Cat Care – Treating Minor Burns and Insect Stings at Home

More Cat Care Information:

We know how curious cats can be, and sometimes this might get them into trouble. They might see an insect hopping around outside and decide to play with it. Usually this won’t be a problem but occasionally, they will get stung, usually around the paws or head. They might get too close to something hot and burn themselves.

General Cat Care #1: Before You Bring Your Cat Home
You will need food, food dish, water bowl, interactive toys, brush, comb, safety cat collar, scratching post, litter and litter box.
General Cat Care #2: Feeding
An adult cat should be fed one large or two smaller meals each day. Kittens from 6 to 12 weeks need to be fed four times a day. Kittens from three to six months need to be fed three times a day. You can either feed specific meals, throwing away any leftover canned food after 30 minutes or free-feed dry food (keeping food out all the time).

Feed your cat a high-quality, brand-name kitten or cat food (avoid generic brands) two to three times a day. Kittens can be fed human baby food for a short time if they won’t eat kitten food softened by soaking in warm water. Use turkey or chicken baby food made for children six months and older. Gradually mix with cat food. Cow’s milk is not necessary and can cause diarrhea in kittens and cats. Provide fresh, clean water at all times. Wash and refill water bowls daily.

If your cat is injured, you must remain calm so you can calm your cat down. If you are visibly upset, your cat will pick up on this and become more frightened. You need to be able to talk gently to your cat while you are examining it. You will need to be able to access your cat’s first aid kit to be able to treat it efficiently at home. Your cat’s first aid kit will be similar to your family’s one but please, have one for both. Having this peace of mind of knowing everything you need is available in one place will make an enormous difference to the way you handle yourself in an emergency.

Insect Stings

If your cat is stung by an insect, you probably won’t even know about it unless your cat has an allergic reaction to the sting. If you notice your cat acting strangely and there are insects swarming, check for red, swollen areas on the skin or in the mouth. There will be a bump in the middle and possibly a small black ‘splinter’. If you notice this and your cat is in distress, use something hard and flat (credit card, razor, or similar) to flick it out.

General Cat Care #3: Grooming
Most cats stay relatively clean and rarely need a bath, but they do need to be brushed or combed. Frequent brushing helps keep your cat’s coat clean, reduces the amount of shedding and cuts down on the incidence of hairballs
General Cat Care #4: Handling
To pick up your cat, place one hand behind the front legs and another under the hindquarters. Lift gently. Never pick up a cat by the scruff of the neck (behind the ears) or by the front legs without supporting the rear end.
General Cat Care #5: Housing
Cats should have a clean, dry place of their own in the house. Line your cat’s bed with a soft, warm blanket or towel. Be sure to wash the bedding often. Please keep your cat indoors. If your companion animal is allowed outside, he can contract diseases, get ticks or parasites, become lost or get hit by a car, hurt in a fight or poisoned. Also, cats prey on wildlife.

Don’t use tweezers as you could squeeze more venom into the body. Wash the area with a mild soap and apply a cold pack wrapped in a tea towel or similar. Don’t apply the cold pack directly onto your cat’s skin. If your cat has had an allergic reaction, contact your vet immediately. You will see the area has become very swollen and if the sting is near the mouth or throat, it could restrict your cat’s breathing. If you find that your cat is allergic to some common insect stings, talk to your vet about antihistamines and keep them in your cat’s first aid kit.

Minor Burns

Sometimes your cat might lean against something hot such as a heater or electric frypan if it is allowed to jump on the counter. Some people have left hot saucepans to cool and found the cat has gotten to close while sniffing the aromas and been burned. Minor burns are those that are no bigger than your little finger nail area. If a burn is larger than this, contact your vet. For minor burns at home, gently wash the area with a clean cloth (cotton) dipped in cool water to cool the burn down.

Then dip the cloth into iced water and wring out before applying to the burn. Never apply ice or ice-packs directly onto your cat’s skin as this will burn it. Keep applying the cold cloth for a few minutes, wringing it out each time. Next, clean the burn with an antiseptic solution such as Betadine, then apply an antiseptic ointment on a gauze pad. If possible, wrap a gauze pad onto the wound with a bandage to keep the wound covered. Keep an eye on your cat and try to keep it calm for twenty four hours. If the burn doesn’t heal, or if you are worried, contact your vet.

Please remember that this information is to be used as a guide only. If you have any concerns, contact your vet immediately.

General Cat Care #6: Identification
If allowed outdoors (again, we caution against it!), your cat needs to wear a safety collar and an ID tag. A safety collar with an elastic panel will allow your cat to break loose if the collar gets caught on something. An ID tag or an implanted microchip can help insure that your cat is returned if he or she becomes lost.
General Cat Care #7: Litter Box
All indoor cats need a litter box, which should be placed in a quiet, accessible location. A bathroom or utility room is a good place for your cat’s box. In a multi-level home, one box per floor is recommended. Avoid moving the box unless absolutely necessary. Then do so slowly, a few inches a day. Cats won’t use a messy, SMELLY litter box. Scoop solids out of the box at least once a day. Dump everything, wash with a mild detergent (don’t use ammonia) and refill at least once a week, less frequently if using clumping litter. Don’t use deodorants or scents in the litter or litter box (especially avoid lemon scent).
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