Moggy matings and maulings

As the temperatures start to rise (at last!), we are fast approaching the mating period of our feline friends. Cats are sexually active over the long days of summer, and competition for access to any queens in heat will see toms on the prowl.

Over the past few months we have seen an increase in the number of cats presented with injuries related to fighting. While entire toms are usually the most aggressive at this time of year, they are not the only animals to suffer the effects of this season. Many entire females are wounded during the mating process, and desexed animals may also come off second best when trying to protect their territory from a randy intruder.

The usual outcome from a cat scratch or bite wound is a fever, pain, loss of appetite and lethargy, often followed by the development of an abscess. Antibiotics are able to prevent the formation of pus, but cannot remove pus that has already accumulated. Once an abscess has formed, it will require lancing and draining in order to allow the wound to heal properly. This is usually done under heavy sedation or a general anaesthetic.

The fewer entire animals in a neighbourhood, the lower the risk of fighting. Treating abscesses can be expensive and animals will require ongoing treatment with antibiotics until the wound resolves, so desexing your cat carries many benefits over and above preventing unwanted litters.

Cat bite wounds are very painful and cats are often presented with suspicion of having been hit by a car, as they may be non-weight bearing on a limb. If you know or suspect that your cat has been in a fight, please phone the Feilding branch of Totally Vets for an appointment as soon as possible, as early treatment with pain relief and antibiotics may alleviate this discomfort for them.