Cats have never been the most sociable animals, and territorial squabbles between neighborhood pets are a relatively common occurrence. Most of these fights are small and never witnessed by humans, but every once in a while your cat may get involved in an all-out brawl. If you see your cat fighting another or your pet comes home scratched and roughed up, you should walk through these four steps to make sure your pet has emerged from the scuffle unscathed.
Bringing Your Cat to a Safe, Secluded Place
After a major fight, your cat will likely be wide-eyed with adrenaline and anxiety, ready to fight or flee on a second's notice. In order to keep your cat from taking off at the slightest provocation, you will want to either lure or carry your pet into a small, quiet and familiar room to decompress. This puts your cat back into a safe space to begin recovering while you begin assessing the damage.
Examining Your Cat for Physical Injuries
First, go over your cat carefully to check that there are no bleeding wounds, large scratches, missing fur or other injuries that will require immediate veterinary attention. Even if a wound seems minor, it is important that it be treated due to the potentially dangerous levels of bacteria delivered with each cat bite. This heightened risk of infection means that any wounds your cat sustains should be treated quickly and professionally to avoid more expensive veterinary bills later on.
Checking Your Cat's Vaccination Records
Even if you can't find any visible bite marks on your cat, you should take this time to confirm that your pet is up to date on all of the necessary vaccines, particularly rabies and feline leukemia. While rabies shots are mandated by law in many states and counties, feline leukemia virus vaccines are typically optional but no less important for your cat, and the disease can be spread through saliva. A quick call to your veterinarian's office should be all it takes to confirm that your pet is up to date, as well as to receive a professional opinion on whether or not you should take your cat in for an examination.
Testing and Monitoring Your Cat as Necessary
If your cat is not adequately vaccinated or the wounds pose a significant risk for infection, your veterinarian may have you come in for a follow-up appointment to ensure that everything is healing normally and run any necessary blood tests. This will confirm that your cat has not contracted feline leukemia or any other communicable cat diseases as a result of the fight. With due diligence and some tender loving care, your cat should soon recover from the incident and be back to his or her happy self in no time.
For a veterinarian, contact a clinic such as All-Pets Hospital.