Round Table Farm

Donkeys, Goats, Books and Chickens

Obsessed with Cat Abscesses

Breakfast time for Streak.

Breakfast time for Streak.

Our small male cat Streak had an abscess three months ago on his left side over his last 2 ribs. At the time, we saw it after it had opened and I thought I was dealing with a puncture wound. I took him to the vet and they IDed it as an open abscess, cleaned it, gave us antibiotics to treat Streak, and told us to leave it open and let him clean it. Well, Streak had a second abscess this past week that opened on Wednesday morning. There is a picture of the cleaned abscess at the end of the post. If you are squeamish, you might not want to look.

This abscess made his previous one look simply like your worst zit ever. This abscess was huge. Puss-filled blood was sprayed across the tile of the front room – about 7 feet. We estimate the volume was roughly half a cup. The opening over his ribs was not quite the size of my closed fist. Granted, I do have small hands, even for a woman. Still, the size of it, the fact that my little cat was now a walking anatomy lesson, was deeply disturbing.

Off to the vet we went. They were quite impressed with it too. I warned them that Streak was a bit cranky and had been biting us when we cleaned up the wound. So, they put on protective gear and irrigated the wound, trimmed back the hair, and put an antibacterial gel on it. It’s best to leave it open so Streak can clean it. He’s back on antibiotics.

This is Streak on Friday morning. The abscess has already started to scab and heal up.

This is Streak on Friday morning. The abscess has already started to scab and heal up.

He had been cranky for the past few weeks and we could feel a lump in roughly the same place. We figured it would open in time and we would let the vet know and put him on antibiotics. However, we did not realize how large it was. I can only imagine what pain that mass must have been along his ribs, the pressure it was under. He was probably scratching his side, causing it to explode. Yuck!

Anyway, he is feeling much better and will be an inside cat 100% until this heals up. We are not sure how he received his injury as he is an indoor cat 90% of the time and is very lovey-dovey. We are always petting this cat, snuggling him, he sleeps on the bed. So if he had an injury within the past few months, I would like to think one of us would have noticed. He use to be a 95% outdoor cat, but then we put Phil outside, and he is a jerk. So Streak decided to become in indoor kitty about 4 months ago. However, our vet says this recent abscess is not likely due to the injury that caused the abscess of 3 months ago. They are nearly in the same spot. My vet is excellent, but I don’t know what injury or when that caused this abscess.

A closer view of Streak's second abscess. The two white spots above are scars from his previous abscess.

A closer view of Streak’s second abscess. The two white spots above are scars from his previous abscess.


  1. Glad to hear Streak is doing better. Our Connell (Basset Hound), had an abscess after being bitten by a neighbor’s dog. We probably wouldn’t have known he’d even been bitten if we hadn’t witnessed it. The puncture was so small…. so, I’m pretty sure you didn’t miss anything. Heck, how small is a germ after all?

    • You’re right. It could have been another cat or a chicken….or something wild. We are a farm in the middle of national forest.

  2. Allie

    oh no! I died when my baby got one the other day! I know absolutely nothihe’ ng about abscesses… I’m giving him twice daily amoxicillin , creams and Epsom salt soaks as per my vet! Maybe you could calm my fears, how long and what is the process the abscess goes through while healing?

    thank you so much for your help! I hope streak is feeling much better! he’s a beautiful cat! this article was very helpful already! Thanks!

    • As long as you are following your vet’s instructions, you are probably already doing everything that needs to be done. It’s not unusual for cats to get abscesses, especially if they are not neutered, as they will fight more often.

  3. Justine

    Well is it kinda squishy because I believe my cat has one but she is indoor outdoor and I it hasn’t popped yet and it’s worrying me because she is my baby. She is more lazy and feisty when I touch it and she usally don’t bite but she bit me trying to look at it.

    • If she’s normally an even tempered cat, I think she’s probably in pain. My vet told me that they don’t usually do much for abscesses, wanting them to open on their own. They did recommend putting a warm compress on the spot.


  1. Stitched Cat | Round Table Farm

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