Infection Warning Signs After Your Cat Has Had Surgery


Most cats will breeze through the average surgical treatment and will come out the other end just fine, especially if they're given their antibiotics properly. However, in some rare cases, an infection can still develop at an incision site. If you're looking after your cat after surgery, you should know how to recognize the signs of infection. Time is of the essence in treating an infection, so take a look at these signs.

Redness and Swelling

Some redness will naturally be visible around the incision because the skin is irritated. However, extreme redness or redness over a large swath of skin is a bad thing. This indicates that it's no longer irritation but likely an infection that's spreading. You can try holding your hand over the area (don't touch!) to see if it feels warm or hot. If it does, that's an especially bad sign.

Furthermore, infected incisions often become swollen. This is usually because the body is trying to fight the infection and naturally produces more inflammation in the process.

Gapping of Incision

When an incision isn't healing properly due to an infection, it may not stay neatly closed. Take a close look at your cat's incision. Take a look at the sutures and see if it looks like the skin is pulling apart between them, like a too-small shirt that's forcibly buttoned shut and has gaps between each button. If you see this, contact your vet immediately. This likely indicates that the wound is not healing as expected and there may be an infection to blame.


Last but not least, if you've ever had a bad cut yourself that's had pus come out of it, then you probably know what to expect from this one. Incisions, usually on the first day after they were performed, typically weep a little bit. You may see clear fluid or a little bit of blood seep out. That's pretty normal; just clean the area and keep it as dry as you can.

However, if you notice that there's white or yellow discharge coming out of the wound or that the seepage continues after the first day, contact your vet. This may indicate an infection that needs further treatment.

Most cats won't develop infections so long as they're prescribed antibiotics. However, in rare instances when contamination occurs or damaged or decayed tissue is left behind, infections can still develop despite antibiotics. If you ever notice any of these signs, or your cat simply seems lethargic with no improvement after their procedure, get help from a vet at a local pet hospital.


16 June 2020

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