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Keeping a Cat from Scratching its Wound

Category Health
A cat wearing a plastic dish.
Depending on where the wound is located, it can be a challenge to make it impossible for them to scratch at it and help them heal. This guide is about keeping a cat scratching its wound.
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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 1 found this helpful
January 11, 2011

On New Years Day I found a sore on my cat. I pet her a thousand times a day so I know it wasn't there the night before. I couldn't get a vet appointment until the 8th. In the meantime I kept it clean and used Neosporin. I went to the vet on the 8th, he said it was an allergic reaction and prescribed 3 medications.

Now just 3 days later the sore is just about healed but she won't stop scratching right below the sore. It's not any particular shape, just two straight lines where the folds of her skin are when her head is upright. She is making it bleed. I have the cone on her now but I don't think its safe to leave it on while I'm asleep or at work.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. I'm very concerned. Should I take her back to the vet? I don't want to seem like a hypochondriac cat mommy but I hate seeing her uncomfortable.

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By Lisa from Philadelphia, PA

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January 13, 20111 found this helpful

I have 4 cats with this problem, altho they have not had any infections from their sores. My vet prescribes prednisone or prednisolone tablets for it. I've tried sprays and medicated powders from the drugstores: you might have good luck with that. The kitten really should see a vet as infection is present She will need an antibiotic and possibly stitches. I have a cat who had a puncture wound that started out as a tooth-hole sized bite from another cat. It then opened up to the size of a quarter over the next few days despite my efforts with hydrogen peroxide soaked cotton balls.

That's when I took her to the veterinarian. Money well spent? The bleeding was dripping now and then and wouldn't cease. Stitches were clearly needed. Hydrogen Peroxide is the way to go to keep bleeding wounds free of infection.

The cat photo I have is of my kitty girl, Mitsu, who had the wound that kept opening up larger everyday. For a low-cost veterinarian I was miffed with how many $$ he required to do the procedure: not very Thrifty!

Health is first and foremost and kitties must be doctored and at least Mitsu looks ashamed of herself for having got into one bad fight behind my back. Good Luck with your kitten.

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December 19, 20121 found this helpful

There is a spray at Tractor Supply and probably online that costs around 25 dollars. It is available at amazon.com

http://www.amaz  eywords=vetricyn

It is called Vetricin. It is a wonderful spray and can even be used in eyes, and it is for infections, ringworm, etc. I found out about it from one of my wildlife rehab friends on facebook. I would not be without it now.

There are several different kinds of vetricyn spray the one I am talking about is called Vetricyn Wound Spray and it looks like the picture in the link I sent.

Blessings,

Robyn

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January 11, 20110 found this helpful

There is a Neosporin called" Neosporin Plus". (The Plus comes in cream or ointment) This kind of Neosporin is different because it has an added medication that stops pain, itch & burning. Try this & see if it helps. Use only a little, so the cat doesn't lick a bunch off & get sick! Don't feel like a crazy-cat-moma, because if your cat keeps scratching it, it won't heal (& could get worse). Did the vet check for "fungus" (like ringworm, etc) because these fungus infections can really itch.

Also, I agree with it not being safe to keep the cone on while you are gone.

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January 11, 20110 found this helpful

Try a flea collar. Sounds crazy but I went through the same thing with two cats, tried all sorts of things but the sore wouldn't heal then once spring came and out came the flea collars and they both stopped scratching and picking at the un-healing sore.

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January 12, 20110 found this helpful

I think I was over doing it with the ointment the vet prescribed. I may of been putting to much on at once. I stopped putting it straight on from the tube and started using a cotton ball and just dabbing it on, now she appears to have stopped scratching and its healing.

The vet did check for fungus/ringworm and said that wasn't it. It was probably an allergy to food I used temporarily. I ran out of their normal food and just ran to the local convenience store for a box until I could get to the pet store the next day.. it wasn't the same brand, so in all likelihood that's what it was. I have long since thrown that box away, and she is eating her normal brand again, and no other sores/scratches have popped up.

I know I probably made her crazier than the sore did, and I'm convinced it worried and bothered me more than it did her, but she is my baby, and when you google "cat sores" online some scary stuff comes up. Thank you for the advice.

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November 3, 20160 found this helpful

I was Googling for suggestions on things to stop a cat from scratching his neck, something othet than the norm because of where it's located.

I happened to come across this post and I have to reply to some even though they are old (I just hit reply on a random comment)

Do not use peroxide on an animal.

Do not use ointments on wounds. Cats and dogs are different from us, in that their skin is like a casing... separate from the tissue if that makes sense. When you put ointment on it, the bacteria is sealed in..

They need to heal from the inside out, so 99% of the time you will be told to keep the scab off (soak and remove everytime you see it)

Definitely, do not use ointments with additional ingredients for pain or itching, these can be toxic to pets.

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November 3, 20160 found this helpful

I was Googling for suggestions on things to stop a cat from scratching his neck, something othet than the norm because of where it's located.

I happened to come across this post and I have to reply to some even though they are old (I just hit reply on a random comment)

Do not use peroxide on an animal.

Do not use ointments on wounds. Cats and dogs are different from us, in that their skin is like a casing... separate from the tissue if that makes sense. When you put ointment on it, the bacteria is sealed in..

They need to heal from the inside out, so 99% of the time you will be told to keep the scab off (soak and remove everytime you see it)

For the same reason, don't use liquid bandages.

Definitely, do not use ointments with additional ingredients for pain or itching, these can be toxic to pets.

Most flea collars are worthless and toxic , except the expensive ones like seresto. Hartz and Seargnts are also deadly

Look into advantage, revolution, frontline (although it has stopped working for many)

Warbles. The hole looks almost perfectly circle. Don't attempt to take out yourself as it can burst and release toxins into the pet. * I do a lot on my own and even I won't do it, lI let the vet handle this.

All this wasn't meant to sound like a know it all, just trying to remember it all and keep it as short as possible !

Signed, a crazy cat lady (aka rescuer)

Hope it helps someone

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March 19, 20170 found this helpful

Hydrogen peroxide could have been the problem. It's great for a fresh wound, but it dissolves blood clots, and the blood needs to clot for a wound to heal. You don't want to use hydrogen peroxide more than once on the same wound.

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By 0 found this helpful
January 16, 2017

My cat has a wound (from a previous infection) that he doesn't allow to heal. It's right under his ears so every time it's almost healed he scratches and gets the wound to bleed. I've tried 'Safe Skin' that helps to keep the wound dry, but it didn't help. My smart cat has found ways to get out of the cone. The paw covers do not work. His nails are clipped. My vet has only been asking me to keep the cone on, but it's impossible. I'm currently applying betadine cream on his wounds which he terribly hates.
What do I do?

I'd read on the earlier threads that as a scab begins to form it must be moistened and gotten off? To keep the area itch free? Coz like cats need to heal from inside. Is it true? Because I've noticed after a bath that every Sunday he doesn't begin scratching before like Thursday. So probably that's how long it takes for the scab to form. Should I wash off his ear area everyday to keep him from scratching? Should I let a scab form?

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January 16, 20172 found this helpful

I would suggest keeping the scab moist and pliable. Coconut oil applied a few times a day may work.

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January 16, 20170 found this helpful

Is there something you can put on the wound that is harmless but has an unpleasant taste or smell to the cat? That would keep him from interfering with the healing process.

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January 16, 20170 found this helpful

Get animal shampoo with oatmeal in it give the cat a bath with it and that should help

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January 17, 20170 found this helpful

I think I can use neem extracts. But he doesn't really lick it (coz he can't reach) so not sure if that'll help with his scratching problem. I'll try tho. Thank you

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January 17, 20170 found this helpful

Sounds like perhaps he has the wrong sized cone. If it is too big, they do get out.

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January 18, 20170 found this helpful

My first thought was, put some sort of bandage on. Then I went looking and found on this very site that someone dealt with this issue by putting an old sweater sleeve on the cat's healing area - this prevented the cat from scratching - http://www.thri  ing-a-Wound.html

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January 23, 20170 found this helpful

This wound is in the hardest to heal area mainly because cats have a tendency to scratch anything that even gets near their ears.

I always wrap my cat in a towel while doing any kind of medication. It is important to have everything you will need ready in one place so you do not have to stop and start again.

I am a great believer in using Epsom Salt for any wound on my pets. Maybe you could think about trying a better healing remedy like this first.

But I believe you should also try using Rescue Remedy.

This info is from a veterinarians web site:

Rescue Remedy: This homeopathic remedy will take the edge off your cat's anxiety and restore his sense of balance and well-being. It causes no side effects and will not make your cat act or feel drugged. Put a couple of drops of the remedy on a fingertip and rub it into the fur on the top of your cat's head between his ears. You can do this several times a day for up to 6 weeks. Most health food stores sell Rescue Remedy.

Here are instructions for using Epsom Salt on a wound:

Use half a cup of Epsom salt with 3 cups of hot water and place a wash cloth in the water. Let the cloth sit in the water until it cools to just warm, wring it out, then wrap or lay it around the sore area. It may be hard to contain your kitty, so wrapping them in a towel while doing this and comforting them may help. Hold it in place for 5 to 10 minutes, and then pat the area dry.

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April 30, 20170 found this helpful

I have same problem with my cat. She has had a cone on head and numerous visits to the vet. This has gone on for a year. She is torti, i adopted from rspca as a kitten. If you find solution that would help

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May 19, 20170 found this helpful

what can I put instead of the cone on his sore that he will stop scraching

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By 0 found this helpful
July 26, 2011

My cat had surgery on his neck and he scratched off his stitches. I took him back to the vet and they put in staples and gave me a collar to use. Three days later he scratched out his staples by getting under the collar, and no I couldn't make it tighter.

The position of the wound makes it impossible for the collar to work, because it to rubs the wound. So I called my vet again, and they had me take him to an emergency clinic. They wrapped it with soft cloth and pulled out the two staples he had left in. I got him home, and he's already scratching off this wrap and getting to the wound! Any ideas on something that would help or work?

By Julie

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July 27, 20110 found this helpful

Hello,

There are new E-Collars that work better than the plastic ones. Ask your Vet if he/she can order you one. It completely covers the neck area so scratching will not affect the woud area. You can also look it up in most animal supply magazines or order it online... Good luck

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July 28, 20110 found this helpful

Since your cat is probably scratching his neck with a back legs, trim the nails on the one foot and tape a finger of an old glove over the back paw so the result is that the nails cannot dig into his neck.

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July 29, 20110 found this helpful

Wrap his paws up in little mittens, that way his nails will be covered, problem solved!

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December 19, 20110 found this helpful

Buy some gauze cut them into little squares, place tape over with tape sticking out at both ends and then lay tape the other directions that it sticks out at all four side. Put your cats paw on the gauze and fold the (white tape) over from the sides first then the front....it works. And it's cheap :)

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October 22, 20140 found this helpful

Tried all suggestions for my cat who has a big (2" long) wound on her neck, and she promptly takes everything off. We are trying putting tape on her paw and will see after an hour how it goes.

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Anonymous
August 19, 20160 found this helpful

Hi, did you manage yo find a solution? I am in a similar situation with my cat. She came in with an open puncture wound on her throat/neck which looked clean, so I bathed it in saltwater. 2 days later it was looking really bad as she kept scratching it with her back foot! I swiftly took her to the vet & she came back with a large shaved area & an undressed 5cm wound with several dissolvable stitches! I told my vet she will scratch them out so she tried to dress them (badly) and ended up winding adhesive tape around her neck, which was was extremely stressful for her and we all got bit & scratched.. now at home she has scratched the tape up so her wound is exposed. I tried to remove the useless yape as it wasnt actually protecting the wound but annoying her and encouraging her yo scratch more. I can't as it is stuck to her fur though! I am extremely worried & dont know what to do 

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By 0 found this helpful
November 18, 2010

My cat Poppy has a large wound on her neck close to the top of her head. A collar would not help because of the position of the wound. She scratches the scab off almost as soon as it has healed and it keeps bleeding. She scratches so much that the fur has come out around the wound.

She is an indoor cat and we have another who is also indoor. I think Poppy may have been hurt by the other cat, but I'm not sure. I would like to know how we can stop her scratching so the wound can heal?

By Tara from Aberdeenshire

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November 18, 20100 found this helpful

One of my dogs had a wound and because of its location, a collar wouldn't work, so I put socks on the feet of my dog and used hair scrunchies to keep them in place whenever the dog went outdoors for potty breaks or walk around. I don't know if small sized socks for children would work for your cat, but I don't know what you could use to keep them in place. I think your cat would still need to be watched, but it will keep the cat busy trying to remove the socks instead of scratching the wound. The wound is probably itching when its scabbed over. Have you thought of using Benadryl anti-itch cream around the area. Maybe that might help some.

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November 18, 20100 found this helpful

I am concerned that your cat may have an infection. It would be a good idea to rule that out with a trip to the vet. An infected wound will cause the hair to fall out around it, especially if it is a scratch form another cat. It is unusual for a cat to keep scratching a simple healing wound. Wounds from another cat are almost guaranteed to get infected. If it is an infection you dont want it to spread. Your Vet can bandage it so she cant keep scratching it. Good Luck!

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November 19, 20100 found this helpful

Hello,

It sounds like you cat has a bite wound. Please take her to the Veterinarian so your Dr. can prescribe antibiotics and give you an E-Collar. Bite wounds are very serious. This is an abscess that needs to be treated ASAP! God luck.

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December 23, 20110 found this helpful

We fashioned a kitty turtleneck out of an old tube sock with very loose elastic in the cuff. Cut off the sock toe just below the heel or farther down depending on the cat's size. Cut armholes in on either side of the heel. Pull sock down over the cat's head, get paws and legs through the armholes. Makes it harder to take off. Hope it works!

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July 2, 20160 found this helpful

This young kitten was bitten by another cat. She ended up with 4 staples an e-coller. She only weighs 2 lbs so the collar is huge on her. I ended up wrapping it with gauze but she is still accessing part of it where she pulled out a staple. Is there something I can put on it to keep her from liking and pulling at it

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February 12, 20150 found this helpful

One of my senior cats had pulled a patch of his hair out, between his shoulder blades, and now it's taken forever to heal. I had put a mix of an ant-itch cream and antibiotic cream on it, but he is able to reach it by licking it off. Any help or suggestions?

By Abby

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February 12, 20150 found this helpful

First be sure the wound is actually healing-you may need a vet to check the area for possible infection. You can purchase a neck collar at a pet store that restricts your kitty's movement and will definitely not permit him to lick his wound.

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February 13, 20150 found this helpful

Since this wound is not acting like a normal wound I would have it looked at by a Vet asap. It could be a fungus or cancer.

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February 13, 20150 found this helpful

This may be an abscess - an infection under the skin that you can't see. If that's the case, treating it topically with creams and such won't help. You may need antibiotics from your vet.

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October 14, 20160 found this helpful

My cat has literally scratched the whole side of her face off how can I stop it

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By 0 found this helpful
May 20, 2017

My cat has got a sore on his neck. He keeps scratching and then he bleeds. What can I put on it so that he won't scratch? No cone, he doesn't like it at all.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
Anonymous
May 21, 20170 found this helpful

Ace bandage. Depends were on the neck. You can cut a tub sock and use that too. This way it covers the sore protects it and if you need to put meds on it the cat can't lick it off. Also you can wash it and save money on buying other materials

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May 21, 20170 found this helpful

Put some ointment that is safe to lick but has an unpleasant taste. Ask the vet to recommend one.

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May 23, 20170 found this helpful

You can try to apply coconut oil a couple times a day to the affected area. This way, if your cat does lick it, it will do no harm by ingestion.

Coconut oil has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, moisturizing and healing properties and can, therefore effectively heal wounds.

Good luck 

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June 12, 20130 found this helpful

A few days ago I noticed a really bad scab on my cat's jaw. Now today I woke up and he'd been scratching it so much that it basically formed a tiny hole. My mom won't take him to the vet because we have no money or gas.

I've been doing all I can by cleaning it and trying to wrap it up, but it's difficult due to the placement of the wound. Tomorrow I might be having a friend's mom take me to her vet. But does anyone have any suggestions on how to keep him from scratching until then?

By Meagan H

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June 18, 20150 found this helpful

I took a knee elastic support and just cut out for the arms and so far she hasn't been scratching. I also put med. for hot spots on her before covering her scratches.

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March 6, 20160 found this helpful

I have cats who like to play a little rough at times and really really hate the vets! - my hands are covered in scratches which end up staying as scars....

I now use the Dr Max Powers Scar Serum twice a day for just short of a week, I have noticed the smaller scars on my hands have started to fade (they aren't noticeable to others, but as I know where they are I can still just see them). Its certainly a product that I am going to keep using.

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By 0 found this helpful
September 20, 2012

We adopted a cat about 6 weeks ago from an adoption center. He had a small scab on his neck, which he quickly scratched off. We took him to a vet (holistic), who gave us a spray and a cone to keep on until he healed completely. Well, the cone didn't keep him from reaching that spot, so I made a collar for him to wear. Finally, the scab was healed. So I took him to have his nails cut.

I took off the collar and within minutes, he was bleeding from the same spot again! What can I do to keep him from continuing this behaviour, so he doesn't have to wear a collar 24/7, forever? Thanks for any advice. Oh, the vet and shelter cleared him health wise. The vet suspected initially that he may have been allergic to the flea drops and he was microchipped as we left the shelter, but that should have been lower on his back, not on his neck, right?

By Jeff L.

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November 18, 20100 found this helpful

I have an outdoor cat who has a huge wound on his head. Everyday it gets bigger and bigger. Does anyone have any ideas on how to make him stop scratching it? He's and outdoor cat, though so cones don't really work.

Daniel from Ponoka, AB, Canada

Answers:

Keeping a Cat from Scratching Wound

You need to figure out why he is scratching. You didn't say where the wound was on the head . If it is near or around the ear then look inside his ear. If you see a bunch of dark brown discharge he probably has an ear infection or ear mites. If you take care of the infection then he should quit scratching his head.

If he doesn't have an infection in his ear then there are a few other reasons to scratch at the head. None of those are usually easily treated (mange mites, ringworm, allergies, fleas). A vet visit would probably be best. They can check for ear mites, fleas, culture for ringworm, skin scrape for mites or try a steroid injection for allergies to begin with. The sooner he gets looked at the better, if the wound gets too big he is going to need antibiotics for the skin infection. (01/15/2008)

By junebug_000

Keeping a Cat from Scratching Wound

You need to keep him inside, with the cone on, until it's healed, you have not much choice in the matter. It should only take a week or two to heal up good enough that he can go back without scratching.

How I know? My outdoor/indoor cat got in a fight twice and I had to cone him and keep him inside as he was also scratching at his. It worked perfectly. (01/15/2008)

By schubunny

Keeping a Cat from Scratching Wound

Please take your fur baby to the veterinarian ASAP, it could be an abscess. If he is outside, he could be fighting or being bitten by another cat. It is now breeding season so you must keep him inside. Good luck (01/16/2008)

By Sherri

Keeping a Cat from Scratching Wound

Please take your cat to the vet for treatment. Wounds should never go untreated. He can probably get an antibiotic injection and perhaps follow up meds to be given and you wouldn't have to deal with a cone. Even the cone would be a short duration of time. This is a serious matter needing vet attention! (01/16/2008)

By Carla

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