Bacterial infections are common in cats. They are exposed to multiple bacteria and other germs that can lead to skin infections. For instance, the bacteria Bartonella Henselae causes skin scratch disease. According to data, around 33% to 50% of cats are exposed to this bacteria at some point in their lives.
If your cat has a bacterial skin infection, you might wonder how to treat it at home. In most cases, your vet will prescribe antibiotics and medication to help clear up the infection. However, you can take measures to speed up your cat’s recovery and prevent the condition from spreading.
How to Determine If Your Cat has a Bacterial Skin Infection
The first step in treating a bacterial skin infection is determining if your cat has one.
- Look for swollen, red, and painful areas of the skin. If you notice these symptoms, take your cat to the veterinarian immediately. Your vet can diagnose the condition and recommend treatment options best suited to your pet’s needs.
- Carefully observe your cat’s behavior as well as his or her coat while grooming him or her. A change in either could be an indication of an infection.
Also, you should look for symptoms of bacterial skin infections. Bacterial skin infections in cats can cause various symptoms, including redness, swelling, and skin crusting. They may also experience hair loss, itching, and discharge from the affected area.
In some cases, cats may also have difficulty moving due to pain or inflammation. If the infection is severe, the cat may have a fever, lethargy, and loss of appetite. It is essential to seek veterinary care if you suspect your cat has a bacterial skin infection, as it can become serious if left untreated.
If you find your cat having any symptoms of bacterial skin infection, it is best to treat it quickly. Some of these infections can be transmitted from cats to humans and can also be deadly for you. Research shows that such cat-transmitted diseases are causing Australia a whopping $6 billion annually.
Treating Feline Bacterial Skin Infection at Home
If the skin infection has spread, it is best to consult a veterinarian. However, if it is a minor infection, you can follow the below-mentioned tips to treat it at home.
Keep Your Cat Calm
Cats are accustomed to hiding in small spaces and being left alone. To help your cat feel safe during this time, make sure he has a quiet place to rest. It’s important not to disturb him. You should give him space and let him eat and drink if he needs to. If possible, try not to let anyone enter the room where your cat is resting unless necessary.
You may also want to keep the room dark, so it’s less stressful for him. If the dark rooms don’t help, you can also pet your feline friend. According to Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, petting cats and dogs for only 10 minutes can reduce stress levels, as found in one of the college’s research. The research found reduced levels of cortisol, or stress-causing hormones, in cats’ saliva.
If your pet is scratching at the wound, gently restrain him with a blanket or towel while you treat it with medicine. Otherwise, he could end up causing further damage by scratching too hard at an open sore on his body or face!
Wash the Area
The first step in treating your cat’s skin infection is thoroughly washing the infected area. You can use warm water and mild soap to cleanse the site, but you will want to be careful not to scrub the wound or irritate it in any way. Your cat may not appreciate having his fur washed, so be sure you are gentle and patient.
Use a soft washcloth or sponge for this task. Avoid harsh rubbing motions or rough clothes on your pet’s sensitive skin. This could damage his coat and further irritate him during an unpleasant process. Ensure all soap residues are rinsed off before drying with a towel. Do not rub anything into the fur after rinsing unless instructed otherwise by your veterinarian!
Use Antibiotic Ointment
To treat a skin infection in your cat, you must apply an antibiotic ointment to the affected area.
- Wash your hands with soap and water. Make sure to get under your fingernails or wear surgical gloves if you feel uncomfortable touching such wounds on the cat’s body.
- Apply the ointment all over the lesion, including any open sores or abrasions that may be present.
Triple Antibiotic Ointment is one of the best over-the-counter ointments to treat minor skin infections. You should apply this medication every day until the infection completely goes. The Triple Antibiotic Ointment for cats contains polymyxin, neomycin, and bacitracin. All these ingredients can help limit bacterial growth and prevent infection from spreading.
Use Medicated Shampoos
Medicated shampoos can help with a lot of cat skin problems. They can help clean the skin, they can help heal the skin, and they can also reduce itching, pain, and inflammation. Medicated shampoos are good for getting rid of bacteria that cause bacterial infections on your cat’s body and other types of infections like ringworm or yeast infections.
The best thing about using medicated shampoos is that you don’t have to consider your cat’s health when choosing one; all you have to do is pick one from the store shelf and use it like any other liquid soap!
Clean Any Tools You Use to Treat Your Cat
Disinfecting the cleaning tools is vital to prevent transmission and spread of infection. For instance, a study published on the NCBI website finds that domestic cats can spread SARS-CoV-2 infection. Thus, suppose you don’t clean and disinfect the tools used to treat your cat, it can lead to you getting the Covid-19 virus.
- Clean your hands with antiseptic wipes or soapy water before and after you treat your cat.
- Wash any tools you use to treat your cat, including the spoon and cotton balls, in hot soapy water immediately after each use.
- If you don’t have the time to thoroughly clean a tool right away, ensure it’s stored somewhere clean and dry until you can clean it properly later.
If your cat shows signs of a bacterial skin infection, it’s essential to treat him or her immediately. The sooner you treat the wound, the easier it will be to prevent any lasting damage. Make sure you follow all these steps and check in with your veterinarian if things don’t seem better within a few days.