Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy

or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.

PetMD Seal

Abscesses in Cats

Cats, like people, are prone to skin irritations. While they can often be treated with ointments and creams, an abscess can form if an irritation worsens or if bacteria invades the skin. An abscess can also occur when a cat becomes infected from a variety of injuries, and can be found on virtually any part of an animal’s body. It is important to note that while surface wounds are fairly common in pets, they can become problematic if they are infected and are left untreated.


Symptoms and Types


Cats are most likely to experience abscesses, as they tend to fight with other cats when they roam outdoors, and a fight wound can be susceptible to bacterial infection if not treated. However, animals can also develop infections from relatively minor abrasions.

Pasteurella multocida is the most common bacteria to cause skin infections. Another cause of skin irritation in pets is the Staphylococcus intermedius, which can usually be treated with topical ointments. However, if either of these bacteria make their way deep into the skin, infection becomes a serious problem. A painful abscess will form in response to the bacterial invasion if the wound is left untreated.




Your veterinarian will take a swab test of the infected area to determine the strain of bacteria present. In addition, a standard blood test will usually be performed to see if the infection has migrated to the bloodstream. Once a proper diagnosis is made, the veterinarian will prescribe an appropriate treatment plan.




Related Articles

Itchiness, Desire to Scratch, Chew or Lick Causing Inflamed Skin in Cats

Pruritus is the medical term used to define a cat's sensation to itch, or the sensation that provokes its desire to scratch, rub, chew, or lick...

Hair Loss in Cats

Hair loss (alopecia) is a common problem for cats. The hair loss can be partial or complete, and the patterns varied or symmetrical. Learn more...

Fungal Disease (Sporotrichosis) of the Skin in Cats

Sporothrix schenckii is a fungus that has the potential to infect the skin, respiratory system, bones and sometimes the brain, causing a diseased...

Skin Rash Due to Contact with Irritants in Cats

Contact dermatitis may be caused by an allergy, or it may simply mean that your cat has touched something that has irritated its skin, such as...