First Aid for External Bleeding in Cats

Learn what to do if your cat is bleeding.

Bleeding in cats requires first aid. Depending on the cause of the bleeding and where it is, different approaches will be necessary.

Steps to Take If Your Cat Is Bleeding

If you see blood coming from your cat, the first thing to do is restrain him so you can discover where the blood is coming from and its severity.

Use care approaching a cat that is bleeding, even if he is well-known to you. An injured cat may bite or scratch, even if he ordinarily wouldn't.

Do not use a tourniquet unless you absolutely must, in cases where it appears to be an immediate life or death situation and never around the neck, only on limbs. Interrupting the blood flow to this degree can cause severe damage to the limb and may cause the need for amputation. If you must use a tourniquet technique, use a strip of wide gauze, and don't make a knot. Tighten the gauze just enough to stop the blood flow and tie a bow. Loosen the tourniquet for a few seconds every few minutes to try and avoid permanent tissue damage from lack of blood flow.

If your cat is bleeding internally rather than externally, you will need to know the signs to look for. Learn more here: "First Aid for Internal Bleeding in Cats."

You can learn about first aid for other issues here: "First Aid for Cats: An Overview."

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