Skip to main content
Cat with wound on its face

Bit wound abscess on cat

Q: Oreo, our 3-year-old neutered male indoor-outdoor cat, suddenly acquired a large, soft swelling over one hip. When I look closely, I can see two small scabs at the center. What is this, and what should I do about it?

A: It appears Oreo may have been bitten during a fight and developed an abscess.

An abscess is a pocket of pus that forms when oral bacteria are “injected” under the skin during a bite and cause an infection. The two small scabs are probably where Oreo was bitten, perhaps by another cat’s long fangs, called canine teeth. If the abscess ruptures, you’ll see thick, yellow-brown pus and some blood.

Take Oreo to your veterinarian, who can lance and flush the abscess, give him an antibiotic injection and boost his rabies vaccination. Depending on the size of the abscess, your vet may need to do surgery to insert a drain.

Many cats with bite wound abscesses have a fever, lack energy and won’t eat. It’s important that Oreo eat, so you may need to heat some yummy canned food to enhance its palatability.

Your veterinarian might advise you to apply warm compresses to improve blood flow and help heal the wound. In addition, many vets recommend testing for the feline leukemia and immunodeficiency viruses two months after a bite wound.

One bit of good news is that since the wound is on his hind end, Oreo probably didn’t instigate the fight but was trying to escape from his attacker. You can protect him from further attacks by keeping him inside.


Lee Pickett, V.M.D. practices companion animal medicine. Contact her at askdrlee@insurefigo.com

dog out for walk in nature

After a long winter indoors, most of us...

dog outside chasing ball

Depending on where you live, it may not...

cute dog and cat

Folliculitis is a common infection that...

Advertisement for pet insurance.

More From Figo Blog
Dog and pet parent listening to music in front of speaker

Whether you’re rocking out to your favorite...

Woman with two dogs checking her phone

Technology has changed almost every aspect...

Woman drinking coffee and holding small cat near

On any given day, between 50 and 70 million...

Labrador Retriever retrieving a blue frisbee from the yard

One of the best things about owning a dog is...

Cat scratching on a cat post

You may have heard the phrase, “Cats can’t...

Kristin Levine with dog

We recently had the opportunity to interview...

Puppy crate training in progress

There are many tools I utilize when training...

small dog playing with toy

Your dog won’t come up to you and say, “I’m...