Causes, treatment of abscesses in cats


Abscesses in most cases are caused by fighting with another cat.

When a tooth or claw penetrates the skin, it causes damage to underlying tissue. Bacteria are deposited in the tissue at the time of penetration.

Foreign bodies, such as a splinter of wood or a grass seed, are not a common cause of abscesses in cats.


An abscess is a collection of pus, circumscribed in a sac, and enclosed within the tissues of the body.

  • Pain is felt by the cat when touched at the site of the abscess.
  • The cat may be lethargic, without an appetite and/ or have a temperature.
  • The abscess is at first a hard lump which softens as it matures and finally may burst.
  • Puncture wounds from a bite or a sharp foreign body are common causes.


Cut away surrounding hair and bathe the wound with a cloth or cotton wool soaked in hot water for 10 minutes twice a day.

  • If a puncture wound is obvious, clean with iodine-based scrub or 3% hydrogen peroxide. Remove any foreign body that may be embedded in the wound.
  • If the abscess bursts, clean as suggested and gently squeeze out any evident discharge.
  • · If the abscess does not burst, the veterinarian will open the abscess, drain out the pus and administer antibiotics.
  • If the abscess continues to drain after being opened, it should be irrigated twice daily using a syringe containing 3% hydrogen peroxide.




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