If your cat's skin has recently been lacerated due to an accident, then it is in your best interest to take your feline to an animal hospital. If the wound is sutured, then the area will need to heal over the course of a week or more. Unfortunately, cats lick wounds. This can result in pulled stitches and the formation of an infection. Collars can sometimes be used to prevent licking issues, but some cats do not like these protective items. If your cat has difficulties with a collar, then follow the tips below to keep him from licking.
Use Strong Tasting Items
Cats often lick themselves throughout the day to remove dirt and debris from the face, paws, and body. This habit is learned early in life when mothers lick their kittens to clean them and to encourage the passing of fecal matter. Saliva is used to safely clean the outer parts of the body, and this fluid can actually help to encourage wound healing in the wild. Saliva rinses dirt out of the wound and it contains antibacterial agents that can fight off infections. The fluid contains pain relieving agents as well, and it contains growth hormones that encourages new cell growth around wounds.
Unfortunately, cats will not only clean a wound, but they will obsessively lick it. The barbed tongue removes healthy cells from the wound site and harmful bacteria within the saliva can enter the wound and cause an infection. Stitches are often ripped out and this opens the wound to environmental bacteria as well. You can prevent these issues by applying a strong tasting item around the wound to keep the obsessive licking at bay.
Applying Lemon Juice and Vinegar
Cats are generally finicky eaters, because they require only protein rich foods to stay healthy. Also, cats get used to the types of flavorings in the foods they are provided. Felines have a relatively poor sense of taste too when compared to humans. They can only identify salty, bitter, and sour items, and strong tastes are often avoided. You can use this to your advantage by placing extremely sour tasting items around your cat's wound to reduce licking concerns.
Lemon juice and vinegar are two sour substances that your cat is likely to avoid. Place several drops of one of these fluids on your cat's fur. Make sure the substance is secured about one-half inch away from the stitches and create a circle around the wound site. Reapply the sour fluid two or three times a day.
Keep Your Cat Occupied
Cats will sometimes compulsively like wounds and develop other obsessive behaviors when they are bored. This may be the case after your feline has been treated for an injury. You can stop or reduce wound licking behaviors by making sure your cat is occupied. Your veterinarian will likely ask you to keep your cat relatively inactive for a week or two after the injury so the wound can heal properly. This means you need to find an activity that will keep your cat occupied without allowing him to exert too much energy.
Find Cat Videos
You can keep your cat occupied for a good portion of the day by tapping into your feline's natural instinct to hunt. Consider purchasing videos that are meant for cats and play them on your television throughout the day. Locate ones that feature birds, fish, and small rodents to pique your cat's interest. Place a bed, chair, or cushion in front of your television so your cat can watch comfortably.
If your cat seems uninterested in the videos, then place a bird bath, bird feeder, or squirrel feeder outside one of your windows. Add a window mounted cat bed to the space and secure a stool underneath the bed so your cat can easily access the area.
If your cat has been treated for a laceration, then you need to click here for info and make sure that he does not lick the area while healing occurs. Placing strong tasting substances around the area and keeping your cat occupied are two good ways to stop obsessive licking.Share