©2006 Publications International, Ltd. Step 2

Cats are naturally curious and always getting into things they shouldn't, so an important part of cat care is knowing how to treat a cat that is burned. There are different kinds of burns that can happen around any household, so knowing how to care for each type of burn is important. Cats have a high threshold of pain, so you must look for signs that a burn has occurred.

A cat may experience first, second, or third degree burns or a chemical burn. Products such as drain cleaners or paint thinner can cause serious skin damage or, if swallowed, poisoning. To prevent accidents of this nature, these products should be kept out of the cat's reach.

A burned cat is likely to be frightened, especially if he or she thinks it's being cornered by you. Use extreme caution when approaching a cat that you suspect has a burn. To provide proper cat care, use the following tips.

First or Second Degree Burns

The warning signs for a first-degree burns include fur intact or singed, painful lesions, or red skin with possible blisters. Warning signs for second-degree burns include singed fur and painful lesions that turn tan with swelling and blistering.

Step 1: Approach the cat carefully. If your cat is nervous or anxious, restrain the cat if necessary.

Step 2: Apply cold water or ice packs to the burned area; leave in contact with the skin for 15 minutes. Do not apply ointment or butter.

Step 3: If burns cover a large part of the body or are located where the cat can lick them, cover with a sterile dressing. Do not use cotton.

Step 4: Wrap torn rags or other soft material around the dressing and tie or tape just tightly enough to keep it in place.

Step 5: Transport the cat to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

Third Degree Burns

The signs for third degree burns include destruction of an entire skin area, black or pure white lesions, or fur that pulls out easily. Also, watch for signs of shock, which include pale or white cat gums as well as rapid heartbeat and breathing.

Step 1: Approach the cat carefully. If your cat is nervous or anxious, restrain the cat if necessary. Do not apply ointment or butter.

Step 2: Apply a sterile dressing over the burned area. Do not use cotton.

Step 3: Wrap torn rags or other soft material around the dressing and tie or tape just tightly enough to keep it in place.

Step 4: Transport the cat to the veterinarian immediately.

Chemical Burns

The signs for chemical burns include chemical odor such as turpentine, gasoline, or insecticide; reddened skin; and pain. Any external chemical exposure can become an internal poisoning due to the cat licking and cleaning the area.

©2006 Publications International, Ltd. Step 2

Step 1: Approach the cat carefully. If your cat is nervous or anxious, restrain the cat if necessary.

Step 2: Wash the area thoroughly with mild soap or shampoo and water. Lather well and rinse thoroughly. Repeat as many times as necessary to remove the chemical. Do not use solvents of any kind.

Step 3: Apply a soothing antibiotic ointment to the affected area.

Step 4: Call the veterinarian to receive further instructions.

©Publications International, Ltd.