How To Treat A Cat Abscess

Cats, like every other living organism, are prone to several types of diseases and infections such as diabetes, cancer, feline immunodeficiency virus, rabies, ringworm, etc. As a cat owner, it’s normal for you to be accustomed to how to handle such diseases and infections because of their obvious symptoms. However, when your feline friend is plagued by certain health defects like cat abscess that has less obvious symptoms, you might find yourself seeking more information and assistance to tackle such ailments.

That being said, an abscess is a collection of pus that builds up on tissues, organs, or outside the body. In Cats, abscesses tend to vary in size and can be found anywhere on the body; as a result of this, it is very hard to decipher where exactly a cat has an abscess.

How Does An Abscess Occur?

The body system sends out some white blood cells to fight against bacteria in response to bites, injuries, fractures, and many more. If this fails to happen, within a short while, the surrounding tissues on the affected area begin to swell up and start dying off. Before long, a cavity filled with pus is formed, and the pus comprises of bacteria, dead tissue, and of course, white blood cells. As this cycle goes on, the affected part of the feline’s body will continue swelling, and the inflammation may turn out to be either soft or hard. With that said, there are still several other signs of a cat abscess.

Signs Your Cat Has An Abscess

  • Limping, which is a sign of pain
  • The surrounding skin around the affected spot will display a little scab with warmth or redness
  • Fluid or pus may start oozing out of the area
  • The area may witness a loss of hair, leaving it bare to be easily noticed
  • You may observe that your feline friend is constantly grooming, licking, or nibbling on that particular spot. Even without the loss of hair, you will quickly deduce that something is seriously wrong
  • Cats with an abscess may find it hard to ingest food due to the accompanying pain, and it is needless to say that loss of appetite leads to loss of energy and lethargy.
  • The affected spot may develop an opening with time, and you may observe pus draining out from it. The cat will begin to get relieved when most of the discharge has drained out

What Are The Major Causes Of Abscess In Cats?

Cat abscess
Cats incur wounds by fighting source

Cat Abscess From Bites

Cats are territorial animals and are known to fight with each other regularly to maintain their territory even in a small home. During one such fight, bites are often traded between cats; thus, leading to an opening on the skin. Oftentimes, the bite is too tiny to be noticed immediately; thus, leaving bacteria free to multiply rapidly and infect the surrounding tissues. Such an area is bound to witness swelling, which would eventually metamorphose into a cat abscess.

A Damaged Or Fractured Tooth

It is possible for cats to lose their tooth during activities like eating, hunting, or even playing. And while tooth loss or a tear in a cat’s gum might seem pretty normal, it is oftentimes a recipe for disaster as bacteria are known to penetrate through an opening in the tooth; thus, causing a cat abscess.


As long as cats live on planet earth, they are bound to get injured once in a while; these injuries occur when objects like sticks, nails, spikes, tiny rocks, and other sharp items penetrate their skin, making it easy for bacteria outside the cat skin to find their way inside; and may give rise to an internal abscess which is usually hard to decipher.


Simply put, immunosuppression means a reduction in the ability of the immune system to fight diseases. This is often a result of several medications or adverse reactions to a form of treatment taken in the course of treating an infection. Suppression of the immune subsystem in cats is a major cause of cat abscesses as it leaves their body vulnerable and unable to wade off certain bacteria and infections.

How To Treat Cat Abscess

  • Clean and lance the boils on the skin with a lancelet or any other sharp instrument so as to release pus under the skin
  • When abscesses get really big, it is imperative that surgery is carried out on the cat to drain the abscess. Anaesthetic is often used to numb that part of the body, making the cat feel zero pain while surgery is being carried out
  • After surgery, salt water should be used on the area to prevent bacteria from infecting the wound
  • Antibiotics Injections are significant in the treatment of cat abscesses because even after surgery is carried out, there might still be tiny bacteria hiding beneath the open wound capable of leading to a recurring abscess
  • Hence, it is required that a regular dose of antibiotics be administered to the cat for 3 to 4 weeks after surgery to prevent a recurrence

Read Also: How Do I Know If My Cat Has Whiskers Fatigue?

Will An Abscess On A Cat Go Away, How Long Does It Take For A Cat Abscess To Heal?

As horrible as a cat abscess may seem, it is capable of going away on its own if given enough time to rupture. Although rupturing might bring your cat much-needed relief from pain, it does not address the underlying injury itself. This means that the probability that an abscess might reoccur is not farfetched, as the skin could grow atop the main injury. However, with proper treatment, a cat abscess tends to heal completely within 6-7 days.

Can A Cat Die From An Abscess?

An abscess on its own is incapable of killing any member of the feline population since all it contains is pus-filled with white blood cells and bacteria. However, when an abscess leads to further health defects like a fever, it can lead to loss of life. Just like in any other living thing, fever can lead to weakness, loss of appetite, and fatigue, which, when left unchecked, leads to loss of life among the feline population.

In all, once you see signs that your feline companion may be carrying a cat abscess around, don’t hesitate to seek medical help as you might be saving your cat and yourself more trouble.

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