Discovering or witnessing your cat being bitten by another animal, whether it's a cat, raccoon, dog, or something else, can be quite distressing for a pet owner. However, some pet owners may see such a thing happen and decide that if their pet isn't showing any serious signs of pain or injury, treating the wound at home and trying the wait and see approach will be fine. Unfortunately, this could lead to a lot of negative outcomes for your cat, including death. Here's why you shouldn't wait and see.
While dogs often whine and bark when they're in pain, cats are notorious for hiding their discomfort. This is because when wild cats aren't looked after and protected by humans, showing weakness could encourage predators to attack them. As a result, your cat may seem like it's fine, but that could actually not be the case. In particular, if your cat seems reclusive, unaffectionate, or less interested in food or water, you should get help right away from an emergency vet. However, even without these signs, it's best to get help ASAP.
One potential problem your cat can face is the risk of rabies. While there are many diseases that can be transmitted through bites and bodily fluids, rabies is one of the most dangerous.
Rabies often generates images of foaming at the mouth and out-of-control behavior, but these aren't symptoms that all pets will have. To make matters worse, typically, once symptoms arise from rabies, it's already too late. There's no known cure for rabies, and due to the nature of the disease, when symptoms appear the disease has done so much damage that recovery isn't possible, and death follows. Without any sure sign of rabies to go on, even if your pet is vaccinated against the disease, going to the vet and getting an emergency test is safest.
Other than diseases, the potential for simple bacteria and viruses to cause severe infection is also great with bites. This is because teeth tend to be dirty to begin with, and when a bite occurs, it may be deep enough to penetrate through to the muscle. When an infection develops this deeply in the body, it may not be accompanied by common wound symptoms like the development of pus or inflammation. Even if the surface of your cat's body looks okay, it's best to get them fully examined by an emergency vet as soon as possible. Your vet will take any necessary steps to thoroughly clean and irrigate the area, and can then provide antibiotics to control any existing infection and protect against new ones.
For more information, contact an emergency vet near you.