First Aid for Cats

Dr. Brian Daubs, a board-certified small-animal veterinarian, maintains a particular professional interest in the care of injured pets. Through his current practice, Animal Specialty and Emergency Clinic, Dr. Brian Daubs offers 24-hour available care for critical cases.

When a cat is injured, its natural predisposition to anxiety and stress can worsen the situation quickly. The owner or caregiver’s first duty is to make sure that the cat is warm, comfortable, and as still as possible. The person can then look over the cat, listen to its breathing and heartbeat, and search for bleeding. The application of gentle pressure with sterile gauze is typically the safest way to limit blood loss until veterinary treatment is available. Potentially broken bones should be kept as still as possible; cats with broken backs need support of a flat surface until they can reach the vet’s office.

A cold compress can help a cat with a burn feel more comfortable until veterinary attention is available, while immobilization and limited movement help to minimize further damage to broken bones. In all cases, an injured cat should visit the veterinarian as soon as possible. Owners should take care to minimize the cat’s movement during the transport process, particularly if the cat shows signs of broken bones.


Caring for a Cat After an Animal Bite

Dr. Brain Daubs, a small animal veterinarian for more than nine years, draws on extensive experience in treating both simple and complex feline injuries. Dr. Brain Daubs pursues a particular professional interest in the treatment trauma cases including bite wounds.

Cats that spend time outdoors or with other animals may receive bites from time to time. The most important thing an owner can do is to assess the severity of the wound, as deep punctures may have damaged underlying structures. If this is the case, the cat should be taken to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Minor wounds may be treated at home before the owner seeks care.

Experts suggest that owners apply pressure to a bite wound with gauze or a clean cloth. Once the bleeding has stopped, they can tape the gauze to the wound during transit to the veterinarian’s office. Owners can clean minor shallow wounds with water or antiseptic solution; however, deep wounds need professional care. Often times the puncture at the skin is the “tip of the iceberg” and there is severe trauma under that puncture wound. If the chest cavity or abdominal cavity is punctured, this becomes a life threating situation. After the cat has received the treatment it needs, the owner must take care to keep the wound clean and dry and prevent the cat from licking at its wounds until they heal. This typically takes between one and two weeks.