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Cat Care – Treating Minor Burns and Insect Stings at Home

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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.

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.

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.

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