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(13,985 posts)
Sun Oct 17, 2021, 01:56 PM Oct 2021

I need some advice on my cat.

Last night we discovered that my 15 year old cat had an open wound on her shoulder. We thought it might be an animal bite (she an outside cat, a rescue) but it also looks like it may be a cyst that broke. It doesn't seem to be bleeding. The cat is cleaning it and doesn't seem to be in any pain.

She was in and out of bed with me last night and was purring. We can't find her today. We have been careful about doors so I don't think she got out. We have checked all over the house and can't find her. The plan was to take her to the vet first thing tomorrow morning.

It is not unusual for her to retreat to the basement when people are here besides me, and my son and 8 year old granddaughter were here yesterday and last night, so I'm not surprised that she hid, but she should be back in circulation by now since they have left.

Any thoughts?

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(36,463 posts)
1. in my experience
Sun Oct 17, 2021, 02:05 PM
Oct 2021

a cat who is ill in some way will hide. My brother's cat hid so well he could not find her for three days. He went nuts looking all over the place for her outdoors and she actually was inside. It was the same plan as yours--take her to the vet the next day. He eventually found her drinking water near the drain in the basement (yuck). Maybe you should leave some water around in a few places.

I had a cat that was ill, too, and found a place where I could not find her. Really scared me.


(7,820 posts)
2. Very instinctive behavior
Sun Oct 17, 2021, 02:20 PM
Oct 2021

Cats will hide when they’re not feeling well or hide the fact that they’re not feeling well. Leave some food/water/treats out and see if they come out.


(4,868 posts)
3. It sounds like an abscess that has burst
Sun Oct 17, 2021, 02:21 PM
Oct 2021

They hurt horribly when full, relief comes after they burst. They can be super stinky, too. They are pretty common in outdoor cats- basically an under-skin infection of a cut or bite, and it fills with pus.

The vet will probably give you antibiotics and tell you to watch closely for any signs of new swelling or infection.

Edit to add: The bad part is over now that it’s open and drained. When they don’t burst, either on their own or from grooming, they continue to get bigger and destroy the tissue around it.


(31,580 posts)
4. Open a can of tuna and walk around the house
Sun Oct 17, 2021, 02:47 PM
Oct 2021

with it to see if she'll come out of hiding. Then sequester her until you can take her to the vet tomorrow.


(13,985 posts)
5. The cat has just appeared...from the basement. God knows where she was
Sun Oct 17, 2021, 02:50 PM
Oct 2021

hiding. The wound appears to be better and she's not licking it anymore. She's crying to get out, the little shit!


(17,836 posts)
7. When we had cats with this problem
Sun Oct 17, 2021, 03:29 PM
Oct 2021

we would take them to the vet to be sure the infection wouldn't spread through their bodies. Since she is 15, it would probably benefit her to get checked.


(22,828 posts)
8. Glad you found her, but I would
Sun Oct 17, 2021, 04:24 PM
Oct 2021

still take her to the vet because of her age and to see if she should have antibiotics. Healing at an older age might be slower and there's a chance of reinfection outdoors.

BTW, purring is not always a sign of contentment. Cats can also purr when they are sick or in pain, as a way of self comfort. .


(50,484 posts)
6. It sounds like a little abscess that burst in my totally nonmedical, nonveterinary
Sun Oct 17, 2021, 03:20 PM
Oct 2021

capacity, but with lots of experience with cats and their occasional grossness. Unless it seems worse or she's bothered by it, I'd probably give it a few days before going to the vet. If she lets you, you could always try cleaning it with some hydrogen peroxide or something. If it's an abscess there will probably been some excess yuck that can still seep to the surface.


(24,516 posts)
9. This is find my cat advice. Both of ours like to hide at random...
Sun Oct 17, 2021, 11:18 PM
Oct 2021

…times, and although they are totally indoor cats, when I can’t find one, I panic for fear of someone having escaped and been picked off by a car. This happened once, over 30 years ago, and it still haunts me.

Both of the cats have a device on their collars called a TILE. They were designed for finding things like car keys, etc, but they are also good critter locators. Very light weight, and the cats take no particular notice of them. They would only help in the house. There are several styles available. If you Google TILE, you’ll get to their website.

I find it great peace of mind.

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