Can I use Neosporin on cats? It’s a question I hear come up in conversation from time to time. If you have noticed some scabs or scratches on your cat, you might be thinking the same. But is it safe?
The hard and fast answer is simply no! But why? There are a few reasons why you shouldn’t be using Neosporin on any pet, which I’ll get into shortly.
In this article, I cover the reasons why Neosporin shouldn’t be used to treat any pet wounds. I’ll give you some alternatives to consider and a quick guide on how to correctly treat small cat wounds.
Neosporin is an over the counter ointment, meaning you can buy Neosporin without needing a doctor’s prescription. Neosporin is used to treat and prevent minor skin infections, these can be caused by small cuts, broken scabs, scrapes or even burns.
The product contains bacitracin, neomycin and polymyxin antibiotics. While I won’t go into detail about each specific antibiotic, they each work to stop the spread of any bacteria on the skin. Keep in mind that Neosporin only works for bacterial skin infections. It will not work against other infections such as fungi or a virus.
Pro Tip: Infections can set in very quickly! Have a vet check the wound just to make sure. Better to be safe then sorry right!
This can be up for debate depending on who you are talking to. I will say almost every single vet I have spoken with, have suggested to never use Neosporin on any animal. With that said, some cat owners report the use of Neosporin on their cats with no side effects.
See, the thing is cats are very unique. They have a unique way of metabolizing food and medication. Medications that are suitable for dogs, won’t always be suitable for cats, the same goes with human medication.
If they do have a wound or cut, they will likely lick this area to keep it clean. If you were to apply Neosporin to the wound and your cat ingests it, the Polymyxin B could actually trigger your cat to go in anaphylactic shock. With the potential to cause harm to your cat with Neosporin, I find it’s just not worth the risk.
With cats it can often be hard to tell if they are in pain or not, a wild cat would always try to hide any signs of weakness and our domestic kitties do the same. It can also be difficult to gauge the seriousness of any rash or cut in long haired cats. I would avoid self diagnosing any injury or irritation your cat might have.
If you notice a scratch, scab or sore is causing them issues, you should go pay a visit to the vet. A vet will then recommend any medication required. Yes, it should be that simple.
Cats suffer the same cuts and bruises from everyday life that humans do, and just like us, those same cuts and bruises heal without the need for treatment. In the odd circumstance, some wounds might need to be treated accordingly.
When it comes to treating your cat’s wounds at home, before taking them to a vet it really depends on what the cat will allow you to do. Often cats won’t want any human help with their wounds and will only allow for a simple towel to be wrapped around them.
If medical attention isn’t immediately available, you’ll want to keep the area as clean as possible. Below are some tips on how to effectively clean a cats wounds.
- If your cat is bleeding, apply pressure to the wound with a clean cloth or gauze. If the bleeding stops, tape the gauze or cloth in place. Removing it could cause the bleeding to start, so leave it in place until you arrive at the vet.
- Where there is no bleeding but you notice a scrape, you can apply an antiseptic solution or clean water. Use a clean cloth ( not cotton ) or gauze to clean around the area. Below is a spray solution you can use in this circumstance.
- If it is a puncture wound, you can clean around the wound as above, but do not flush the wound. Leave that for the vet.
The above is only precautionary and might only be possible if your cat lets you do so. They are small steps that could help keep infection away while you get your cat to the nearest vet.
Cats are generally pretty good at getting around unscathed, that’s not to say that accidents don’t happen. By removing any obvious hazards throughout your home and yard, you can often reduce the chance of kitty getting any cuts or bruises. Remember to check the garden beds for any broken glass, rusted wire or anything sharp that is lingering.
While it might seem silly at first, having a first aid kit for your cat is actually a pretty good idea. I will say if you have an indoor only cat then this is probably not necessary, however at the very least some small bandages, and some antiseptic spray can go a long way.
Find a suitable small container and pack it with some small bandages and tape. You might be able to find some slip on bandages at your local vet just in case. And of course don’t forget the Vetericyn Cat Wound Spray, this will help clean those cuts and scrapes before applying the bandage.