Sores on my cat's cheek?

by Molly
(Lake Orion, Michigan)

My cat Puff is a cat I have had since 1997, when my older sister was in 6th grade.

My cat has this sore on his cheek, and this is the second time in a month or so. He is an indoor/outdoor cat and he doesn't do much outside but play in the grass and watch the bunnies.

Should I be concerned about the spots on my cat’s cheek? At first I thought it was just dirt and tried cleaning it off, but he hissed and I let him go. My cat won’t let anyone touch his cheek.

Also, I don’t know if he got attacked by another animal. My cat is inside by 8pm, and if he is not, I’m outside with him after 8 until he is ready to come in.

Should I take my cat in to his vet to see what it is? I care about my cat and I want him to be a healthy happy cat.

Dear Molly,

Any time a cat spends any time outside, they could be bitten by fleas and begin to scratch themselves due to a cat flea allergy. And also, any time a cat is outside, whether at night or during the day, they can come in contact with or fight with other animals. The two most common causes for the wounds you are describing would be a cat flea bite allergy or a wound from another animal.

There are a few things you could try to do to determine which problem is the cause of your cat’s wound. You could purchase a flea comb to check for fleas or flea “dirt” (tiny brown specks that are actually dried blood from flea bites). You can also treat your cat with a flea preventative such as Frontline, and, in fact, should be using a flea preventative monthly. If fleas do not appear to be the cause of the problem, your cat may be fighting with other animals outdoors. If so, there is a risk that your cat will develop an abscess from bacteria building up in the wound.

If your cat is otherwise eating, drinking, and acting normally, is playful and appears healthy in all other ways, it is possible that this will just go away as it had previously. Otherwise, a check up with a veterinarian would be recommended.

Best wishes,
Dr. Neely

Return to Indoor or Outdoor Cats.