Vet advice needed -- cut on cat's paw

My free-range cat came home yesterday with cut on his right front paw. He’s limping a little, but can walk on it. Just got a good look at it – the cut is about a half inch long and not all that deep – showing pink, but not gaping. It appears quite clean, though the paw is a bit swollen. He is extremely uninterested in having me touch that paw.

Would the vet do anything but tell me to keep an eye on it?

They’d probably disinfect it and wrap it up. Is/was it bleeding?

Think about if you had a similar cut on your foot and always walked around barefoot. What would you do?

There is no sign of blood now. Him being a cat, he’s keeping in pretty clean himself, which he can because he can get to it. Wouldn’t a bandage just get dirty?

The cut itself is around to the side of the paw, so he’s not walking on it directly.

If I need to take him to the vet, I’ll be happy to, but I can’t say that I’m eager to take this uncooperative animal in and spend $100 to be told “Yup, he has a cut on his paw, keep an eye on it.”

Personally I would just let him be. Maybe keep him inside for a day or so and it will most likely be just fine, but needless to say if it doesn’t improve or starts looking infected you’ll have to take him in ASAP.

That’s what I’m thinking – but I’m hoping one of our vets or vet techs will see this thread and weigh in.

If he were mine, I’d just keep him inside and keep my eye on the swelling - if it gets worse, hot, red, oozing, or he starts losing interest in food, grooming or water I’d take him in for sure.

Do NOT put hydrogen peroxide on it - it causes tissue damage and may retard healing. Antibiotic ointment perhaps, although he’ll likely just lick that off. Dish soap is an excellent antibiotic cleanser, per my vet.

IME, your vet would most likely give you antibiotics, probably amoxycillin. Or the long-lasting Convenia shot, for cats difficult or impossible to medicate, and send you on your way. This is what we do for feral/stray cats if they need medical attention (and can be picked up or trapped.) So the risk you run by not taking him in would be it becoming a raging infection over the weekend when the only vets open are emergency vets.

/not a veterinary professional but a savvy long-time pet owner.

Vet here. First off, I have not examined your cat, so anything I say cannot be construed as actual medical advice for YOUR cat.

The thing is, cats like to form abscesses, and they also really like to lick the heck out wounds with their dirty, dirty mouths. If you presented your cat to me with the history you have given, if the wound is open and draining, I would leave it open and draining. Cats HATE bandages, and we really don’t like to bandage a draining wound anyway. If it was not open and draining, and the cat will tolerate a warm compress, I would suggest compresses to help it drain. Again, the goal is to avoid an abscess.

I think antibiotics are warranted in any case, and for cat wounds, I like clindamycin. But if this is a cat you cannot give oral medications to, I would consider a Convenia injection. I still think I prefer the anaerobic coverage of Clindamycin, but not being able to dose the cat would be more important, and Convenia offers pretty good coverage.

Thanks, FrillyNettles.

I’ve never had to give Zeb oral meds, but am willing to guess he would not be cooperative – he freaks right the fuck out when I put flea drops on him once a month, and that’s just a matter of holding him down in a crouch for 5 or 10 seconds.

I’ll think very seriously about taking him in for a shot of antibiotics.

Again, thanks for the info, which is, of course, general info and not about my specific cat and his specific paw.

If you end up needing to give medicine in the form of tablets to your cat, consider using Greenie’s Pill Pockets; my hard-to-medicate cat loved them and never noticed that we’d stuffed a tablet inside! We got them from the vet, though I’m pretty sure I’ve seen them in some pet stores.

my stretch the superdduper cuts his paws a bit, he is a tad clumsy. his tend to heal… but you do have to watch for infection. he has dark paws so looking for his paws getting red is a bit tough. he loves to lay in the sink so i can get a good look and sniff at his paws then.

cats walk in litter boxes so it is easy to get infected.

luckily stretch loves to splash in water so i can get him to wash his paws.

watch for it smelling “off”, feeling hot, or getting really red.

I can’t speak for his cut paw :frowning: but for our kitties - and that includes a pair of hard-to-even-touch ferals - Advantage time for fleas corresponds with that time in the middle of the afternoon when kitties are sleepy and almost comatose. If Zeb lets you pet him and likes it, I’d recommend combining flea-drop time with scritchy-petting time. :slight_smile: