Cat has an open sore. Vet or wait and see?
September 17, 2022 7:59 PM   Subscribe

We noticed an open cut/sore on our cat's scruff a couple of days ago. Here is the scab. Cute cat tax inside.

It was more of an open sore the other day, seems like it's drying up a little now. It doesn't seem to be swollen, it is not bleeding, and it has no pus coming out, doesn't seem to hurt the cat, although she doesn't like us touching it (obviously). She is not scratching. The scary/gross thing is that 2 of the times we looked at it, we saw a teeny tiny bug near the scab. Not a flea. The bug might simply be attracted to the sore and the sore is not caused by the bug, but who knows.

No other sores, as far we can tell. Should we take her to the vet or give it another few days to see if it heals? If we wait, is there anything we can/should put on it?

Here she is, living her best life in not 1 but 2 boxes.
posted by to Pets & Animals (8 answers total)
Response by poster: Forgot to add: she is an indoor only cat.
posted by at 8:00 PM on September 17, 2022

I'd definitely wait, seeing that she's not worrying it, and she's healing. I'd bet she got caught on something sharp in a place you wouldn't think to look for it.
posted by wotsac at 8:42 PM on September 17, 2022 [2 favorites]

We have a cat (also indoor only) that has some kind of allergy that causes open sores on his back (we think it itches and he licks himself raw). This is the second year we've dealt with this and ultimately for our boy it requires a steroid shot. But first we have to put him in the Donut of Shame, which is gentler on his neck than a Cone, and doctor him with prescription cream which is basically to protect the injury and keep it from getting infected.

The home game version, which we tried before the vet, involved antibiotic salve. If one of our cats had the injury you describe/show, we'd put salve on it (the prescription, since we have it now, but otherwise antibiotic salve we'd use on ourselves) and keep an eye on it to make sure that nobody was licking it and it was healing. The cone is only necessary if your kitty can lick the injury. We have to be careful because we have two.

Cat tax with cat in the Donut of Shame, which is commercially available.

Hope your girl heals up soon!
posted by gentlyepigrams at 9:17 PM on September 17, 2022

My cat has an allergy that causes itchy skin and she used to give herself bad open sores. Had to switch her to a prescription diet which has made a big difference.

With one particularly bad sore, I cut up an old sock and put it over her neck to keep her from itching it and that worked well, so you might try that until you can get to the vet.
posted by brookeb at 9:31 PM on September 17, 2022

Best answer: My cats scratch each other, and themselves, and occasionally get scabs like that. It looks like just a normal little scrape to me and personally I would just leave it alone and take no action unless the cat starts seeming worse or distressed about it.

Note that when it falls off it will be a gross scab with a tuft of fur attached, which will be alarming-looking but normal.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 11:13 PM on September 17, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Not a vet but former dog owner and cat sitter. If it’s not swollen, dry and not oozing and she’s not bothered by it then it’s most likely healing fine on its own. Small caveat that some wounds appear superficial and the skin heals quickly but they were in fact not entirely superficial and infection festers underneath the freshly healed skin. So I‘d just monitor it and if she develops swelling, is bothered by it or it opens up again I’d go to the vet.
posted by koahiatamadl at 5:12 AM on September 18, 2022 [1 favorite]

Yeah, if it's healing, that's fine. If it doesn't heal then it's possible she is re-opening it over and over, and then I'd take her to the vet.

While there are many reasons a cat might get a scab - have you changed kitty litter recently? If so, keep in mind she might have an allergic reaction to the new litter, causing her to scratch herself. (This happened to one of my cats once)
posted by coffeecat at 9:07 AM on September 18, 2022

As a long-time cat owner, I would say leave it, unless she starts messing with it, or it looks infected, swollen or oozing. You'll know it's healed when you're scritching her and the scab comes away from her skin as a little dried-up scale. Finding a scab othat comes away easily when scritching the cat is, I confess, an immensely satisfying feeling.
posted by essexjan at 2:27 AM on September 19, 2022

« Older Please give me the name of a certain "degrowth"...   |   Ankarsrum mixers for n00bs? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.