Feral cat with hole in neck and maggots

by Martha

My son rescued a kitten…had a hole in his neck with several grubs embedded and maggots …sheeesh.

I gave him my credit card number and told him to take it to emergency services. They cleaned the wound out and wanted another appointment.

I just can’t afford another one due to this one being close to 400 dollars. We stay in touch with the vets and ask questions. He is a lovable little thing but he does smell something awful.

He is kept clean as possible . The wound has to heal from the inside out. HELP !!!!! I need advice.

He absolutely has to be kept warm. and he does love to cuddle (shooowheee).

He is getting stronger day by day. Should name him Sue as …how do you do…lol.

His name is Faith! Please,any advice…would be greatly appreciated.


Hi Martha… thanks for visiting and asking. Flies can lay eggs in open wounds in warm weather.

The eggs hatch and within 2 to 19 days they are large maggots. They produce an enzyme that digests the skin producing a hole.

The maggots then penetrate the skin, make the hole larger and a bacterial infection can set in.

The treatment as set out by Drs Carlson and Giffin in Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook is as follows (I presume the first part has been done by the veterinarian):

Clip the hair and remove all maggots. Wash the infected area with Betadine solution and dry.

Use a nonalcohol spray or shampoo containing a pyrethrin insecticide. Repeat application and check.

If the wound has a bacterial infection it should be treated with an oral antibiotic.


If your cat is stable, healthy and eating well, I think this is a case of watch carefully. The danger is a bacterial infection and a return of maggots.

For that reason the vet wanted you back to check on progress.

On the face of it, there would seem to be no reason why you cannot purchase a nonalcohol spray or shampoo containing a pyrethrin insecticide as recommended by the Drs and use that to ensure that the maggots are eliminated.

WARNING…an overdose of a spray or shampoo containing pyrethrin can poison a cat..accordingly I would not proceed with this without vet’s advice..sorry. If it is used it must be used extremely accurately and never use dog shampoo on a cat. (source: http://www.cat-world.com.au/pyrethrin-a-pyrethroid-poisoning

An alternative insecticide shampoo might be advisable. Perhaps a telephone call to the vet for some free advice might work?

As to a bacterial infection, oral antibiotics will require a vet’s prescription unless you have some left over from the first visit.

Bottom line: watch carefully and be prepared for a rapid return visit.

Hope this helps.

Michael Avatar

Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

Feral cat with hole in neck and maggots to Cat Health Problems

9 thoughts on “Feral cat with hole in neck and maggots”

  1. Hey guys, I volunteer with our local shelter. And I recently pulled a maggot out of a little kittens neck. This you can completely do yourself if you can not afford a vet. Its a two man job. Poor alcohol down the wound to suffocate the maggot. The maggot will poke his head in and out of the hole so have someone else use tweezers to pull it out will you squeeze it. This will not hurt the kitten, maybe feel like a pinch. After you are able to get out the maggot poor hydro peroxide so it can heal. I hope this helps you. Its a two man job. Good luck. The kitten I pulled the maggot out of its been two weeks and his wound is almost completely healed and I don’t notice the smell cause its a shelter. It smells ALL the time. Ha. Good luck!

  2. Thank you so much. We will most definitely bring him in. It is weird because we don’t see the maggots. The hole is actually caused from what we believe to be a brown recluse bite. My husband has been cleaning the hole for a month.

    • All good advice from Michael, please do take the cat to a vet as soon as you can, he needs antibiotics urgently and probably anti inflammatory medication too.
      (retired vet nurse)

  3. Yes we have a neighborhood cat here. He has a huge hole in his neck as well, so we brought him in and have been cleaning him everyday. Haven’t had the money to take him to a vet either. But he now has the worst smell and yesterday I woke up to maggots on my floor where the cat was. I freaked out bad. I got them all cleaned up and my husband says we need to just take him to the vet. He doesn’t believe the maggots came from the cat but I really do. I have never had maggots before and the cat is rotting I know it. What do you think?

    • Vet immediately, please. The maggots are in and on the cat. It is quite easy for a vet to fix this problem so it should not be that expensive.

      Maggots are most often caused by the bluebottle or blow fly which may lay eggs in open wounds or badly soiled damp and matted fur. The larvae grow into large maggots that produce an enzyme in their saliva that digests the skin. The maggots then penetrate the skin and enlarge the opening. This causes a bacterial infection. With a severe infestation the cat can go into shock. The shop is caused by enzymes and toxins secreted by the maggots.

      Treatment: clip the affected areas to remove soiled and matted hair. Remove all maggots with blunt-nosed tweezers. Wash infected areas with Betadine solution and dry the cat thoroughly. Use a non-alcoholic spray or shampoo that contains a safe insecticide (this will almost certainly mean a visit to the vet anyway). The use of an insecticide should be done very carefully to avoid it being absorbed through open wounds.

      Almost all cats with maggots have other health problems which have left the cat exposed to an invasion by maggots. It is highly recommended that you take this cat to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

      Take care and thanks for visiting.

  4. My cat his a big hole in his neck.an I don’t now why to do.i don’t have the money to take him to the vet.an no one to help me to take him.


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