Cat abscesses can be dangerous for the animal and require veterinary care, according to Petful. While waiting for the veterinary appointment, the owner can gently clip away the surrounding hair and apply a warm, wet compress to the area if the cat tolerates it.
Some cats do not tolerate clipping or compresses, and owners of those cats should not force treatment on the animal, as Petful suggests. This can prevent bites or scratches from the owner wrestling with the cat. The owner may also want to wash the area with hydrogen peroxide or a safe wound-cleaning substance, such as Betadine.
Abscesses are usually caused by fights between two cats, as noted by Petful. A bite or scratch introduces bacteria under the cat's skin, where an infection develops. The original wound may be very small, so owners should carefully examine the cat after any fights to try to prevent an abscess.
They should also keep an eye on the cat for a few days after the fight. The abscess may originally feel like a hot, swollen area, and the cat may seem listless or sick. Early treatment is generally associated with the best prognosis, according to Manhattan Cat Specialists. Most cats need oral antibiotics to fight off the infection, so owners should make sure they administer the pills as directed.