Wounds from claw or bite punctures can be difficult to detect until an abscess forms. An abscess is a localized collection of pus from a wound that has become infected. They usually cause swelling under the skin at the wound site and sometimes pain, but often go unnoticed until they begin to drain sticky white, yellow to yellow-green, or blood-tinged pus.
If your cat does not have a fever and is acting normally you can “hot pack” the area with a clean towel soaked in a solution made from a pint of hot water with two teaspoons of salt added. The water should be as warm as possible without being uncomfortable. Hold the compress on for ten to fifteen minutes as often as possible, the ideal being every two hours. Reheat the solution each time. The pus should start draining in a day or two. Clean the area with the salt solution and put topical antibiotics on it.
In the cases where the abscess does not start draining after a couple of days then a veterinarian should be consulted who can open the abscess surgically under anesthesia and remove all visible dead and infected tissue.
If your cat has a fever or any other signs of illness accompanying an abscess, do not attempt home treatment without the help of a veterinarian. Fever and/or other general signs of illness indicate that the problem is a more serious infection that the body’s defenses have not been able to localize.