Treatment For Frostbite In Cats

by Michael
(London, UK)

cat frostbiteFrostbite affects the extremities, obviously. These are toes, ear flaps and tail, for example. The fur on these areas is less thick as well.

A frostbitten ear will look pale and white. It turns to a swollen red with the return of circulation. Once settled it will look like a burn with living and dead tissue clearly demarcated.

Treatment for frostbite1 in cats is as follows:

The area should be warmed by immersion in warm water for about 20 mins. The area should not be massaged to try and recover circulation.

Possible infection should be prevented by the application of an antibiotic ointment. In the USA this might be Triple Antibiotic Ointment.

The area is then bandaged.

Cats are amazingly resilient. A cat stray cat survived for 4 weeks in a large freezer at sub-zero temperatures. He ate frozen peas and frost. He lost part of his ears and his tail to frostbite. He as hard to catch! He is called ‘Frosty’. The picture is not of Frosty but a cat who lost both front paws, ears, part of tail and nose to frostbite and who is called, ‘Popsicle’.

Treatment For Frostbite In Cats — References:

1. Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook – page 4 by Drs Carslon and Giffin.


Treatment For Frostbite In Cats to Cat Health Problems

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Treatment For Frostbite In Cats

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Apr 24, 2010 Very informative
by: Ruth

Thanks for this very informative article Michael. Another one added to my files to refer back to if necessary.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth


Treatment For Frostbite In Cats — 7 Comments

  1. my cat has been gone for 3 days in the winter and her right eye is shut and she cant meow and she looks very bad a I gave her food and water she drink a lot of water and eat a little food

    • You don’t say but it seems she is an oldish cat. Am I right? The signs are of kidney disease or diabetes which are associated with age. The eye shut indicates an infection. If she can’t meow does that indicate mouth disease? I am sorry Leta but I have to ask if you are taking care of her properly although you have commented. Why she has left your home for 3 days is a mystery unless she has some other place to go to but if that is the case that person also seems to be ignoring the health signs.

  2. Ihave a stray cat in my yard that I think has frostbite in his eyes. He looks just like the picture of the cat in the article I just read. Because he is almost ferrel and I only say almost because I can get real close to him, but I don’t want to take a chance of touching him. I have had him neutered and he has had his shots done by the animal shelter but they don’t give a checkup. So I don’ know what to do . He seems blind. Any advice. P. Conte

    • Hi Pam, I don’t think he has frostbite in the eyes. He probably has cataracts or some other eye disease. I have a page on eye diseases:

      What to do? He needs help. That means someone has to help if possible. He should be in a home as a full-time indoor cat fully domesticated.

      He situation in life is precarious because almost no one would want to domestic him and care for him I suspect.

      He could be domesticated in time, a lot of patience.

      A shelter would just euthanize him as I am sure you know (I presume you are in the USA).

      Difficult to suggest anything. An alternative is to provide an outdoor shelter for him and feed him.

      • He may have been a drop off, you need to trap him in a haveaheart trap and get him to a vet and then make him an INDOOR CAT! Start by putting him in a big dog wire crate with food,water and litter box and cover 3 sides with a sheet.After a few weeks open the door, he may come out he may not for a while.
        I have a few Ferals in my house and they do fine.

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