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Ask the Veterinarian/Should I trust my cat outside?


My cat goes outside and once was out all night and the next day her eye had blood around it and then the next second it got really swollen. Then the swelling went down and she got all bloody where the swelling was originally. Luckily it got better just in time for her to go to the vet. What was that? Was it an animal fight that could mean she takes too many risks  or was it some type of infection. This was a few months ago. Luckily it got better and I didn't have to take her to the vet. I would keep her inside, but she's been going outside for 6 years now! She likes to take risks and I am afraid of what might happen. She is a playful cat. I've even seen her chase a skunk around when she was about 3! Therefore, does she not have the sense to stay away from dangerous animals? I know as a vet you wl automatically say to keep her inside but I cant. I just want to know if it is likely for her to be ok outside because shs been outside for a long time and I can't keep her in now!

Cats love to be outside, but other cats in the area may try and protect their territory by fighting with other cats that enter their protected ground. When cats fight, the often get punctured by a dirty sharp claw and that is what starts these infections under the skin (Abscess).

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Dr. Louis N. Gotthelf


Dermatology and ear diseases of dogs and cats


I am the author of "Small Animal Ear Diseases; An Illustrated Guide" published by W.B. Saunders. I have over 25 years of clinical experience with a special interest in dermatologic conditions and ear diseases.

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