotics for 3-6 weeks and try to get a culture and target the antibiotics. If it is cancer then you have fewer options. Sedating her and getting a great culture then really cleaning the area out and possibly getting a biopsy is probably the A+ treatment. Xrays of her jaw or better yet dental xrays would be ideal too. If you sedate her, you can also get a long acting injection of convenia to supplement the baytril (convenia lasts 10-14 days in cats.) If you choose not to sedate her you can only wait and see how the antibiotics work. I would consider adding a second antibiotic if you choose not to sedate and culture. Just to cover your bases. Hope this helps.

  48. Reply
    Carmela

    My cat has a ruptured anal abscess. I took him to the vet yesterday he asked us if my cat got into a fight, and we said no. We take him out to our small garden but we are always with him. The vet said that is not the anal glands so he says that is a mystery to him why he got that. I was searching in the internet and I couldn’t find anything besides anal glands. So I wonder what else could be?. Also It looks like he has a hole in his butt from the drain. Do you know how long it takes to heal?. Also the vet didn’t put a drain will be surgically placed so that the wound does not seal right back up. ?. Does it matter?

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      The vet is right, it is usually a fight that causes that sort of abscess but it might be a foreign material like a thorn or a bee sting too. Hopefully it is not something worse like a pre-cancer or even a cancer. These are rare but possible. If there is no drain in the wound it will close faster and heal, but you run the risk of an abscess forming when it closes. Just apply a warm compress to the area and try to milk any fluid out if the cat will let you , or just apply the compress if not. You vet has seen it and will give you the right advice. It should heal within a week, and if it doesn’t then go back for a re-visit.

  49. Reply
    Carmela

    Hi Dr Stewart . My husband told me that the abscess burst but itself when he took it to the Vet, and that the Vet put anesthesia and clean the wound he gave my cat a shot of antibiotics. We went back for a follow up, and he said that he din’t like the the way the wound look. He said it wasn’t healing properly as he would like it, and he was concerned because the hole was close to my cat anus and that could be dangerous so he refer us to a specialist we took him there and the Vet specialist told us that hole looks deep and they will have to open Rocky and maybe put a surgical drain if needed they performed the surgery and remove dead tissue and they said there was not infection so there was not need to put a drain.
    My question is that should we have gone to a specialist in first place? should we ask to surgically put the drain next time if It happens?
    We also forgot to mention we have another cat a female half the size of the male one so we didn’t think It was possible for the female to hurt the male one but do you think is that possible? . They do fight a lot but the male one has the upper hand. Also any advise about any questions to ask the Vet specialist?

    Thanks a lot for your help

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Almost definitely the female caused the abscess in my mind. There is no “stronger sex” in neutered cats, the females fight just as well as the males and a stray claw or tooth could have caused this. I’m not sure what you mean by questions to ask the specialist. They should be able to direct you to the best course of action. It is always better to go to your regular vet first and then get referred for a number of reasons. First the regular vet can help you choose who to see, second many specialists will not take “walk ins” without a referral. Also, your regular vet is cheaper and if they can fix the problem you might save money. Finally, your regular vet often does follow up and subsequent work and the specialist will want to keep them in the loop to help. Sounds like a nasty wound or was it a fistula or something more dangerous? Once it is cleaned and healed it should go away, and this is something to ask the specialist. Will this happen again?

      • Reply
        Carmela

        Dr Stewart,
        We went to a specialist that was referred by our regular Vet. He is the one who performed the surgery. Anyway the wound was healing and look better but last night we noticed that he had a small abscess It’s not the same is in the other side.So we took him to the Vet specialist and Rocky is going to stay in the hospital for the day so they could look at the abscess. The Vet resident pinch the wound and she said that was a little pus mixed with blood. So we are not sure why he is getting this again. Is this common in cats. We think maybe that antibiotics given by his regular vet worn off.
        Regards,

        Carmela

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          Good luck, you are doing the right thing and in good hands.

          • Carmela

            Hi Dr Stewart

            It happened again we noticed that Rocky had a small abscess and he was bleeding.The abscess Burst on December 19th so we took him to the Vet, and she said that it was an annal gland abscess so she gave him antibiotics for 2 weeks. Then on January 14th we noticed a little bleeding so so we took him to the Vet and he said that it looks like that annal gland abscess and we asked why this is happening again almost a month after.He said he didn’t really know. He press the annal gland he didn’t prescribe antibiotics since It looks that It was healing. But then on January 22nd we noticed that he was a little red and then the next day he was bleeding again. We took him to a Vet specialist and he said that It looks that the annal gland infection that may need to be removed. My question is that why is this happening all the time?. We find curious that it happened after he had the big burst in August . Also is happening in the same place?. Is this normal? Do you think could be a foreign object?. We asked the Vet if we could do other test to rule other things. My husband thought that Rocky had megacolon and we had been giving miralax all this time but the X ray shows negative. So do you think maybe the miralax is hurting him. He is always being a healthy cat. H head a good appetite and he is in a good mood otherwise. He even once to fight with his sister Nova.

            Thanks for you reply

            Carmela

          • Dr. Stewart

            I would stop the miralax if there is no mega-colon as this can cause a while bunch of other problems….including maybe anal gland impaction and infection. I would trust the specialist and if they recommend removal of the gland, then I would certainly do that. Some animals have chronic anal gland impaction and abscess and these need to be addressed and then removed. It just happens. Sometimes it can be a growth or pre-cancer that can lead to worse things. Go back to the specialist and have the gland removed. There is no harm except $$ and healing should be easy. It will certainly solve your problem. Unless the cat is constipated, slowly wean off the miralax, then stop.

  50. Reply
    kaylea duran

    Hi Dr,

    well heres felly’s story. about monday the 18th my male cat came home from his nightly run and that night i noticed he had a gushy lump on his back with a scab, i knew it was a attack but not knowing exactly what it was i left it alone. on thursday the 21st i saw him with something on his back so i went up to him and saw yellow pus coming out. so all morning im looking for a vet that does free exams because i have NO money. so i take him to the local vca animal hospital and the doctor told me it was a abscess. he told me i can drain and flush it with peroxide and water 1/2 and 1/2 but i decide to dilute it 1/4 peroxide 3/4 water because he mentioned it irritates them. the only thing i did get because i knew i needed it the most was the liquid antibiotics. but the doctor was rushing because he had other rooms backed up so im left with a bunch of questions.

    so first i bought liquid antibiotics that i give him every 12 hours, i have a cone for my cat, flushing with 1/4 peroxide 3/4 water every 12 hours. the opening of his wound is the size of a pea, and the infection area that was full of bacteria is 3 quarters the size of a computer mouse. so through these few days thursday through today its been going well. its stopped draining pus on its own, when i do flush his found it went from yellow bubbles on thursday and friday to mostly white bubbles today. i try to open his scab to let it breathe as much as i can through the day but i dont want to keep opening it if i dont have to. when do i know that its healed?? today when i opened his scab it was harder to get the liquid in than thursday and friday because his infected area wasnt as flabby as these 2 past days have been, plus the bubbles arent forming as much as they were and so todays flushing consisted more of only a little amount of white bubbles and some blood from me opening his scab and its only swelling up when i reopen his scab and flush but after the swelling goes away.

    so my questions i have for you:

    how do you know when its healed?

    how many days should i make sure his scab doesnt close so the pus infection doesnt start all over again?

    is he going to need surgery??

    how many days should i flush his wound because i dont want him to be irritated and in pain for more days than he should?

    am i doing too much, do i need to do more, or am i doing just fine??

    in notice i am going to take him to another free exam at a different vet (because im that broke) on monday or tuesday to follow up and explain everything to them as well, but in the mean time i want to know if its going okay until i see the vet again because the dr. rushed me out so fast.

    hopefully you read this and can explain at least a good amount of what i would like to know with the absolute most detail i can explain. i just really want this to heal under the circumstances that i have to home care him because i cant afford all the surgeries and days stayed at the vet, because the dr. scared me when he said a lot of the time they dont fully heal.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      I can not go into great detail without seeing the wound or the cat. I would not do the peroxide more than 2-4 days. I would make sure to give the oral antibiotics until it is finished or 14 days (whichever is first), I would not open the scab after it has healed for a week, and if there is no more pus or pocket do not open the scab, I would make sure he is up to date on shots and neutered to prevent future fights and bites and cover for disease, and it should heal within a week or two. I think you might be doing the right thing in the beginning but then doing to much toward the end of the healing. Bring him for another follow up to see how he is doing. You will know when it is healed or healing when the pain and swelling is gone and the scab is getting smaller and healing. When you see any signs of this, stop messing with the spot. Cats are great healers.

      Owning a pet is a serious financial responsibility. Start a jar with change to cover future costs or maybe volunteer at the SPCA or vet office to try to cover future costs just in case he needs surgery or more medicine.

      Good luck!

  51. Reply
    ashley

    hello, i take care of a stray cat outside, he refuses to be an inside cat, and he got into a fight a month ago and an abscess started and popped on its on but the ‘hole’ has spread from the top of his head down the side of his face and is dangerously close to one of his eyes. It has scabbed over and he just scratches it off making everything worse. He is eating fine and seems energetic. I can’t get him to the vet since he is never here during the day or during office hours. He only shows up at night looking worse and worse. Is there anything that can be done for him? I worry if I can get him to a vet he will have to wear a cone which won’t work for an outside cat. Anything that I can do at home? Is he in danger of getting really sick? thanks.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      He needs to see a vet to have his face treated. At least get him an injection of long acting antibiotics like “convenia” and try to get him tested for FIV FELV and neutered. Neutering him would prevent future cats and future fights. Nothing easy you can do at home. Sorry, he needs to be seen.

    • Reply
      Jennifer

      I also take care of stray cats and treat for worms and all other sicknesses..I saved one that was dying from a upper respiratory infection..was horrible to listen to it scream in pain 🙁 But I used all natural apple cider vinager with the other mixed 50/50 with water internally…I put it on its paws for 2 days along with one good dose with a oral syringe the first round..I swear that cat was 100% in 2 days and is healthy today..it also had a horrible case of ear mites..pure organic coconut oil in liquid form (not hot tho) and used cotton balls to clean all the debris that came out daily,takes about a week to get it all flushed out the ear canal,do not probe into the canal only the folds it will come out each day naturally with the oil..Both work as a natural antibiotic and can be used topical aswell once the abscess is open and drained..cover the would while its healing to keep out dirt ec. Since its outside..I have done all these and proven it works

      • Reply
        Dr. Stewart

        I do not know enough about these treatments to support them. I would worry about too much vinegar orally. The coconut oil in the ears sounds like it could help but again not sure it will last. I would rather have have veterinary involvement and safe treatments. But I’m glad they helped this kitten.

  52. Reply
    Susan

    Hi Dr. Stewart,

    I’m very worried about my neighbour’s cat. She often comes into my house to eat my cat‘s food and sleep on my wardrobe. She’s been around more so recently, since she appeared one day with a sizeable wound behind her ear. There are plenty of cats around and she’s the littlest so I’m pretty sure it will have been a fight. Since then she’s developed an abscess on the same side of her face. Though I did also suspect her teeth as her gums are looking rather black, but it could be her colouring, she doesn’t hold her head still long enough for a proper look. Up until now she’s seemed perky enough, but it just keeps getting bigger. I came home from work today and had to double take, it’s like an extra head!
    I called in to my neighbour to alert her to the situation a few days after the abscess appeared, she thanked me for bringing her round and told me she’d meant to visit the vet on Friday but couldn’t find her, she assured me she would take her Monday.
    I visited my neighbour on Monday morning to drop the cat round (as she often gains access to my house via the cat flap of her own accord), but when I returned on Monday night expecting to see a clean wound, shaven patch, drained cyst and cone, or better still nothing at all as she’d be in her own home healing, sadly it looked as though nothing had changed.
    I visited my neighbour on Tuesday to ask after the cat and see if I could offer my services, perhaps a lift to the vet would speed things along for the poor creature. My neighbour advised that she had taken the cat to the vet on Monday and that she was on antibiotics.
    It’s now Wednesday, and as I said before, this cat’s face is huge! Looking bigger than ever today. I called my local vet and they advised that for a cat fight wound antibiotics might be all that’s prescribed, but I just find the whole thing very fishy. I know that my neighbours don’t work or walk their dog or treat their pets for fleas, but would they lie about having given the cat treatment?
    I suppose what I’m basically asking is, would a vet have sent her away with a lump as big as half her head again and only prescribed antibiotics? Should I trust that she’ll start getting better? Is she going to be okay and I’m simply acting like a crazy person harassing my neighbour about her cat all the time? Though if my hunch is correct and this little kitty doesn’t make it, I’ll feel absolutely terrible that I didn’t help her.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Great questions. Sadly there are good vets and bad vets in the world. Any vet who would just prescribe antibiotics, if the owner authorized better care, is on the….. less good side of the field. We do not know the story and the owner might have declined all treatments except antibiotics and maybe did not even bring the cat in (again not a good idea for a vet to prescribe without seeing the cat.) If a good vet saw the cat and was allowed to proceed, I would have expected a shaved area, drainage and possible temporary drain placement. Certainly shaved, drained and flushed would be the minimum. Keep in mind this often involves sedation and some larger expenses. Money might have been an issue. At the very least I would have shaved and drained the pocket. I think you are correct in your concerns is my ultimate answer. The cat likely did not see a vet, but might be on antibiotics or not.

      On a side note. Antibiotics works through the blood and need to contact bacteria. In a huge pus filled abscess the medication will never get to the infection and the core of the wound and therefore will do very little to heal the wound. More likely the cat will scratch it open and then the medication might help.

  53. Reply
    Lori H.

    Hi Dr. Stewart:

    Yesterday afternoon, I noticed that my indoor/outdoor cat had a swollen upper right lip. Last night it had become worse and she could not close her mouth completely. She is drooling terribly and she cannot eat or drink (I have tried syringe feeding but she growls and flips her head away). When I went to try to feed her this morning, she was trying to paw her face just a little and there is a very foul odor. She is also a lot warmer than usual. She is about 7-8 lbs. Could I give her Benadryl or an anti-inflammatory to help the swelling/fever? If so, how much should I dose? We have called 3 vets, here, with no response as they are closed until tomorrow morning.
    Thanks so much in advance

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      That is not good. I would try to find an after hours or ER vet office or leave messages for a reply. Benadryl will not help, especially with a fever. It seems like more than a simple allergic reaction. Try to find an ER vet or go in first thing Monday morning. This sounds like an infection or maybe worse. It could be tooth abscess or tumor??? Try to find an ER.

  54. Reply
    Nedean

    Hi Dr.

    My very friendly cat is always being attacked by stray cats that live in the river bank close to our house.
    Any way, i heard the fight and when my cat came inside i took him and immediately washed the wound with warm water and a bit on antiseptic. the next day i left him to see what happens as i could not see the wound. on day three the morning, i took my cat and saw the a small hole forming, i took hot water and a towel en placed a bit of pressure the abscess went open and started to drain, so for three times a day i take my cat, push on it slightly, wipe away the puss and then wash the wound with Saline solution then apply betadine. i have been doing this for 2 -3 days now.. the wound does not look swollen or red, there is very little puss coming still out. But it smells like terrible like puss the discharge colour is cream, should i wait a day or two more before taking him to a vet? as last time this happen the Vet kept the cat for 4 days, cut him and charged a hunk of cash. my cat is in no pain playing and running around just annoyed with me.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      The longer you wait the more likely the cat has to be cut or surgically drained. If you went day 1, there would likely have been just antibiotics, but after day 4 there is a need to drain and open the wound. 3-4 days of a pus oozing wound is not a good thing. I think the “fear” people have of a vet bill usually leaves people to wait longer and have a bigger bill. Go see the vet.

  55. Reply
    Sarah

    Hi Dr. Stewart

    My cat just had 5 kittens on August 15th 2014. One of them passed of unknown circumstances on September 17th. Three of them are very healthy, energetic, and happy. Those three are eating VERY well. But the other kitten is VERY tiny, some would call her the runt of the litter. She isn’t eating too well unless I feed it to her and put water in front of her. I noticed a couple days ago sh had a hole in her chest and she was a little bloody. I’ve checked on her every day and it seems to have gotten worse. The hole is pussing and festering. She has been licking her paws and seems to have post hair where she has been licking. I also noticed that her ribs are very prominent. I am a 16 year old girl with no money for a vet. I want to help this kitten SO much. It makes me cry just thinking about it. I would appreciate it if you could help. -S

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Sounds like the kitten might have an abscess and need antibiotics. Can you bring the kitten to the SPCA or local shelter to get care? I would bring the mom too and get her spayed (or you will have another litter soon.) You can try warm soapy compresses on the wound but my guess is that it is not enough. The Kitten might just be a poor doer or have worms or a virus that the mother gave her. There are a bunch of things that create runts and they are often not good. If you really can not get to a vet, shelter, rescue or have anyone that can help then warm compresses on the wound, flushing the area with soapy water and force feeding are all you can do. Good luck!

  56. Reply
    danielle

    Hi dr stewart.
    My male six yr old cat is an indoor outdoor cat. I noticed today he wont let me touch his stomach or even him. Its right on his side by ribs. A little scab kinda maybe a nail got in there from another animal. I graze my fingers over it and he goes craxy crying hissing biting. Im starting to feel a little lump under this scab and his stomach is like vibrating like jumping up n down.. i can not afford a vet i just had my first child n i have no money saved i dont know what to do for him but lwt him sleep.. he isnt reallt drinking water or going to bathroom i look at his gums and there white.. any suggestions on what this could be and if it will heal on its own.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Wow, sounds odd. How could another animal get an indoor cat? Sounds like maybe an abscess or something worse. Abscesses do not make their gums white or tremble or are that crazy painful. I would be concerned about something else. Could he have been shot by a pellet or BB gun? Could there be a deep trauma like a puncture through his body wall?
      You need to get him care, or checked at the very least. How about an SPCA or discount low cost clinic? I do not have enough info to tell you what that is, but it sounds serious. If his gums are white, he is really really really sick! Try the SPCA or ask a friend for help. Sorry and good luck! Maybe take his temp too. If it is over 103 maybe there is just a serious abscess, but if it is under 98 then he is very very sick…. just an idea.

      • Reply
        danielle

        No he got outside and goes outside every so often its something on his side witj a tiny scab . But i can just graze my finger over it and hes crying and biting me.. hes doing nothing but sleeping going on almost 20 hrs. I try n pet him n he just criies 🙁

        • Reply
          danielle

          The spot is trembling tho when i touch it . Hes weezing while hes sleeping. Hes just not hiself

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          Sounds like might be a puncture or abscess but the white gums and lethargy (sleeping all the time) are very worrying. Warm compress the area and see if you can get some pus out as a last resort. Again I would suggest an SPCA or vet visit.

  57. Reply
    Kaitlyn

    Hi
    My kitty has a bad heart murmur
    And last week he got attacked by the neighbors cat two days ago we noticed a lump I looked it up and saw it could be cancer or an abscess he has had a tumor removed so I hoped it was not cancer we took him to the vet the next day they just took him in diagnosed it as an abscess and I think drained and placed a drain tube in it it’s on his back. I do not know much about it at the the vet did not talk to is much at all, they said clean it and come back in 5 days can you give me some insight on it I don’t know what to expect at all thank you

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Without seeing it I have a hard time telling you about it. I would certainly make a list of questions and ask ALL of them next time you see your vet. The drain needs to come out in 3-5 days and so make sure you visit the vet then. I would assume they will explain more to you. I also assume they gave you antibiotics to give the cat. Im not sure the heart murmur has anything to do with this infection, but it might be something to watch for in the future. Good luck. An abscess should heal in 1-2 weeks and be 100% normal then. The drain is a very good start.

  58. Reply
    Bernadette

    My cat had a nasty bite to his face which created an abcess, so I treated him for the last week, warm compresses, betadine diluted and cleaning the area with salt and boiled water. It drained really well the swelling went down. He was eating and drinking it all healed really well. This morning when I let him out of his room ( he’s been kept indoors) I noticed he had a slight limp. This afternoon he can barely walk, only eaten half of his dinner and noticed a massive lump on his shoulder/ chest and neck. He’s not himself again. I put a warm compress on it and he started to growl. I have given him some anti inflammatory medicine leftover from one of the other cats we have. There is no bite marks around this lump, not sure if I should take him to the vet? Or if this will go away on its own, I’m concerned that he is lethargic and off his food. The lump wasn’t there when he had the abcess, only now that it’s healed. Is there something I can do in the meantime to make him more comfortable?thanks in advance

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      TAKE HIM TO THE VET! Off food, limping, painful, massive swelling in an area with no bites, and not himself….. there is nothing you can do at home to make him more comfortable. Most likely his abscess infection spread and is now in a much worse spot. I know I advise warm compresses and flushing abscesses but this is ONLY if a vet is not an option. Antibiotics are one of the most important parts of treatment and without them you can get secondary infection and worse signs. I would definitely take him in as soon as possible. A cat that will not eat is never a good thing.

  59. Reply
    Bernadette

    Thanks Dr Stewart am taking him in this morning he’s eating a little more today and walking a bit better, but still not himself. It was late at night when I wrote this vets weren’t open 🙁 I’ve shaved the area thought he may have had a puncture wound there but is none that I can see. Hopefully the vet can help him out this morning.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Great to hear! Thanks for the update and let me know what happens. I’m glad he is eating better too.

  60. Reply
    Devin Schunk

    hi, my 12 year old cat had his first cluster seizure 2 nights ago. he was rushed to the emergency vet who insisted he had a brain tumor and he should be put to sleep, that he wasn’t going to recover. We went to say our goodbyes and to our surprise he seemed fine. He purred immediately when i touched him and the only problem was he was temporarily blind. I took him home where he re-gained his eye sight the same day but refused to eat or drink and had a very swollen tongue, thinking he bit it during the seizure i took him to the regular vet who said it was an abcess on his tounge. he gave my cat sub Q iv, a shot of antibiotics and take home antibiotics, its almost been 24 hours and my cat still refuses to eat I’m taking him back to the vet tomorrow as instructed. the vet also said he thinks the seizure could have been caused from a toxin or irritant he had eaten hence the abcess on his tongue, but i am wondering how long it would take for the meds to start working?

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      WHOA, not sure what is going on here. Are you sure you cat did not get into anything or bite an electric cord or get stung or envenomed? Very hard to guess based on the history, but if it was an abscess why the seizure? Cats can have post-ictal (after seizures) confusion for hours and feel crummy and not want to eat, but this should not be days. Brain tumor would still be on the list, toxin, venom, or disease could also do it. Cluster seizures in a 12 year old cat is not good but not 100% brain tumor. Give him time with fluids and antibiotics to work, at least 3 days, but if that is not working then you need more diagnostic tests. One thing might be renal disease, it can cause many of the symptoms you are describing. Check his kidney values next time you go in. Good luck.

      • Reply
        Devin Schunk

        the vet i took him to believed the infection in his mouth was related to the seizure and had said he wanted to take care of that first. He said he understands why the emergency vet would say a brain tumor but since he’s a indoor/outdoor cat he was leaning more towards a toxin which would be why his mouth has a infection. we did do some testing and his kidneys are fine. he’s acting more like himself but refuses to eat or drink because his tounge is so swollen. he’s been on antibiotics about two days and I’m not really seeing to big of an improvement in his mouth, only his drooling decreased.

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          Most of this is good news. You can ask for a different antibiotic if the first one is not working and you can try to look closely in his mouth for anything that might be making things worse. Is there something caught under his tongue or something? Try giving him pain medications for his tongue or mixing up wet food and water and dripping it into his mouth. Cats need to eat very regularly and his not eating is a serious concern. You might need to get him a feeding tube until his tongue gets better. Good luck! Sounds more like an envenomation now like a insect or snake? Swollen tongue and seizure? Strange case.

          • Devin Schunk

            he was doing a lot better eating on his own but ended up throwing a thrombosis and then heart failure, we had to put him down last night.

          • Dr. Stewart

            Very sorry to hear that. Sorry for your loss.

  61. Reply
    Michelle

    Hi, my 10 yr old cat (Mostly indoor but sometimes outdoor) has now her 3d abscess near anus. The first time, 2 yrs ago, it was small and diagnosed as possibly infected anal gland; last time – 6 months ago- they thought it might be a bite, as it was large (the size of quarter). Now she has another open abscess, small, about the size of a bb ball; she is licking it and there is a little blood but she is active/cheerful, just a little sensitive by that spot. Maybe anal gland infection again? Should I try warm compresses? Any other home treatments? My husband put neosporene on it – is that ok? If there is recurrent gland infection, how do we change her diet to treat it?, or what else can we do. We will likely take her to vet tomorrow (Monday). Thank you for any help you can provide

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Warm compresses of soapy water might help. Neosporin will not do anything and might make her sick if she licks it off. Either she keeps getting anal gland abscesses in which case you need to ask the vet to show you how to express them and monitor for swollen anal glands, or she is fighting with other cats and they keep getting her as she runs away. The only solution for that is keeping her indoors. Make sure she is up to date on all her vaccines and the wound heals fully before letting her out again is another thing. Diet will likely do nothing to help, sorry. Good luck!

  62. Reply
    Katherine

    Hello – I have a 12 year old kitty with a history of anal abscesses (and a couple of other abscesses on her hind leg). This is bad enough, but to make matters worse she hates the vet and has to be sedated whenever she goes in. Anyway, I had to take her yesterday because i noticed some swelling and redness. The vet drained her glands and said he thought there could have been an abscess forming but it hadn’t yet. So he sent her home with pain meds and antibiotics. Today however she has a huge lump around her left anal gland. I called the vet right away and he said “no it’s not an abscess, probably just swelling. There was nothing there yesterday”. But I’ve seen her abscesses before and she’s not comfortable. He told me to wait a couple of days for the swelling to wear off and for the antibiotics to work. Should I wait, or go somewhere for a second opinion? I just hate to put her through unnessecary pain, or a burst abscess 🙁

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Good question, but without seeing it I have to trust the vet opinion. Try warm compresses to see if the swelling will go away and/or rupture in to an abscess. If she is on pain medication and antibiotics already then waiting is not too much of a problem. I’m sure its not comfortable but you will be able to see a noticeable change in a day and can decide tomorrow or call the vet back. Many vet offices have an email address and you can take a picture with your smart phone and email them to get an opinion if they just saw the animal. Good luck.

  63. Reply
    Lori Matthews

    Hi Dr. Stewart,
    My cat is an 8 year old neutered male and came in the house at 11:00pm Tuesday night, yowling deep. I’ve never heard that before. My son and I were up all night with him, trying to comfort him not knowing what was going on. We finally fell asleep. Four hours later when we woke up his front leg under his elbow was warm/hot and swelling. Within 3 hours his whole leg was swollen and his paw was huge. We didn’t know if it was a snake, dog or cactus (which has happened twice) got a hold of him. Wednesday afternoon He became very lethargic and we don’t live anywhere close to a vet. I picked him up and sang to comfort him and cradled him in my arms to see if I could see anything. I felt a 3mm cactus spine sticking out that was only as thick as my hair but strong. I pulled it out and OMG it was like I opened a fire hydrant. I grabbed a towel and just called my daughter who trains horses and is as close to a vet as we have and she came over and shaved the area. We notices a 2 4mm punture wounds one on the inside and one one the outside of his upper arm. I think the cactus actually lanced an abscess when I pulled it out. I kept him in the tile bathroom to let this thing drain and by Saturday night his leg was just about the same size as the other. He wasn’t eating or drinking though. I have Amoxicillin so i made a mixture of about 75mg with wet food juice and used a syringe and put it in the back of his mouth which he swallowed and I’ve been doing that twice a day. The abscess not only drained but opened up a quarter size on the out side and 2.5″ long and 1″ wide on the inside toward his armpit. He has as of Thursday began drinking a lot of water, eating wet food (which we normally feed dry) and he’s been laying on his back sprawled out which he never does. He seems almost back to his normal self but we hear him licking almost sucking sounds in the middle of the night and his wound smells so bad. No fever, nice moist cool nose, rubbing against us but will this heal on its own now that the pus seems to be gone? Is my cat debrising his own wound?

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Without seeing it I can only offer generalized advice. It seems like it is draining and doing well. He should not be able to lick it, it will only make it worse and might be introducing new bacteria that the amoxicillin can not get. Cats have very dirty mouths and do not help wounds. You nede to put an e-collar on him or prevent him from licking any way possible. I would use warm compresses with clean soapy water o help clean the wounds. There is not much else you can do, except see a vet and get much better antibiotics. Good luck….smelly wounds are very very very bad. He is making it worse. Keep him inside (obviously.)

      • Reply
        Lori Matthews

        Thank you for your reply! The smell went away after two days of maggots. I bought betadine and began flushing it out twice a day. They apparently ate dead flesh as I’m told by a vet I called in Albuquerque. He did however tell me to flush it twice a day make sure they are gone. They made their own way out as we flushed. Talk about gross. He’s back to his normal spry self. Even though it looks good, you are right… It could be filled with bacteria. We started warm wet compresses and let them sit and then rubbed gently and the cat was licking the air so I figure it must have been a place he couldn’t get too. He’s eating like a cow and drinking a lot of water. I’m scooping the litter box so I’m grateful he is functioning. I never not lived where we couldn’t get to a vet. Born and raised in Southern California where you have everything at your finger tips. Thank you for your response, you confirmed everything for me. – Lori

  64. Reply
    rachel meraglia

    My cat four days ago I noticed a bite mark it was pussing I cleaned it now it’s not pussing I just noticed blood there was stuff inside the wound I cleaned it out I’m just concerned he’s acting like his normal self eating drinking playing around should I take him to the vet or am I overreacting n it will heal on it owns

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Very hard to make that call with so little info, I would always recommend a vet visit at least to put your mind to ease and hopefully prevent an abscess. It might be ok without antibiotics but these bite wounds can often get worse very quickly. You would also want to booster a rabies vaccine. Good luck.

  65. Reply
    Ashley

    My cat likes to go inside and outside but we have an owl and had possems come up in the past. He got a bite on his cheek by something and his behavior hasnt changed much besides that he stays in at night and sleeps in my room (which if he does want to stay in at night he dont like sleeping in my room) and i saw an owl swoop at one of my cats before so i think thats wat got him. And he just threw up everything hes ate today. I had a dog who threw up alot one day because my dad left out some stuff that goes inside of a car and she died so im worried maby he ate something bad like that. And he had a wound on his cheek in the same spot last month and when it healed another one apeard. The wounds blead and puss and take up about half of his face, and the fur was ripped out so it wasnt even close to being hidden. Hes outside alot because the other cat just had babies and he dont like them so he likes to be outside but we have started keeping him in during the day now to. Shoud we take him to the vet or will it heal on its own? And what do you think got him?

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Wow, a lot of info there but I’m really not sure how to answer. I think the most likely thing that got him was another cat and if the wound is not healing, you are concerned, he is vomiting, the wound is big a pus and blood is coming out….YES take him to the vet to get booster shots, antibiotics and a check up. Is he neutered? That might be a problem with why he is fighting or getting wounds (you are also having kittens!) and you might get him fixed. I would say the most likely thing is a cat bite and yes take him to a vet. Good luck.

    • Reply
      Ashley

      Thank you, we took him to the vet and they agreed that it was probably another cat and told us that it will get infected if we dont keep it clean and gave us antibiotics . Its finally beging to scab over and heal but we are gonna keep him in for a while even after it heals. The kittens arent his he has been neuterd for a few years

  66. Reply
    Maddi

    My cat keeps getting abscesses but me and my mom heal her bye our selves every time and she is old as dirt

  67. Reply
    Rachael

    Hello,

    A stray cat showed up at our house about a week ago. The vet said that she had an abscess that had burst, leaving her with an open wound about 3″/4″ inches wide on her Belly. The vet said that its all external, and that with time she will heal. She was also severley under weight. We have her on a course of antibiotics and pain medication along with lots of love & care, however the last couple of days she has been limping and her back leg have also swollen, which the vet seems to think could be all the infection through her body 🙁 She’s about 3yrs. Do you think she will get better? The vet says that we shouldn’t give up on her as she’s an adorable baby. But how long will it take for her to heal completley. Am I right in making the decision by keeping her even though she’s not mine, but a stray. I just dont want her pain, if there’s a possibility of her not making it 🙁

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      I would commend you for helping a stray and bringing her to the vet. If the abscess is systemic then you need a stronger antibiotic and more time. If she is really bad you might need IV fluids and IV antibiotics. It is VERY rare for an abscess that ruptured to go systemic, more likely it is another abscess you didn’t see the first go around. I would call the SPCA and make sure no one is missing a cat. Stray cats are very rarely nice and sweet. They are usually guarded and semi feral. Just make sure she is not someones beloved cat that escaped. Also, beware of rabies and other diseases if you have other pets in the house. I would say overall you are doing the right thing and keep going with more time. Try a change in antibiotics possibly.Good luck.

  68. Reply
    Nicole V.

    Hello!

    I have a 4 yr old female cat, that i have been having issues with. My one male cat presented with ringworm, so i took him to see a vet and they prescribed me two medications in treating his ringworm. I gave him the liquid meds for as long as suggested/needed and the topical spray i used when advised. My female cat about a week after the male cat was all done with his meds, had ringworm on her upper lip (both sides), and, in front of her ear. I started to treat her with diluted all natural ACV, it seemed to work great but she is so finicky that it was a battle putting the mixture on her. I have seen less and less of the ringworm and just to make sure i brought her in to see a vet. At the time she had another spot on her nose that was dry and flaky (it also glowed in a blacklight), the vet said he wasn’t sure that it was ringworm for sure. The day before her trip to the doctor, i noticed she had chin acne (black spots and missing fur under her chin), i asked the doctor about it upon her visit and they gave her a convenia injection. I read horror stories about these injections but, my cat was perfectly fine after it. About a week later she now has a swollen and fat bottom lip. I have absolutely no idea where it came from. So, again i took her to a different vet that said it could possibly be related to the chin acne, they were not going to give her another shot of antibiotics because it had been only a week ago that she received the convenia injection. The vet said to just leave the lip alone and if it didn’t reduce in swelling to bring her back in and they would give her a steroid shot. Now, with all that explained, my question is, the vet did not seem so concerned about her lip as i am, is this something that i should just let them give her the steroid shot or wait a little longer and see if it goes away on its own?

    She is eating and drinking, playful, ect. I have been treating her acne with hydrogen peroxide for about two days now and it’s clearing up nicely. I just have no clue what or how to treat her lip naturally vs. pumping her full of more drugs that i honestly don’t want to give her.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Ok, first I agree with the vet. It should not be a huge deal if it is chin acne related and convenia is a GREAT drug (the internet will tell you martians are running the world if you believe it), but it is not perfect. Chin acne is a pain and can be treated with benzoil peroxide but it is never really cured. I usually tell people to change the food and water bowls to stainless steel or high quality porcelain because I find plastic bowls cause a lot of reaction and acne. Try it. Other than this, listen to the vet and see what it looks like in a week…..

      Really, change the food and water bowls…. try it.

      • Reply
        Nicole V

        I have already changed the bowls to ceramic and as mentioned from cleaning the area the acne has started to clear up. I changed her food about a year ago to blue food. Her lip is still swollen, any ideas on what I can try and treat it with, if any?

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          Not sure why it would be swollen unless there is an abscess brewing or an ingrown hair. Check her teeth and make sure her breath does not smell — infected–. Other than that, without looking at her I really can think of much. There are certainly auto immune diseases that can start with swollen gums and lips, but these are rare and I would expect your vets to catch it. Give it the weekend and then take her back early next week for a follow up. Wish I could be more help. Sorry and good luck.

          • Nicole V

            Her breath does not smell and they said her teeth were fine so, I guess I just have to wait it out. Thanks again for your words.

          • Dr. Stewart

            Good luck, I hope it resolves.

  69. Reply
    Travis Heuer

    My wifes cat is 15 yrs old and it has an air pocket under its right eye and if you rub or push on it you can hear the air come out of its eye with some blood and same with its nose. It also acts like it hase a cold the vet removed one tooth on top and one on the bottom and know it looks bigger then a week ago when surgery was. No word on the sample yet but I’m not sure if the vet will know what it is sence she looks about 18yrs old. Two diffrent meds four weeks later no change any ideas?

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      This sounds very serious, like air is leaking from either a ruptured oral abscess under the tooth, or through the nose. I would definitely go back to a vet, better yet, a specialist and see about getting xrays and a consult. At the very least a second opinion sounds like a good idea. 2 medications and four weeks = not working. It is possible your vet is totally correct and the treatment is appropriate, but a second opinion would help confirm that. Cronic nasal discharge wit blood and air is a very serious problem. Good luck.

  70. Reply
    Natasha

    I have just noticed my kitty has a little abcess on his butt hole he’s an inside kitty and it stinks a little what can I do to treat it at home as I am very broke right now I think he might of just licked it like crazy and tthis is how it happened

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Might be an anal gland abscess or wound. Not much you can do except keep it clean as you can with soapy water and do not apply any cream. You can try to make or buy him a comfortable e-collar so he does not lick it raw. Good luck.

  71. Reply
    Sam

    My cats paw had swollen 4 days ago. I took her to the vet and he gave her two injections. One was an anti-biotic ( in her system for 14 days)and the other was for pain. The vet said it was a cat bite. However the swelling still has not gone down and the after phoning the vet he said it may be an abssecc. I am worried that the visit will be just as traumatic as it was last time. Is it ok to wait until Monday to take her? Just in case she is a boy better by then. The procedure for an abssecc removal sounds very scary.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      The vet is correct that it might be an abscess. There should be no abscess removal procedure. Usually we just wait until they get big enough to drain or they pop and we flush them. Your cat might need more pain medication, but that seems like all I would do for an abscess. If there is a foreign material in there (like a thorn) then it needs to be removed. If the bones are broken or there is a cancer, this is different as well. My advice is that you wait and try to soak the foot in warm clean water to help regain circulation and maybe bring the abscess to a head. Warm clean compresses can do this too. Then bring the cat to the vet on Monday and have it rechecked. The 14 day antibiotic is great and that should help. Good luck!

  72. Reply
    Beccie

    Hi there,
    My 8 year old cat was bitten about a week ago. We took him to the vets immediately and they found 2 puncture wounds on his tail and back! After a few days he still cowered under the table and didn’t seem himself I took him back to the vets ( 4th visit ) as I thought he had loose stools and had soiled himself however on inspection by the vet he noticed an abscess that had burst. The vet advised me to wash it once a day with warm water and keep an eye on him if he licks the area. I had to place an inflatable collie on him as straight away he started licking! Sounds awful but when he flicks his tail it makes a funny sound, it’s a bit stomach turning!
    The hole looks slightly bigger and is right next to the anus, he can still reach it with this collar and we tried the cone collar but he absolutely hated it and moon walks!! I can’t watch him struggle/ will he get used to it! I have even tried nappies but this was unsuccessful too! So at last my question is how can I stop him licking it? He means the world to me and it kills me to see him struggle!!

    • Reply
      Beccie

      I forgot to say, he had a two week lasting antibiotic injection on his first visit to the vet and he has pain relief daily. The wound looks fairly clean and no longer oozes any fluid however it seems larger than 3 days ago and I have noticed a slight smell from the area ( not too offensive)!
      He is due back at the vets on Monday but after reading some other comments on the blog I am scared it won’t heal and he might loose his life!!
      He is eating and drinking but just wants to constantly be on my lap! I have a blanket on the sofa and I use it for my lap but he preferred being on me rather than the sofa!!
      What should I do??
      Kind regards

      • Reply
        Dr. Stewart

        Sounds like he is doing well. The larger wound is fine, it will get smaller starting this week if it is healing. Take pictures of it or measure the wound, because looking at it daily is hard to judge its true size. No ooze and no smell are great and the 2 week antibiotics and pain medication is perfect treatment. Keeping the cone on him and giving him time is totally correct. His new found affection might be a good thing and this wound might bring you two closer. I highly doubt he will die from the wound. Worse case scenario, he needs a minor surgery to close the wound and place a drain, but I doubt it and suspect your vet will be very capable if need be.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      He will certainly get used to the cone, all cats eventually do. That is really the only option. You can try the soft cones, a little larger but they are made of a softer material that lets the cats move better (they are lighter too) or you can try to make your own cone out of canvas or something. Abscess take a while to heal and with good antibiotics and time they should be fine. Keeping him from licking it is hard but you must try. He will get used to the cone.

  73. Reply
    Athena

    My kitty Isabelle seems to be having the worst luck lately. A few weeks ago, I tried to introduce a new cat to the home and she became very stressed and stopped eating/drinking and started vomiting. I found a new home for the new cat ASAP, but my girl seemed to keep deteriorating. Blood and urine tests, and X-Rays, showed that everything appeared to be normal. The vet and I decided to try an esophageal feeding tube since she was refusing food and water. Shortly after the procedure, Isabelle vomited so hard that the tube came out and the vet did not want to repeat the procedure. I brought her home with some pain medicine, and medicine for nausea and miraculously she started eating and drinking again, and there was no more vomiting.

    Over the past 2 weeks, she has really seemed to be well on the road to recovery when a few days ago, I noticed her incision from where the feeding tube was, was bleeding. I figured she must’ve scratched it open. I cleaned it up but kept an eye on it…there hasn’t been any more blood, but a few times I noticed it was looking a little wet and puss-y (shes been trying to lick at it). I sent photos to my vet and they asked me to bring her in. I did so on Wednesday morning and the incision was actually looking great at the time and her temperature was normal.

    This evening after I fed her, she hid under the bed and started growling and hissing. When she came out, she was pawing at her neck a bit, when I noticed a bit of an abscess under the incision. It is not draining at all. I’m wondering if I should bring her to the Emergency clinic so they can look at it, and possibly drain it, or if you think it would be okay to wait until the morning when I can hopefully get her in to see her usual vet?

    The Emergency clinic is very expensive and a bit of a hike away, so I would prefer to wait and bring her to the vets who are familiar with her case and avoid ER fees (I’ve recently spent well over $1000 on tests and procedures). She is currently resting peacefully, but I know cats are pretty great at hiding discomfort. I’m a total kitty hypochondriac – is this something that sounds like it warrants an immediate trip to the ER, or do you think it can wait until morning?

    Not sure if you will get this in time, but thanks for the consideration, regardless. Any advice would be great!

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Sorry for a late reply, but you can imagine I only have a limited time for replies here.

      I think waiting would be ok given her history and a good antibiotic might help fix her neck wound. Also I would certainly add an e-collar to her treatment to prevent future licking and scratching. The real question is what is going on underlying??? It seems like she was really sick and the idea of another cat being the cause leads me to think it was contagious. Have you looked for Guardia, coccidea or other intestinal parasites? You might want to treat for them even if you dont find them. Other problems like esophageal cancer or stomach cancer should be on your list. Did she get a good ultrasound? That would be my next step probably diagnostically. As for her neck wound, that should heal with time and antibiotics. Use a warm compress if you have to to get the pus out and encourage healing. Keep the area clean and keep her from bothering it. Good luck. Let us know what happens. I hope this was helpful.

  74. Reply
    Dawn

    My 1 y/o baby has developed a swelling on her face. It started about three days ago-first day it was mild enough I wasn’t even sure if it really was swollen. By day two it definitely was, and today she has a giant lump on the side of her pretty face. Now that it’s swollen I can see the scab in the middle of the swelling, and also hair loss around a vicious scratch on the skin outside of the swelling-hard to believe that escaped my notice before so maybe the latter is from her scratching herself. I think she might be mildly feverish, and she’s a little less frisky than normal but still eating & drinking okay. I presume the swelling is an abcess, although right now it’s firm & not soft.

    I cleaned the wounds with alcohol & applied a topical antibiotic. I’m very financially strapped at this time. My question is, can I apply a warm compress at regular intervals and see if the wound opens and drains on its own? Or is a vet visit necessary before I try anything at home? If I can apply a compress and the wound opens (or it happens on it’s own overnight or something, what is the proper way to clean the wound, and should any kind of disinfectant be used?) Any advice would be much appreciated.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Ok, it is likely and abscess and a warm compress 3x a day is a good idea to see if it can open on its own. The minute she gets “sick” you have less choices and need to bring her to a vet. If you are totally financially strapped (not just busy buying holiday gifts, but really strapped) you can try cleaning the area with a diluted soap and water mix (dish soap is fine) and keeping it clean until you can get to a vet is essential. You might need antibiotics, or in a young cat (cat I guess??) it might heal without. Just use lots of water and mild soap and warm compresses. Good luck!!

  75. Reply
    Beccie

    Thank you for your advice. Thankfully since I messaged you the wound seems to be closing and we invested in a larger inflatable collar which he tolerates. We are still cleaning the area with saline and he forgives me instantly!! 🙂
    Once again thank you for humouring a very protective cat owner.

  76. Reply
    Jennifer

    I came home from work a few weeks ago and noticed my cat Rocky was not acting like his usual happy self. He seemed tired and had no appetite. The next morning he woke up and I noticed his tail appeared to be really swollen. I had to leave to work but when I returned his blanket was covered in smelly, yellow-brown stuff. Some of it appeared to be blood, but it was hard to tell because the liquid had already dried up. I noticed his tail was no longer swollen and that’s when I discovered the wound by his tail. We have dealt with cat wounds before, and my mom decided it would be best to put some hydrogen peroxide on the wound to disinfect it. We thought the wound was all healed but just today I picked up my kitty and he meowed as if he was in pain when I did so. About 5 minutes later I noticed there was discharge coming out of the wound. The discharge appeared to be yellow-white, and smelled really bad. We have tried cleaning the area but my kitty keeps trying to lick the area. He is neutered but I’m really worried about him, would it be best to take him to the vet and have them treat the wound? I’ve also seen there are over the counter medications sold on amazon and was considering purchasing one of those. Any idea on how much a visit to the vet would cost for this?
    Thank you.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Definitely take him to the vet before the abscess gets bigger and you need surgery. The over the counter medications are a total waste of money and will sometimes make things worse. Your kitty needs antibiotics and a good flush. The vet visit cost will vary from region to region, just give the vet your budget before you start! Good luck!

      • Reply
        Melissa

        Hi! My male cat is 3 and is an indoor/outside cat. I noticed he had a swell on his right chest for around some days or so before the swell seemed to pop(yesterday), leaving a small hole( around 1 cm) behind. I took him to the vet the moment I noticed it, and they gave him one convenia shot, and shaved around the area as to not get hairs in. I have an E-collar on him, and the abcess is still leaking pus (sometimes a bit bloody). How do I continue treat/clean the leaking at home and what can I do to ensure it heals? Thanks.

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          You did everything right so far. Apply a awarm clean compress to the wound daily and just give it time. It should heal. If it does not look better in 5-7 days then bring him back to the vet for a re-exam. It should heal on its own with convenia and an e-collar.

  77. Reply
    Lisa

    I found your blog while trying to find a way to easily administer buprenorphine to my cat while he recovers from a lanced abscess. I just wanted to say I’m so impressed and shocked (in a good way) at how you answer each of the questions. I have a blog myself (not about cats) and I know how difficult it is to keep up with the comments. Bless you for taking the time to respond to people. Any tips for getting my cat to take oral buprenorphine (with a syrine)? I’ve tried wrapping him in a blanket/towel like all the YouTube videos suggest, but he just spits it back at me. I understand it’s not as effective if I mix it with food, but will he at least get a little benefit that way? He was supposed to have 4 doses since he came home, and I maybe have gotten 1/2 dose in him. Thank you very much!

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Thanks!! It can sometimes get a little overwhelming and I get delayed, but I enjoy my job!
      Ok, so the buprenorphine works best on mucous membranes and not digested. In fact it likely doesn’t work well when digested, so don’t mix it with food. You just need to get it on his gums, so…. I would wrap him or hold him and get small drops on the inside corner of his cheek if possible. Shooting it down his throat is not the goal (like with normal medication.) My honest opinion is that lanced abscesses do not hurt too badly, and the stress for you and him of getting medication might be far worse than the benefit of some mild pain relief. You need to decide that one.

      Finally….. um….. you can give it rectally to if you really feel the need (mucous membrane and all) 🙂 Good luck.

      • Reply
        Lisa

        Thank you! I think you might be right about the pain relief not being worth the stress it causes us and him. I was just worried that he was in pain because it’s been about 24 hours since he was treated and he’s still a bit lethargic and not eating as much as he usually does. However, I think he might be more upset at wearing the e-collar and being locked indoors (he’s indoor/outdoor) than he is in pain. I’m supposed to take him back tomorrow to have the drain removed, so I’m sure they’ll re-check him. Thank you again for responding to quickly. Happy holidays.

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          Sounds good, Good luck with him. Happy holidays.

  78. Reply
    Lara

    I took my cat to the Vet 8 days ago due to her not eating and not wanting to move, she also had a high fever.
    The Vet said that he thinks that she was in a cat fight. He gave her an injection of antibiotics and B12.
    She started eating again 4 days ago, she is peeing but still hasn’t pooped.
    She also has swollen feet and it hardly walking as she won’t put weight on them.
    I am guessing that she was bitten on the feet and that is why they are swollen.
    Should I be concerned that she is not pooping? We know for a fact she isn’t due to the fact she won’t walk and we carry her to toilet.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Take her back to the vet. Not pooping will lead to not eating and become a serious problem. She might need fluids or enemas to help her Colin hydrate and get her moving again. I’m worried that swollen feet might bevfroncsomething other than a cat fight. Rarely do cats bite feet in a fight. Bring her back to your vet. Vitamin B shots are usually indicators of older vets (it was more popular 20 years ago) so he/she should have more ideas for her. Good luck.

  79. Reply
    Imani

    Hi Dr.Stewart, I pray your still answering questions. My cat had an abscessed wound at the base of his tail and he was too himself for a while and wouldn’t eat. But then it burst and he went back to normal and I was finally able to see where the wound was. So I cleaned it and put peroxide on it. He seemed so much happier and it was healing. But then he went upstairs to where my inlaws lived days later and was playing with his brother (another cat) and I guess maybe his brother did something to his wound and it started to puss because I took him to the humane society to get neutered and they said that his wound is infected (because of the puss) and needed antibiotics so they couldn’t neauter him. But I just cleaned him up real good and did warm compression and the next day the wound looked so much better and 2 days later it looks like it’s healing very well and it doesn’t hurt him, and he is normal, eating well and happy. Should I be worried and take him to the vet still? I can not afford it at all right now. The wound isn’t pussing, it is healing and drying up and everyday I clean it. He had it for about 2 weeks now and seems perfectly fine.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Try taking him back to the humane society, because it sounds healed. They will give you another opinion. It seems like it should be ok now. If there is no moisture or pus and the cat is doing well, those are good signs that it has healed. Good luck.

  80. Reply
    ruby

    A seemingly stray cat has been staying over at my house for a while. He’s not neutered, and recently came over with a ruptured abscess on his head. I’ve been warm compressing it and draining best I can and putting antibiotic ointment on it. I’m pretty sure he was abandoned and I want to take him to the vet but can’t afford it right now (jobless college student). The swelling is down I haven’t noticed anymore pus but the hole is maybe half a centimeter and there’s dead tissue. What should I do?

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Take him to the SPCA to get treated and neutered, that is what they are there for. Hopefully they will treat the wound, and neuter him to prevent future fighting. Otherwise all you can do is keep the wound clean and dry, and make sure the dead tissue starts to harden and fall off. Prevent flies and infection with constant cleaning and drying. I would call the SPCA and see if they will help.

  81. Reply
    Kirstie

    Hi Dr Stewart,

    I’m so glad I found this site and I think it’s great that you are helping people with their queries. My cat has a very swollen toe pad on his right foot. Took him to the vets as an emergency as he wouldn’t eat or drink, couldn’t walk on it at all and was sleeping all the time. Vet examined him, said there were no obvious breaks and it could possibly be an abscess. They gave him injected antibiotics and painkiller for us to administer at home.

    I took him back 2 days later as it seemed to be getting progressively worse, the vet said she thought it was an abscess and made a small incision in the lump without sedation. It ruptured slightly but all that was coming out was blood that was a bit watery, but not overly. She told me to bathe it in dilute salt water (which I tried and he hated) and to try squeezing it myself every half hour (which he really hated and I gave up on because I couldn’t bear causing him so much pain)

    I’m taking him back tomorrow to be sedated and for the lump to be lanced but I’m very worried that they may have gotten it completely wrong and it could be broken. I have no idea how he has done it either which isn’t helpful, I know.

    What would be the main telltale signs that it is a fracture/break rather than an abscess? Also, if they lance it and it is a break could this cause further damage? And as it is on one of his middle toe pads could this cause any lasting issues?

    Thank you so much in advance

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Wow, sounds serious. Ok, so if its broken, then draining and lancing it would not be a great idea. They should certainly xray the foot and see if its broken, infected, cancer or maybe even a foreign body like a staple or thorn. If they are going to sedate him and do all the proper work under sedation they should probably biopsy and culture it as well. These are WELL worth the money. The sedation should be a one time event so you should do all you can while he is under. Other than that keep exploring options and good luck. I think you vet seems to be doing all the right things.

  82. Reply
    Mavi

    Our 9 year old outdoor cat had an access on the top of his paw. We took him to the vet where he had surgery and a drain placed. He stayed at the vet’s office for 5 days while the wound healed and the vet administered antibiotics daily. The day we were to pick him up the vet called and let us know kitty could not move his hind legs. Being a bit of a hipochondriac whose condition extends to all members of our family, I immediately began researching what the cause of this may be. The vet had already informed us during his phone call that he x-rayed kitty’s legs and spine and found nothing out of the ordinary with the exception of spondylitis. Kitty was (and still is) eating as heartily as ever (he is a bit of a chub, not unhealthy just a good eater) he was (and still is) playful and affectionate. My (admittedly limited) research came up with two possibilities; kitty threw a clot, or immune induced neuropathy. He doesn’t seem to have any of the other symptoms of a clot. No pain, no lethargy or lack of appetite. Vet took a wait and see stance, said if he improves daily we should wait to see if he regains movement in hind legs but if he doesn’t, we should get a neuro consult. We took kitty home and he did begin to improve. A few days later, he was holding up the abcessed paw again. We took him back to the vet. His abcess had filled again and he had to have a drain placed in his leg for the second time. This time the vet let us take him home right away. He was on antibiotics and had to wear “the cone of shame” to prevent him from biting off the drain. yesterday we had to take him back to get the drain taken out and my husband pointed out to the vet that kitty’s paw was swelling slightly and he had a small abcess where his previous antibiotic shot was placed which started draining on the way to the vet. The vet put a staple on the new access but left it slightly open so it could continue to drain and gave him an antibiotic shot that is supposed to last two weeks. He is still also on the antibiotic which was originally given after the second surgery. Tonight when my husband got home and went to give him his antibiotics he saw that his leg and paw look like they swelled up again and worse than ever. We are very concerned because our vet made us think kitty would get better after the antibiotic shot. Why would his abcess get so swollen again? Also his hind legs are regaining strength and movement but extremely slowly. Kitty still seems happy and loving. He poops, pees, eats and drinks normally. He even takes the time to go in his litterbox although I’m afraid he’s using his abcessed paw to cover the poop. Should I trust the vet and wait and see if the abcess gets better, or should I take him to a different vet and get a second opinion? Thanks so much in advance for taking the time to read my rather lengthy post.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Wow, there is a lot going on with your kitty. First, the swollen front paw is concerning because if a cat needs 5 days hospitalization and a surgical drain placed, that is a major abscess. Usually cats do not need all that. The 2 week antibiotic is very good and should usually do the trick with TLC and a cone. I would be concerned about more swelling and another abscess at an injection site??? I would possible want to have a second opinion about this situation. I think your vet is probably doing the right thing, but a second opinion can not hurt and will put your mind at ease.

      The paralyzed rear legs are a real concern. This is usually a saddle thrombus and is very serious. Your vet should be able to take a few simple tests and determine if this is the case. If so….I would want to see a cardiologist or a vet very experienced in cardiology. These are usually secondary to heart problems and we start these cats on heparin or aspirin to prevent further clots and start them on some type of heart medication if needed. You should follow up on this. They can resolve on their own but are often very painful off and on.

      I would seek a second opinion about the rear AND front legs, but assume your first vet is possible on the right path. I just want more info on the rear legs and wonder if the two are connected. Is it possible the front leg swelling is edema from heart disease? That needs to be explored.

      Good luck!!

  83. Reply
    Abbie

    My cat Yui was feral when I got her she was still a kitten, but after a few months she was tamed and spoiled. A few weeks ago her tooth came out and she had a little piece hanging so I got it pulled and made sure she wasn’t in pain. She acted completely normal as her happily self. Well last night she disappeared all night and we couldn’t find her, my fiancé found her this morning and her entire face is swollen and one of her eyes are swollen shut. I have heard allergic reactions, swollen lymph nodes and toorh absscece.. I’m not sure but I’m very worried.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Bring her to a vet, it sound like it could be any of the things you suggested. Tooth abscess would certainly be high on my list, and that needs immediate medical care. Your cat certainly needs to be seen by a vet ASAP if the swelling is still there after 12 hours. If the swelling is down it might be an allergic reaction and not so bad. Good luck.

  84. Reply
    Debbie

    Hi, I have indoor cats and then a stray started hanging out. He was skiddish for a long time but we would feed him and now he is friendly. He comes and goes. we made a little enclosed box for him with bedding to keep him warm. He came around yesterday and his face was all swollen and draining, his eyes looked a mess too. I immediately brought him to the vet and the vet was concerned that since he is basically a stray that he had feline leukemia. He did not do a work up on him, just gave him a rabies shot and a shot of pennicilan and some antibiotics to give him for 7 days. He does have a huge abscess on his face but can that cause eye issues as well? They look red and gunky. He came home once this way before but I could never catch him long enough to get him to the vet. He is eating great and is energetic. I’m hoping for the best so I can get him all the needed shots and get neutered. Thanks for your thoughts on the eye issue with the abscess.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      That vet seems to be really doing the bare minimum. There is a great test for FELV/FIV (leukemia and aids) and that would be easy to test for. I would highly suspect an abscess or a combination of abscess and upper respiratory infection. I would keep that cat away from your other cats as a MUST, then treat him with the antibiotics and see if he is better. Get him fully tested and vaccinated and neutered asap. Maybe TELL your vet to run the test and know for sure?!? Antibiotics will work wonders on his face and then go for all the other stuff he needs.

  85. Reply
    Halee J.

    My cat was recently bitten by a cat that terrorizes our neighborhood. He now has an abscess which I thought I could take care of at home. I got him some anti-biotics recommended by the vet. After I gave him his first dose his fever immediately dropped and he started eating and drinking again, but now instead of one place, he has three. The original wound from the abscess seems to be healing, as well as the smallest one but the larger gash seems to be very deep. I’ve been using hot compresses and no more puss seems to be draining. I’m just worried it might be too deep to pull the rest of the infection out. What would you recommend? Do you think it will heal on its own as long as I keep it clean and go through with the anti-biotics? I’m just worried, please help…

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Almost impossible to say given that information and the not seeing the wound. Cats are amazing healer but deep wounds are hard to heal sometimes without drains and surgery. I would certainly visit a vet for an opinion about the wound and see what they think. Sorry I can not be more help, but this is something that needs to be seen and worked up by a vet. Good luck

  86. Reply
    jan mein

    My cat had to have a second surgery after he reforms his leg. Two of the staples from his first surgery were left under the skin. I have to take him back in three weeks for a check up on the leg. Can I wait until then to have them removed?

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Hard to say. It depends where they are and what they look like. Usually staples are very inert and will not cause much of a reaction and can be left in. The hard part is if the skin grows over them and the cat needs to be sedated to get them out. If the cat is ALREADY getting sedated for surgery then it should be ok.

  87. Reply
    Kate Jedrosko

    Dear Dr. Stewart,

    My husband and I are hopeful that you are able to help us solve the mystery of our 14 year old kitty, Belle. On New Year’s Eve we noticed Belle had a large open gash on her side about three inches long. We immediately took her to the vet, who charged us a hefty after-hours emergency fee, and she was there for a couple of days. She was released, put on an antibiotic, and we were informed it had been an abscess that had ruptured. Her wound was healing, and at our follow-up appointment a week later, she was given an antibiotic shot to continue treatment of any possible infection.

    Fast forward to February 1, 2015…Belle now has a wound that looks exactly the same, but now on her other side- right behind her shoulder blade (same exact location, opposite side of her body). We are perplexed by this, and our vet has called in another prescription for her, but doesn’t have an explanation for this oddity. We do have another cat in our house, but the wound isn’t bloody, or pussy…it just looks as though her skin has pulled back in a circular pattern about two inches in diameter.

    She is up to date on her shots, blood work didn’t show any abnormalities, and she tested negative for feline leukemia, although she does have significant tooth decay.

    Hopefully you have some ideas as to the cause of this mirror image wounds. Her coat has been looking somewhat abnormal lately (6 months or so), her previously glossy gray coat is now messy looking, with a couple tufts of hair that look as though they are going to fall out.

    Thank you for any suggestions/ideas you are able to offer!

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Interesting? You might try a thyroid test on her for hyperthyroidism. However this would only maybe make her skin more brittle it would still require a trauma to open up. It is possible that she has a skin cancer that is opening the are under the shoulders but that seems unlikely. The most likely sounds like another abscess or maybe part of the first bite to the shoulders that never healed both sides. It might just be a bite where one side developed an abscess sooner. If this clears it up (more antibiotics) then that is what you had. If it keep returning then you need biopsies. I would still check for thyroid disease. Good luck.

  88. Reply
    Mary Boger

    Dr. Stewart, thanks for your efforts in helping so many
    pets and their owners. I found your site to learn more
    about abscesses/cellulitis. I’m amazed at what I’ve read
    here. I must echo the sentiments of one poster…..
    if you can’t afford a vet visit you can’t afford a pet.
    Seriously, having pets isn’t cheap. Pets need more than
    a bed and food. They need regular vet visits and
    proper care.

  89. Reply
    Roni Greenwood

    Dear Dr. Stewart, it’s too late to help my cat, but I have lost her without knowing quite what happened. She was a stray that came to me 17 years ago, when I was financially stable and could take really an option when this incident happened about 2 months ago. We noticed she was getting thin and her hind legs were withering, but have seen this with older pets before, assumed it was her age, and administered hip & joint meds. Soon she began exhibiting another strange symptom- she’d suddenly have some kind of bad twinge in her sides & would bite & pull her hair out. I then noticed what had been hard to see- there was a large, soft, squishy abscess on her back. I’ve treated my cat’s abscesses at home sucessfully before, & hoped I could do the same with Minnie. I gave her warm, wet compresses several times a day until the abscess came to a head & broke open. I spent a half hour draining it til nothing else came out, then kept doing the compresses in the following days. It stayed open & draining.Still, her walking deteriorated, although she was alert as always, hungry, thirsty, wanting to walk around (I’d help her). I thought she was healing, & then one night she veru suddenly stopped eating, was exhausted, and passed away in the night. Would a vet have been able to put an old cat under anesthetic? Would they have just said to put her down? i was both broke & afraid to take her to the vet. She had a fractured pelvis when young, and the bite on her back might have come from a raccoon. Would the abscess have caused the side biting/twitching, & the slow loss of strength in her legs? (They were not paralyzed, but just weak). I loved her, i know I let her down, but how badly? Could this have been several things at once including her aging body? Thank you so much.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Nothing I can say with help with your loss. It is possible to link some of these symptoms to multiple disease. I think there were options, but if you were unable to afford vet care at the time then you did what you could. I do not know for sure if vet care could help her or fix the abscesses. Antibiotic certainly would have helped, but ultimately there was likely an underlying cause to her weakness that might not have been able to be fixed. Please don’t punish yourself with second guesses. 17 is a ripe old age for a cat, especially a stray that could have been much older.

      • Reply
        Roni Greenwood

        Dear Dr. Stewart, thanks for taking the time to respond with a thoughtful message. Your information was helpful in dealing with her loss. I think there were a couple of other things going on with her, too, and ultimately there probably wasn’t much that could have been done to extend her life much longer. I still know that I’m am guilty of not doing all I could- or ,at least, all that I wished I could have done. Thank you so much for bringing me some relief. -Roni

  90. Reply
    Roni Greenwood

    Hi- I am sorry- a sentence went missing in my message. I meant to say that I have been in reduced circumstances for a while, now- scarcely able to pay bills- so the vet visits had to be decreased. She had been well until 2 months ago- and at age 17.

  91. Reply
    Trisha

    Hi my cat is about 15-16 years old and about a year ago developed a small crusty stalk like thing on the back of his neck that was about a centimeter in size. It felt like a crusty bump that must have been oozing causing it to seem like a stalk in his long hair. It has only grown bigger since then to about the size of a nickel. The vet said it was probably just a skin growth when I took him in. Then a few months ago it fell off and bled. It is not in an area he can lick but seems to keep getting punctured again and then looks red and bloody/wet. Now he also has developed one on the side of his neck that is very small like the large one started out as. When I touch it it feels like a scab but he is an indoor cat. What could this possibly be? I have a picture of it if there is a way I can submit a photo. Thank you.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      You need to bring your cat back to the vet or a differnt vet and they should culture the wound or biopsy the area. This could be a resistant infection, or cancer or just a growth (as they said.) This is a common area for cancers in vaccinated cats and we address any wound in that area seriously. Bring your cat back for a re-check, start antibiotics and have the area shaved and fully examined by a good vet. It might just be a growth or cyst (very common) but the risk of something else is worth the visit.

  92. Reply
    Patricia

    I took my cat to the vet three days ago because of an abscess on her stomach. I’ve been giving her antibiotics but noticed more small lumps forming all over her stomach. Should I bring her back to the vet? Or just keep giving her the antibiotics? She has 7 days left to take the medicine. The vet didnt drain the abscess, he said the meds would make it go away.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      I would be concerned if the lumps are growing or the abscess is not shrinking. There will likely be little harm waiting a day or 2 to see which way things are going, but if in 2 days the lumps are growing or the original abscess is not shrinking bring her back. Good luck!

      • Reply
        Patricia

        Thank you very much.

  93. Reply
    Greer Rollinger

    Hello my moms cat just recently got bit. We are not exactly sure by what, but we took him to the vet. Sadly they are outdoor cats and my mom is a nurse. She works far away so his bite went unnoticed for a day. He got bit on the center of the head, and there was an abscess. His eye was leaking. The vet and my mother think it’s just from the infection in the abscess, but is it normal for this to happen? I’m really worried about him. The bill was expensive so she only got the antibiotics, pain meds, and rabies shot. The wound closed up literally the next day. We were going to flush it on our own but now it’s healed up. Is it okay to just put hydrogen on the bit. My mom kept pushing the pus out so I’m not sure if it needed more. Is there anything more I can do because the vet didn’t really do an extensive check, and his eye seems to just look uncomfortable. Sorry for the rant. Any advice would be appreciated.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      No peroxide, but if there is still pus in the wound you can warm compress it and try to open it up again through the scab and get more fluid out. Leaking around the eye is not uncommon but not ideal either and very hard to treat. Warm compress, antibiotics and maybe the cat needs a drain. You mother, the nurse, should be able to help medically. Keep a close watch on the cat and if you see the abscess getting bigger or the eye swelling shut you need to bring him back to the vet. NO PEROXIDE.

      • Reply
        Greer Rollinger

        Thank you for the help, I really appreciate it. I’m afraid we may have to drain it but it keeps closing up. We have other animals so the doggy door is always opening and he wants to go crawl through the gate. That’s what has me worried. They don’t know how to use the litter box, so should I leave him locked in the room and maybe he will figure it out? He keeps pawing at his bad eye, that’s another downside. I’m afraid I might just have to say at my moms and keep him close. He wants to play and roll around and he’s eating.

  94. Reply
    Theresa Forrester

    Hi Dr. Stewart:

    Our kitten, who is approximately 8 1/2 months old, started acting quiet and not being as playful as usual. This started this past Monday. My daughter stayed close to him last night. She awoke around 3:00 a.m. and Buddy was sitting in a whitish liquid with what appeared to be blood. She woke me up and immediately we took Buddy to the Vet. They diagnosed him as having an abscess. When we arrived, it looked as though he had a puncture wound on his lower left side with swelling and blood. The wound was cleaned, etc. by the Vet. You can tell he feels much better, eating, playing, etc. PROBLEM….we had to switch his normal litter out to a something that wouldn’t get into his now quarter sized wound….he wants to go to the bathroom, as he keeps going over to the litter boxes, but, he will not use the litter we brought, which is pine fresh, which look like pellets. We even tried shredding paper, to no avail…even shredded paper towels. HELP!!!!! Thank you.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Sorry for the late reply, I was on vacation away from a computer. Have you tried “cat attract” litter. It seems to really work. Try using a little cat nip in the litter to entice her in the box. Otherwise, you can certainly wait it out, the cat can not hold out forever. If you use the old litter just fill the wound with neosporin to prevent anything getting inside then wash it off after if any litter is stuck to it.

  95. Reply
    Rebecca

    Hello. My kitty has been having ear issues. He’s been treated for ear mites and an ear infectuom that looks to have healed. I noticed a small lump (maybe 1/2 inch in diameter) on the top of his ear. Yesterday morning when I woke up there was a hole in the center of the lump and about an inch of hair loss. The hole itself looked slightly deep but not very large and was split in two almost like fang marks from a spider. It just seemed odd that it was in the center of an already existing bump. He has not been outside and I never saw him get bit by a spider (although there have been large ones spotted inside very recently) and I didn’t notice him scratching it (although he could have while I was asleep). It doesn’t seem to hurt him at all, even while touching it. He doesn’t have a fever and he has had no behavioral changes at all. It does still bleed occasionally but there is no puss or funny discharge. I’d like to avoid going back to the vet if at all possible since he’s racked up quite a vet bill recently, of course I will if it doesn’t get better. Any advice? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Sorry for the late reply, I was on vacation away from a computer. Without seeing the wound I cant really comment except to say there are other things that can look like that like certain cancers (bleeding is the key to these) and other animla bites like rodents, insects and bats. You might want to get it checked out and even if it is a spider, sounds like some antibiotics might help. Sorry, but I cant tell from the description.

  96. Reply
    Naz

    My cat developed an abscess on his right cheek and I took him to the vet on the day it burst. The abscess was drained and my cat was also neutered. He’s currently wearing a collar and he seems quite down. I’m presuming this has something to do with the anesthetic or tablets. My cat’s an outside cat soif he needs to go out I will usually accompany him. He’s been given a tablet which contains pencillin, I’m presuming they are some kind of antibiotic. Today, I noticed the wound was slightly bloody, although there wasn’t much. It looks better than yesterday. I will probably phone my vet tomorrow but do you think it’s healing or should he have a check up with the vet? thanks in advance!

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Sorry for the late reply, I was on vacation away from a computer. Sorry, but without seeing it there is nothing to go on. I assume it is getting better, but you should have a vet visit to be sure. Sorry.

  97. Reply
    Danielle

    Hello,
    My cat was in a fight with the neighbors cat two days ago. Yesterday we noticed her limping slightly so we took her to the vet, who said she was sore on her leg, but didn’t have an abscess. She gave her the antibiotic injection however to prevent any abscess occurring.
    Today she is quite obliviously in pain, and looking quite ill. She is eating food, but I think she has an abscess.
    Do we need to drain the abscess? Or is it okay to leave it since she is on antibiotics already?
    Thanks!

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Good question. You cant drain an abscess unless you know where it is. You can try to warm compress the area in the hopes of finding it,but that might not be comfortable or possible with your cat. For now the antibiotics will help, but if an abscess is brewing it will be visible soon. Monitor eating, drinking and temperature closely and bring her back to your vet if you are concerned or anything changes. Otherwise, sadly just see how she does for another 1-3 days. If you are not happy with how she looks, go for a recheck then. Good luck.

  98. Reply
    Amy

    Hi there! My cat, Pork, went out this morning for about an hour and came back acting a little strange, like he was in pain. It seemed like picking him up under his front legs made him cry. Later we noticed his neck was swollen on his right side. He hasn’t eaten all day, but he has drank a lot of water. He’s been sleeping all day, so we’ve been checking on him every couple hours. We think he might have fallen, he’s a climber. The swollen neck looks like it’s moved more under his chin now, so I tried looking in his mouth, but he pulled away. He doesn’t seem to be in pain anymore though picking him up, so that’s good. But I worry about this swollen movement business.

    Thanks,
    Amy

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Sounds like it could be an abscess or a bruising. Best thing to do is get a vet exam. If you are unable to do that you can watch it and make sure he eats and drinks and it gets better in a day or so. It will get worse if it is an abscess and better if it is a bruise. A good et exam will determine that for you get pain medication and antibiotics if needed. Good luck.

  99. Reply
    Jennifer

    My cat has had this abscess for 3-4 WEEKS. I didn’t have a way to get to the vet so I’ve been treating it on my own. It will get better for a few days, no puss and little swelling, and then the puss and swelling will return. Should I take him in to be seen?

  100. Reply
    Katie

    Hi Dr. Stewart,

    My indoor/outdoor cat is around 12 years old and still very spry (the vet thought he was 5 or 6). About 3 weeks ago he came inside obviously hurt and hid, but he was more himself the next few days and we couldn’t find any injuries. A week later, he stopped lifting his tail and I noticed hair loss on his back near the base of his tail–there were two puncture wounds. The abscess popped on its own and a river of white-ish pus came out. I took him to the vet and they said it was draining well, so they gave him an antibiotic shot (good for 10 days) and said to keep it clean and keep the scab off so it could continue draining.

    I’m away from home half the week and my dad wasn’t able to keep the scab off, and now (a week since the vet) there is still a lump there which I assume has pus under it. However, he is acting like his normal self in all ways, including raising his tail up fully. My question is, will the antibiotics help the pus go away somehow? Or do I need to go back to the vet? There is still a small scab there–could I open it and hope that the pus comes out?

    Thank you so much for your help! I read through all your answers here and think your advice is very good (and I assume you’ll tell me to go to the vet, but I wanted to double check).

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Good question. You have some options. You SHOULD always go back to the vet (but you knew that) and they can evaluate it better then anyone. They did exactly what needed to be done the first time. You can also leave it an see if it goes down with time. Your risk is that another abscess builds and you need to repeat the first steps. The last option is a warm compress to loosen the scab and regain circulation. You can “try” to soften the scab and see if pus comes out or if the hole is closed and sealed. This is more dodgy if the cat is angry or if they hole is still large, because then you need more antibiotics. It is impossible to advise without seeing the area and the “bump”, but you sound reasonable and can make a smart decision. Good luck.

  101. Reply
    Mon

    Hello Dr. Stewart,

    Please help!

    I adopted a street cat that kept showing up at my house 2 months ago.

    So over 4 weeks ago he got injured on his right hind leg, i took him to the vet a couple of days later because an abscess had formed. The Dr cleaned the wound and cut a little piece of skin to help it drain on its own. She did not put a tube or anything as a drain. She injected an antibiotic that lasts 2 weeks and gave me a gel to apply to the wound everyday.
    He seemed to be healing fine and i was supposed to bring him back after 2 weeks when the antibiotic ran its course. However, since he is a street cat he would disappear for 1 or 2 days sometimes and that day he did not show up so i had to bring him 3 days after the antibiotic ran out.
    At this point the infection was back and since he disappears sometimes i couldn’t get him on an everyday antibiotic so the Dr said we could try again with a higher dose of the same 2-week-antibiotic even though there was a chance of it not working anymore and gave me a cream to apply.
    Again, for the second 2 weeks he seemed to be healing but one day before i had to take him to the vet i noticed under the hair that grew on the wound that the abscess was growing back and on the day of the appointment i guess it ruptured at one point cause i noticed it draining.
    The Dr said the infection was back and had to change antibiotic. I had to opt for pills to take orally every day and continue with the cream.

    Im really concerned because its been a month and she said if the infection went into the bone the leg had to be amputated. Im trying to do my best getting all the meds but its hard with the money and i already have another house cat to take care of. Also im scared he might disappear again and miss the antibiotic dose.
    I would really want to know if there’s anything i can do to speed the healing process. I really want him to get better 🙁

    Please help us!

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Wow, sad story. It is really hard to treat “street” or stray animals because of all the reasons you are seeing now. The best option is to confine the kitty or at least tame it enough to be able to treat it every 12 hours with a stronger antibiotic and really watch the wound. Another thing that might be worth testing is whether the cat has some immune-compromising disease like FIV or FELV or something. Maybe the cat is just not able to heal well? After that I dont have any better answers. The vet seems to be doing all the right things and the cat is getting good medication, but keeps disappearing and maybe getting re-injured. Try 2 weeks confined?

  102. Reply
    vicki

    I’ve got a cat that got into a fight 7 days a go. He was limping on left leg and I took him to the vets and he had a few injections and antibiotics for 6 days which he finished yesterday. He is now acting normally but has got a bald swollen patch on his left shoulder which he keeps kicking but when I squeeze it (as told by vet) itI does not seem to cause pain. The vets said on the phone as it isn’t causing pain leave it for a while but l I just wanted a second opinion. What could it be? Will it heal by itself?

    Thank you

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Sounds like a second abscess. You can likely leave it like the vet said, but I would warm compress it and try to either have it go away or come to a head. If it pops or opens your cat likely needs more antibiotics. OR, you can bring him to your vet for more antibiotics and a possible drainage if it looks big enough. I think you will find that it will open on its own. As soon as it gets painful, much bigger, or opens, bring him in. Good luck.

  103. Reply
    Linda

    We noticed a couple of weeks ago that our cat wasn’t eating and seeming sluggish. There was also a bad odor to him. We took him to the Vet and although he couldn’t actually find any obvious swelling or abscess, he felt he was probably suffering from an infection due to a bite from another cat which had closed up. Our cat had a fever as well. He received an injection for the fever and pills for 7 days as well as some syringes of pain reliever to be given as long as he was eating. After a couple of days of the antibiotics, he seemed to perk up and did eat a bit. After the 7 days, he seemed better although not for long. For the next week, he just seemed to get worse so we brought him back to the Vet. He had a fever, higher than the first time. The Vet gave him another injection and a different, more inclusive antibiotic, to be given for 10 days along with some liquid pain medication. It’s been almost 72 hours since his first pill and he just isn’t getting better. He barely moves and is still not eating or drinking. I also noticed today that his third eyelids, are covering his eyes a bit. That’s something new. He doesn’t cry when you pick him up, so it seems he isn’t in major pain, but it’s hard to be sure. You can definitely see that he just doesn’t feel well. I did give him some watered down food in a syringe this morning so that I could give him a syringe of pain medication. I also gave him some water tonight in a syringe. The Vet said if he didn’t improve after this round of antibiotics, the next thing would be blood work. Do you think after 72 hours, he should be eating something or at least appearing to feel a bit better? We are thinking we should go back to the Vet right away and not wait until the rest of the antibiotics are given. What do you think?

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Go right away. In my experience if antibiotics are not working in a few days then there is a bigger problem. You tried multiple antibiotics and medication and you kitty is not better. Time for blood work and xrays. If your vet is reluctant, time for a second opinion. I would start with blood work right away! Good luck. That sounds like it is going on for far too long to be a simple abscess…..

      • Reply
        Linda

        Thank you so much. We took our cat back to the Vet today and had bloodwork done. He has been diagnosed with feline leukemia :(:(. We were given Prednisolone in hopes that this steroid will help him feel a bit better. We know there is no cure, and that we will likely have to make a decision very soon, but we just couldn’t give up without trying something. We would never allow him to suffer. The Vet told us his liver and bone marrow have been affected already. We were also told the antibiotic, Baytril, would likely no longer be needed as now we know it isn’t an infection that is making him sick. So sad. Thank you so much for responding. This is a wonderful site. To be able to ask a question and get an answer so quickly is so rare. Thank you again. If you have any suggestions, it would be appreciated, like should we get a second opinion?? I trust our Vet though and it’s obvious our cat is very sick, but I hate to give up hope.

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          Sorry to hear about your kitty and thanks for the complement. FELV is a terrible disease and there is very little you can do to help it. I think your vet is right about the steroids and the antibiotics. The baytril might help keep secondary infections down, and the steroids will encourage eating and help for a BRIEF period of time for quality of life. There is nothing else that you can do at this point within reason for great success. Sorry.

          • Linda

            Thank you again so much for your help. Just one more question…I think this is right, but just to make sure…Baytril and Prednisolone CAN be given at the same time? I’m pretty sure the Vet said I should wait 24 hours after giving the pain medication, Meloxicam, before I start the Prednisolone so I think it was those two that can’t be given together. When you’re upset, sometimes things get confusing.

          • Dr. Stewart

            Baytril and Prednisone are fine to give together. I would wait at least 24 hours before giving the prednisone after the last meloxicam. If you cat is “stable” I would wait longer but it doesn’t sound like that is an option. Good luck.

  104. Reply
    Sigrid

    Hi there! I’m pretty sure I know the answer to this, I just want to be sure! My indoor/outdoor cat had a ruptured abscess repaired last week; he got his drain tube out yesterday and is supposed to be getting his stitches removed in another five days. Problem…he is dying to go outside! He uses the litter box just fine and is not licking or biting at the stitches, just suffering from cabin fever I think! I’m assuming I should wait for the stitches to be removed before letting him outside again? Seriously considering buying a leash just so he can experience the outdoors while we wait!

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Buy the leash, but keep him in until the sutures are out. Even after that consider something else living outside gave him the abscess…. might make him indoor only. 🙂

  105. Reply
    Linda

    Sorry, but could I ask one more question? I know you said it’s fine to give Baytril and Prednisolone at the same time. I only gave him the Prednisolone today for the first time. He’s also having Pepcid an hour before the Prednisolone. I stopped giving the Baytril as the Vet said it probably would do no good as we now know he has Leukemia and not an infection, but he is crying today every time he moves. He can barely walk. I don’t understand why he has become so much worse in one day although the bloodwork and the trip to the Vet was traumatic for him, unless it was the Meloxicam. He had 3 doses of it earlier this week with very little food in his stomach even though I tried food in a syringe, but not much. I’m feeling like I might have made things worse giving it to him without much food :(. What would make him barely able to move in one day?? It seems to be more his back legs. The vet did say the bloodwork shows the leukemia is in his liver and bone marrow. My question now is would it help his pain to give him the Baytril? I know it’s not a painkiller…just an antibiotic, we are feeling so badly that he seems to be in pain and we aren’t doing anything other than giving him the Prednisone and he’s only had the one dose. We plan to take him back to the Vet on Monday because as much as we don’t want to, we don’t want his suffering to go on. Is there anything we can do in the meantime?

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Give the prednisone time, and you can ask for a better pain medication on Monday, but the baytril will not help. Sadly there is not too much you can do. With most animals they do not let you know how sick they are until it is too late and then they get worse very fast. It seems like you are near the end, sorry.

      • Reply
        Linda

        Thanks. We will continue with the Prednisone and hopefully, get some pain medication on Monday as he hasn’t had any for a few days. All that being said…yes…it does appear we are very near the end, and I feel the Vet will recommend that on Monday. I just hope he doesn’t suffer too much until we get there. Thank you so so much for responding so quickly, Dr. Stewart. I can’t say enough good about that. To be able to send a message and get a reply almost instantly is quite a comfort and almost unheard of. Thank you again. I’ll let you know how things go on Monday.

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          Good luck, and sorry again.

          • Linda

            Hi Dr. Stewart. Just wanted to let you know that we called the emergency number early this morning and had our cat put down. He cried all night every time he moved. He couldn’t stand up. It was like his whole body was shutting down. There was no way we could go a minute longer seeing him suffer. It was awful. His breathing was not good either. The vet said it was likely he would not have made the day today. His heart rate was 50 and it should have been 180 :(. We are so glad he is at peace now. There is one thing I need to ask you. I know it doesn’t matter now, but I just realized that yesterday, I gave him a whole Pepcid pill (10 mg.) instead of 1/4 of a pill 🙁 before I gave him the Prednisone. I don’t know how I could have done that. I always read and re-read instructions. I’m so scared that overdose did something to him that made him worse than he already was, especially where his liver was bad and having leukemia. The vet had given him an injection of Pepcid the day before as well. I know you won’t want to tell me if it made things worse, but I need to know. Thanks.

          • Dr. Stewart

            It had no effect. The dose range is very large and this did nothing. Do not worry. I bet there was 0% contribution. Sorry for your loss

  106. Reply
    Matt

    Im fairly certain it’s not an abcess, but my older cat came in a couple days ago with a black bump on his nose with no hair on it. It looked like it had a shallow scrape, so we cleaned it a bit. He ate and drank and cuddled as normal, but just tonight he came in with some weird black stuff on it. After wiping it away with a clean tissue, the bump seems to have a small hole in it. it’s not too deep, and it didn’t bleed long at all, but im still concerned if this is something i need to take him to a vet for. I’m willing to go a bit into debt or sell some stuff because i lack the money to take him in for a checkup, but i thought i’d ask first. Please respond ASAP.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Sounds like it could be a scab, a small abscess, a pustule, acne or worse a cancer (very common place for feline melanoma.) Without seeing it I would have to say bring him in to get it looked at. Hard to otherwise advise. There are minor and major things it could be and without a vet visit we might not know what it is.

      • Reply
        Matt

        All right, thank you. The hole seems to have healed over and i don’t know/think tumors heal over, but i’ll definitely get it checked out as soon as i can. Perhaps i could take a picture and email it to you?

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          I can not accept a picture, but tumor is lower on my list, especially if it heals over. Good luck

  107. Reply
    Vannah

    One week ago my cat had an abscess on his lower cheek. I took him to the vet and he was taken care of. The vet gave him a two week antibiotic shot and said to make sure to clean the wound with a wet rag so the would did not crust over. While cleaning the wound through the week I noticed the wound getting smaller and smaller until today, while cleaning it, the scab came off onto the towel and now the wound is completely exposed again. Is there anything I need to do in this case? Is there a certain amount of time the wound should heal in?

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      I would think the wound should be healing by now, but it is possible he is a slow healer. Every animal heals at a different pace. If you are concerned bring him back to your vet, if not let the wound air out and see if it starts healing faster without the scab. It should look much better in a week. If you are not seeing vast improvement by then, bring him back to your vet.

  108. Reply
    Sam

    Hi. My Cat has been bitten by something. Either a cat or a snake. it’s been over 48 hours and I don’t think she’s been injected by any venom if it was a snake. Now that isn’t to say that she couldn’t have still easily gotten infected because of the bite. I first noticed she was acting strange 3 days ago, and I saw that her left leg was convulsing involuntarily and she’d jump as if something was still biting her, run a little ways, settle down for a few minutes, and then repeat the process. I saw the bite wound and I noticed it looked strange and I tried to clean it with a warm wet rag, and I only got a little bit accomplished before she started hissing and warning that she was about to nip me if I didn’t stop. She’d let us pet her everywhere else but near there, and she started going off by herself and hiding in the woods during the day (I once found her lounging underneath a discarded door lol) and she’d come back at nightfall. I figured she was just being a recluse because she was embarrassed, as she has a very prideful queen-like personality. She didn’t seem to be limping, so I put it down to another fight wound. (There’s a new stray in town and my cat is territorial. The problem is that this cat is just as strong willed as she is. Not exactly a good match, plus we have yet to determine the strays gender as it is skittish of humans. It has a yellow-orange coat so I affectionately nicknamed it Marmalade, but it looks like little marmalade might not be the friendliest cat in town) She usually recovers in a few days or so, and she usually starts feeling less pain after the first two days and we can get a good look at it and clean it. Not this time. Yesterday I noticed that she was still acting like something was bothering her (Doing that little routine I mentioned earlier) and she still wouldn’t let us touch it. She let us look at it, but if we got close enough she could sense us and would give us a warning meow and look. I couldn’t shake the feeling that we were missing something, and I asked my friend’s older cousin who is in Vet school and works at a clinic what she thought and she said it was an abscess, and that she needed a vet visit. Now that isn’t exactly a problem for me, but it is for my parents. They refuse to take her because it’s expensive, and I respect that, but I want to get her at least checked out to see if there’s anything else we can do.
    I’d take her myself but i can’t drive yet. (I’m only 17). I’ve been trying to get them to take her, and they might if it isn’t too expensive. I offered to let them use my money on it (I have an extra $110 laying around that I was saving up for a converse shoe haul, but obviously my priorities are cat first), I just wanted to know is there some kind of range of price for an abscess treatment? Can you offer me an estimate to go by, because if I can, I’m going to raise the money myself to pay the vet bill. I don’t want my parents stubbornness to let something worse happen to her.
    I’d greatly appreciate your help,
    Sam 🙂

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Wow, that’s a detailed story and I’m glad you are going to try to help the cat. I can not offer you any estimate because the vets in different areas charge different amounts due to overhead and cost to do business. Example: a New York City vet might be double what a country vet would be. The best thing is to call a few offices and see who will give you an estimate on the the phone and explain the situation. A simple abscess should not cost too much and you should tell the vet/office what your budget is before you start treatment. They can hopefully work with you. The key would be to keep her inside in the future if that is possible and prevent future interactions. She is going to get repeatedly beaten up if the new cat doesn’t like her. I would call 3 closer offices and ask what it would cost for a cat abscess clipping, cleaning and antibiotics with an exam. You might want her to get her booster shots then too, just to keep her safe. Good luck!

      • Reply
        Romel Hasan

        My cat stop eating after bitten by a cat. It eat but don’t eat as much as like before. It drink water rather than eating. Is it a serious issue. If so what should I do for his treatment. Can you suggest any remedies.
        Please give me some suggestion. I will be grateful to u……………

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          I do not understand why it would stop eating. Is there infection? Did the cat get a disease like FELV or FIV from the bite and is now sick? I would bring the cat to get it seen by a vet but otherwise I am not sure. Sorry. It is painful?

  109. Reply
    Romel Hasan

    I am away from my home. I only heard about the condition from my mom. My uncle only told about the condition to a vet. He then prescribe some medicine for it. The bitten area is fine now. But it don’t eat as much as like before. It drink water rather than eating. What Should i do now. Please tell me about some primary initiative. Should I bring the cat to get it seen by a vet??? please replay to my Question as soon as possible….
    Thanks for your replay…….

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Yes, bring any cat that is not eating well to a vet. Have it blood tested for kidney disease or other infections and viruses. Have a vet look at it and maybe it is easy to fix like a urinary infection or unfixable like kidney disease. Go see a vet.

  110. Reply
    Melissa "to big of heart"

    Dr you always give such great advice. help if you can. I have a cat someone threw out about a year ago took long time to get him to come to me. looks to be an old boy. showed up about two weeks ago with small lump and then a week ago both back legs not working right. the lump has exploded and puss is coming out of it that smells horrible. he will barely let me clean it but I try. I tried to get him in the car to take him to the vet even though I cannot afford it and he used to be feral. he will not allow it hurts himself trying to fight me. can’t even get him near the car and he hurts himself. now another lump has formed and exploded. he is dropping weight and barely able to walk. I am trying to take the best Care I can’t have him he will not let me bring him in the house. I do not know what else to do I feel several other lumps. I’ve called my local vets no one will help me because he is feral. no one else can even get close to him except for me and my husband. his quality of life is horrible he goes from the housing I’ve made for him on the porch and when the Sun gets bright he hides under a tree. I don’t know what to do anymore. I feel helpless do you have any advice that can help me? I know it is at the point I should have him put down even being a stray they all own my heart. this little feral sweetie protected me from a snake one day. have to return the love somehow but I don’t know what to do. I cry everytime I see him but my hands are tied what can I do if I can’t get him into a car to even end his suffering.? I don’t even know if I could get the money together if it would help save him with as many lumps is there are I don’t know how old he is or anything about him. I just could use any advice.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Sadly there is very little you can do without getting him seen. I would call animal control and ask for a trap then you can bring him to a vet or the SPCA to get some treatment. Sounds like he is really sick and needs attention. The SPCA or Animal Control or Police will have live animal traps and you can “rent” one for a day. That is about all you can do. I wish there was more, but you need to get your hands on him. Good luck.

  111. Reply
    Bronte

    Hi Dr. Stewart, My 4 year old cat has an abscess on his cheek, the vet gave him a shot of antibiotics and anti- inflammatories. He is now on a dose of antibiotics for the next 10 days, and I have been cleaning the area with warm, salty packs- and he is wearing the Elizabethan collar. I’m wondering about the likely hood of the wound closing up, it is about an inch in diameter. Is surgery always necessary for the skin to close back up? I think i should make a follow up appointment in a weeks time to see how it is healing. The operation is very expensive, and i just need to know what our options are. Thank you for your time

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Cats heal amazingly well and you sound like you are doing everything correctly. I would highly suspect it will heal or close on its own. Keep doing what you are doing now and have your vet check the wound every week as needed. Once the wound is clean and starting to heal, then I would stop touching it with anything and stop flushing it. You can apply some moisture like neosporin as long as the cat can not lick it or it does not bother the cat. This might help keep the scar moist, but otherwise let nature work. I suspect it will be all fixed in weeks. Good luck!

  112. Reply
    Heather Macdonald

    Hi

    My cat had a small apses burst, we drained it and took him to the vets. The vet gave him antibiotics for 5 days, he said to drain it again when we got home but nothing would home out. He has finished the but the antibiotics now but abses is still there and now the wound is so small that nothing will drain from it. He is eating fine, and doesnt seem to have a temperature and he doesn’t cry if i poke at it. Iv applied a hot compress, he doesnt like that but thats probaly just because he is contrary, should i see if it gets any bigger or heals. I cant get him to a vets for another 6 days because its only open on Mondays and its Tuesday.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      It sounds like it is healing well and you should leave it alone for a few days and see how it does. It might close up and fully heal. If it doesn’t look better in a week, bring him to your local vet.

  113. Reply
    Diana

    Hi, my cat all of a sudden appeared to be swollen on his right cheek, I’m so scared.. I read it could be cancer. But where it’s swollen theirs a little bald spot and it seems to be dry blood! I cleaned with a towel and cold water, then put my baby nephews lotion for infection and it seems to be healing.. should I still take it to the vet still? It’s really hard too because of how expensive it is here. What can I do?

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Bring him to a vet, it is most likely an abscess and needs antibiotics and vet care….but you are right it could always be worse.

  114. Reply
    Vanessa

    Hello. One of my cats, who has yet to have his balls cut off, keeps fighting with everything. He broke his leg a few weeks ago somehow. It healed for a while and he got better, but 2 days ago he came home limping again. Worse this time. He barely made it home. He hasn’t walked since. He barely eats, even though we put food in front of him and water. He won’t even get up to go pee. He peed in my bed. I’m highly worried because his foot is extremely swollen and puss is starting to come out. His paw is really about 3 normal paws right now. There was also blood on his mouth (either from the fight, hurt tooth, or internal issues). I really want to take him to the vet asap but don’t have the money exactly yet. Is there anything I can do from home?

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Sadly there is nothing you can do that will make a major difference without antibiotics and proper vet care. You can try to keep the leg clean and maybe soak it in warm soapy water but that will not be nearly enough. You MUST seek vet care or get to an spca asap! Also, until he is neutered he will keep fighting and get this again and again. You need to consider the best for your cat.

  115. Reply
    tony

    We noticed a few days ago out 2 year old cats inner eyelids was covering half her eye, we cleaned it daily with saline, after a few days it turned red and had blood seeping, we got over the counter eye antibiotic for her, her eye cleared up over night, but she’s acting lethargic since we 1st saw her eye, she just sleeps all day. she will eat if we bring it to her, she has urinated but hasn’t had a bowl movement in a few days

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Sounds horrible, bloody seeping eyes, severe lethargy and no bowel movements? Bring her to a vet immediately it could be very serious. The eye lids (third lid or nictitans) are often a sign of body distress and are not always a separate problem. They might be the first signs of serious systemic problem. She needs a full workup. Sorry I can not give you more advice.

  116. Reply
    Tanya Nicholson

    Hello Dr. Stewart

    My cat Whisper is a 17 month old calico. I adopted her from the humane society when she was 3moths old. A week and a half ago she started limping I thought she sprained her paw jumping from the window sill, but a week yesterday I came home to find a hole the size of a silver dollar in her left front leg just above the elbow. It was leaking green pus. I rushed her to the vet. She gave whisper a sedative and flushed out the abscess she had to cut out some dead tissue. She gave her a shot of antibiotics that lasts two weeks and game me some pain medication to give her at home for five days. I have had to bring her back 6 times since for regular bandage changes. The first three times they had to remove additional dead tissue. When I was there yesterday they said it was looking a whole lot better that there was no more dead tissue. She has finished her pain medications too and no longer seems in pain. The wound is still open when the bandage is off I can see the fat or muscle moving underneath but its pink and healthy. The vet assures me its healing properly and not to worry. Today however Whisper sounds like she has a cold her breathing is crackly and she sounds stuffy. Her nose is cold and her inner ears are only mildly warm so I don’t think she is running a fever. She doesn’t go back to the vet to get her bandage changed again until Wednesday evening should I be worried she has a respiratory infection? Should I take her back sooner?

    • Reply
      Tanya Nicholson

      I should add she is eating like a horse, drinking plenty of water and using the litter box regularly.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      If it concerns you it concerns me, so that should be my starting statement. It doesn’t sound to serious, but you should certainly keep a close eye on her eating and drinking and activity level. It might just be a cold or allergies and nothing, or a URI might be starting. I assume she is vaccinated and hopefully she is indoors with her injury. Give it a day or two and see how she looks. If you are concerned……. I am concerned (but it doesn’t sound too serious yet.)

  117. Reply
    andrew

    Hi my 8 month old cat binx just had a shot of beauprenorphine and was given antibiotics recently to help cope with the struggling of passing blot clots from a bad UTI last week ( which passed fine BTW) and now a week later he has a large bump forming on his back and in my opinion growing rapidly ! Can this be the dreaded fibrosarcoma from the beaupnorphIne shot! ? It was not a vaccination and i dont believe it had contained any aluminm , but it’s worrying the heck out of me because I feel that an abscess wouldn’t grow so fast being he was on antibiotics when the bump started forming, and it dosnt seem tender to the touch . I don’t have alot of money but I’m bringing him back tomorrow to the vet tomorrow but is fibrosarcoma possible this fast and from a pain med shot!? Thanks in advance for your response. I can see you are an extremely helpful person from your responses

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Almost 0% chance of fibrosarcoma from the buprenophine. I have never heard of that and it would never grow that fast. More likely a seroma, abscess or immune reaction. Have the vet stick a needle in and see what comes out, that will be your answer. Could be an abscess that is resistant to the antibiotics you are using, or just a bruise? Have the vet look, but I highly doubt fibrosarcoma UNLESS it is bad timing and from earlier vaccines. 8 months old seems too young for that too though. I think you are fine.

  118. Reply
    Mark

    Our cat’s face has swollen so bad he left eye is almost closed! she gotten N2 a fight! at first was a small pin hole scratch under her lip and on the left side of her face. Now has swollen like the Elephant Man. I know is an abscess, because when I touch it, is soft and jell like underneath. Is there a possibility it can be lanced at home with sterile items, say a sterile needle some cotton swabs and warm water dilute with peroxide?

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      GO TO A VET!! Ugh, I’m never going to recommend you stick a needle in your cat’s face!

  119. Reply
    Garrett

    Hi, my cat recently became an outside cat within the past 2 years. He has been happier ever since, and he stays around and comes sleep in his box we made on our porch at night.

    2-3 days ago we noticed he wasn’t using his right leg. It was swollen really bad at the joint and he wouldn’t put pressure on it. We have been massaging and babying him.

    Today, after 3 days, we noticed a seeping and draining from it and the swelling has gone down. He still has not put weight on it since it just popped a few hours ago.

    Should we squirt water or alcohol/peroxide on it? And what about baby aspirin? I know Tylenol and ibuprofen is bad for cats.

    Thank you, I appreciate it!

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      TAKE HIM TO A VET. I really can not advise anything else. He needs antibiotics and pain medication and the leg looked at. What if it is broken? What if it is a joint infection or cancer?!!!! Water:no Peroxide :no Alcohol :HAHA NO!!! Aspirine NO NO NO, Tylenol is euthanasia solution for cats so…NO! If you can not bring him to a vet, then bring him to a shelter to be treated or relinquished.

  120. Reply
    Alicia

    My baby kitten has a cut on her belly and was cold when we found her. She also has been acting funny. What should I do?

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Bring her to a vet to be seen. The cut you can keep clean and treat, but a cold kitten is trouble. Acting funny? BRING HER TO A VET! Sorry, no way I can diagnose or help from here.

  121. Reply
    maureen

    my 14 month old cat has just had a abscess removed 3 days ago, stayed in vets and got him home yesterday. How soon can I let him outside again, im frightened in case it gets infected so soon. He keeps going to door to get out. Your reply would be appreciated.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      I would let him out as soon as it looks fully closed and healed. No open wounds. No pink or discharge. Remember, he will probably fight with the same cat outside and get it again. Cats never learn. Good luck.

  122. Reply
    maureen

    I did not mention where the abscess was, it was on his cheek. I have anti biotic for him, and his settled down, keeps following me all round house. Is it ok to let him out before the anti biotic is finished,
    thank you for advise, I am trying to ring vets up but cannot get answer, always engaged.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      You can let him out early with the conditions as before, but you might not get him back every 12 hours for the antibiotics….that would be very bad and leads to resistant infection. Keep this in mind.

  123. Reply
    maureen

    thank you for your reply, I got through to vets this morning, and they said, I should finish the anti biotics first, but the cat is trying to get out, so they advised as long I think he will come back, let him out and try.
    I fed him this morning, and let him out after speaking to vets, and is sun bathing! and running around garden.
    bliss! I have the door ajar so he is coming in and out. He has two more days of anti biotics. thank you

  124. Reply
    maureen

    hello, just updating you, the cat 14 months, has been out in garden for 20 mins and came back in
    sleeping with the door open, looks cosy, so glad did not go off too far.

  125. Reply
    Chrystal

    My 12 year old indoor female cat has had a very small pea-sized mass on her side for the past year or so (at first I thought it was a pimple, though a strange place for feline acne I will admit – I’ve been keeping an eye on it and there’s been no growth at all since it was first noticed) and I was just petting her now and my hand became wet. I instantly assumed it was her spot so I grabbed a tissue to see (I think I was expecting blood, maybe clear fluid for infection or something) and the colour of the fluid was GREY…. It literally appears as if she inked on me! It certainly isn’t anal gland secretion (didn’t come from down there and has no obvious odor at all). Is the leaking and/or strange colour relatively normal or should I rush to make a stressful vet visit for my girl? I also just want to say how awesome it is that you’re replying to messages here – so thoughtful, thank you 🙂

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Probably just a cyst that ruptured, but it is always wise to get a vet visit to check it out. if it starts to come back or get bigger, have her seen sooner than later. If it goes away…..all good. A cyst is not a huge deal.

  126. Reply
    Kim

    My cast had kittens a week ago and a few days later stopped eating and drinking and lost all energy and her nipples started turning black and blue and really sore. The vet said she developed an infection where her milk is stored. They gave her antibiotics and she is doing much better. Then I notice today that she has a raw spot by her nipples that is leaking yellow stinky ooze but she is still acting fine and just cleans its. Is this normal or something I should worry about?

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Sounds like a nasty mastitis and the antibiotics you have might not be strong enough. I would go back to the vet for a re-exam and talk about upping the medication. Mastitis is a very hard problem to solve and it can be very involved. Keep the vet involved before it gets out of control. Good luck.

  127. Reply
    Ritika

    It has been nearly 6 days since my cats abscess burst and the hole seems to be getting smaller.There is no scab formation, it just seems to be getting smaller.My cat is perfectly alright and is in fact eating slightly more than normal.Is the wound healing or is another abscess going to form?the hole is slight reddish colour and I gave him antibiotic for first 3 days.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      3 days of antibiotics is not a good idea and might breed resistance, but otherwise it sounds like it is healing. Sounds like it is healing and draining. Always use at least a week of antibiotics or dont use any at all. I think it sounds good.

      • Reply
        Ritika

        Ok thanks for replying. I gave the antibiotics for 3 days only because the first time he got into a fight (he had localised swelling in his leg) the vet told me give the med for only 3 days.

        • Reply
          Dr. Stewart

          I would always give 7 days, but that can be info for next time. Good luck.

  128. Reply
    Ritika

    He doesn’t mind if I touch the wound, nor is he limping.
    Thanks

  129. Reply
    ADAM UMAR TOUFIQ

    hi sir,

    my cat really don’t like to go outside, also there is no communication with other cats, he really don’t like, he will cry if we bring him outside, so still i need to do vaccination ?

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      You need to ask your local vet. Here in Virginia USA you can bring diseases inside on your shoes. It is very rare but possible. I do not know about the diseases where you live. He might just need one set of vaccines every 5 years to be safe? Ask your local vet.

  130. Reply
    Kelly

    Hi, I stumbled across your blog in my search for information on abscesses in cats with FIV. I found a stray male cat, est 8 yo, that is now with my local no-kill shelter, and they informed me today that he has an abscess on his mouth that will not heal. He has apparently already had “surgery” on his mouth (not sure if they meant lancing or what) but the tissue is inflamed and bleeding, and it is difficult for him to eat. I am going to assess the situation tomorrow and hopefully they will allow me to take him to an emergency vet if I feel the need before they can get him to a regular vet on Monday, but I was just wondering if you can provide any information on abscesses that won’t heal in cats with FIV. Especially with it being on (possibly in?) his mouth, I am hoping for the best but fearing the worst. Is there a different kind of treatment we could try if it refuses to heal? I’m willing to do whatever it takes to save this sweet boy. Thank you for any information you can provide, and thank you for taking the time to respond to each post on your blog.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      The truth is they are variable and some are easily fixed with antibiotics, some need surgery or a dentistry. There will be a likely solution, you just need to find the right vet and the solution. I would see what it looks like and then try an ER vet. They will give you the full prognosis. Good luck.

  131. Reply
    Julie

    Hi Doctor,

    My cat started having some sporadic clear discharge from her left eye about 6 weeks ago. It cleared up but would harden on her cheek and then when I came home from work I wiped it off. This started to leave a red open place and the hair was gone. It healed up and just became white skin, and I keep checking for hair growth. Today when I got home, I saw she had blood there. I wiped it off and see a small circular hole, perfectly round.
    Could this have been an abscess? I never saw any pus, just blood. The reason I thought about an abscess is that a couple of months ago that side of her face seemed to be slightly swollen and she didn’t like us to touch it. I figured it was a tooth issue, and then it seemed to resolve itself.
    I just put some bacitracin on the hole and will monitor her. What else should I do? I’m a little freaked out that she has an open hole on her face.
    Thank you for any advice.

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Sounds like it could have been an abscess or maybe a severe retro-bulbar eye infection. You know what I’m going to say. Take your cat to the vet and have them take a look. Sounds like your cat might need some strong oral antibiotics at the least. Might be a tumor or something simple…..check with a vet. Sounds serious.

  132. Reply
    Kelly

    Thank you so much for your reply. After a visit and stay with the vet and a biopsy, it turns out it is not an abscess. Unfortunately, it’s squamous cell carcinoma, and it’s at the point that the vet is not recommending surgery but just to keep him comfortable until we can’t anymore. I just wanted to leave this update to echo a point you made earlier – if you suspect something is wrong with your cat, please take him or her to the vet ASAP. The information on this blog is very helpful but no substitute for prompt and complete veterinary care, especially if it turns out to be something more serious. I suppose the positive is that he found us in time to spend his last days in comfort and love. Thank you again for your help.

  133. Reply
    Alexis Hutchinson

    Hi, my cat is an outside cat and he got bit onhis tail. Its pussing and I have no way nor the money to take him to the vet. What are the best things I can do for him?

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      Shave the area, then use soap and water and clean it. You need to get him to a vet for antibiotics. Read the previous thread and comments.

  134. Reply
    Sally

    Hi, my cat got an abscess and received antibiotics yesterday. She has muscles contractions along the spine which scares her and she tries to run away, not understanding what is occurring. The vet said this is from the fever and should be OK the next day which is today, at the end of the day.

    She still is not her perky self and when she chases something her contractions start which have moved further down along the spine. The contractions have definitely decreased, yet are still occurring.

    Is this normal?

    • Reply
      Dr. Stewart

      This is not normal, but might be either the fever or the antibiotics. If they last another day I would have her re-examined and make sure there is no nerve damage or complications from the antibiotics injection. I have never seen this reaction from a simple abscess. Good luck.

      • Reply
        Dr. Stewart

        ps: what is the cats temperature?