If your cat has a little scrape or cut, head to the medicine chest and get out the Neosporin. This triple antibiotic ointment is effective, basic first aid for minor wounds on people and pets. If your cat is bleeding profusely, or if the injury is a puncture or bite wound, skip the medicine chest and take her to the vet.
Neosporin: The Triple Antibiotic
Neosporin earns its "triple antibiotic" moniker from its three active ingredients: bacitracin, neomycin and polymyxin. These three first aid antibiotics are effective treatment for mild skin infections and minor wounds such as cuts, scrapes and burns. Applied to the affected area, Neosporin provides wound protection and inhibits the growth of bacteria.
Tidy it Up
If your cat played a little too vigorously with her favorite pal and got a little cut or scrape in the process, Neosporin may speed the healing process along. You should clean her wound before breaking out the ointment, taking care to remove any dirt or debris around the injury. Use water or an antiseptic solution to clean the wound, but avoid alcohol and hydrogen peroxide, which can damage her skin. Steer clear of cotton balls when you clean her wound, and stick to gauze or cloth. If she won't sit still for you to dab at her wound, you can try flushing it with a syringe of water or antiseptic solution.
Dress it Up
After you've cleaned her injury, pat it dry and apply enough Neosporin to cover the wound. If the wound is somewhere she can lick, use an Elizabethan collar to keep her from worrying over her injury. If you don't have a collar on hand, you can use some sterile gauze and bandages to keep her from licking her wound. Apply the Neosporin up to three times a day.
From Home Care to Vet Care
Though Neosporin is great for healing superficial wounds, it's not a cure-all. If your cat has puncture or bite wounds or long or deep cuts, she should see a vet for proper treatment. Puncture wounds often have significant damage beneath the skin, requiring professional attention to keep them from becoming infected and abscessed. If your cat appears to be in pain or her wound is oozing, bleeding or inflamed, she should see a vet.
Home First Aid Kit
If you don't have a first aid kit for your pets, consider putting one together just for the furry members of your family. In addition to Neosporin, a pet first aid kit should contain styptic sicks or powder, tweezers, bandages and gauze, antiseptic solution and a rectal thermometer. A pet-friendly antiseptic solution can be mixed up by diluting store-bought concentrated antiseptics. Povidone iodine or chlorhexidine diacetate can be diluted with water to resemble weak tea or pale blue, respectively.