Mastitis in Cats Home Treatment

Mastitis in Cats Home Treatment

Mastitis in Cats: Mastitis is an infection of the mammary glands that produce milk in female cats. It typically occurs in nursing mothers, known as queens, within 3 weeks of giving birth.

The mammary glands can become inflamed, swollen, and painful. You may notice your cat licking or chewing at her nipples, or see pus or blood in the milk. Mastitis requires prompt veterinary treatment with antibiotics to clear the infection, reduce inflammation, and prevent complications.

Causes of Mastitis

Mastitis is usually caused by bacteria entering the mammary gland, often through cracks or wounds in the nipples. The most common culprits are Streptococcus and Staphylococcus species. Mastitis can also develop if a kitten’s sharp nails or teeth injure the nipple during nursing.

Poor nursing technique, unsanitary living conditions, and malnutrition can increase the risk of mastitis in queens. Stress and fatigue may also play a role by weakening the cat’s immune system.

Mastitis in Cats Home Treatment

Home Care for Mastitis

While mastitis requires vet care, there are some things you can do at home to help relieve symptoms and support recovery:

  • Gently wash the cat’s nipples with a warm, damp cloth a few times per day to keep the area clean. Apply a warm compress for 10-15 minutes, 3-4 times a day to help reduce swelling and ease pain.
  • Make sure the kittens continue to nurse to help empty the mammary glands, unless directed otherwise by your vet. Bottle or syringe feed kittens if the queen is unable to nurse.
  • Provide the cat a quiet, stress-free environment. Give extra affection and gently massage her back and belly to help her relax.
  • Make sure the cat eats a high-quality diet and stays well-hydrated to promote healing. Offer extra snacks or canned food to tempt her appetite if she seems uninterested in eating.
See also  Treatment for Stroke in Cats: What You Need to Know

With prompt treatment, rest, nursing care, and support, mastitis in cats can often be cleared up within a week. But if symptoms don’t start improving within 2-3 days or get worse at any time, contact your vet right away.

Symptoms of Mastitis in Cats to Watch For

As a cat owner, it’s important to regularly check your cat for signs of mastitis. The sooner you notice symptoms, the sooner you can get your cat treatment and relieve their discomfort. Some things to watch for include:

  • Swollen mammary glands – The glands around the nipple will feel hard and swollen. Gently palpate each gland to check for any lumps or areas that feel overly firm. The skin over the swollen gland may also appear red, hot or inflamed.
  • Pain or tenderness – Your cat may cry out in pain when you touch the swollen mammary gland. They may also be reluctant to let kittens nurse from that side due to discomfort.
  • Decreased nursing – If mastitis is causing pain, your cat may allow kittens to nurse from only one side, or stop nursing altogether. This can be dangerous for young kittens who need the nutrition, so contact your vet right away.
  • Discharge from nipples – You may notice a thick, yellowish discharge coming from the nipple. Sometimes the discharge contains blood or pus.
  • Lethargy or depression – Your cat may seem more tired or less active due to not feeling well from the infection. They may also lose their appetite due to the discomfort.
  • Fever – Take your cat’s temperature rectally. A normal temperature is between 100.5 to 102.5 F. If it’s over 103 F, your cat likely has an infection and needs to see the vet.

If your cat shows any symptoms of mastitis, it’s critical to have them checked out by a vet within 12-24 hours. Mastitis is usually treated with antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and warm compresses. Without treatment, the infection can become severe and lead to an abscess that requires draining or surgery. Home treatments are not effective and should not be used in place of proper veterinary care.

See also  Reasons Indoor Cats Require Flea Treatment

Home Treatment Options for Feline Mastitis

If your cat develops mastitis, the good news is there are some things you can do at home to help relieve her discomfort and speed healing. Here are some recommendations for treating feline mastitis at home:

  • Apply warm compresses. Place a warm, wet washcloth over the infected mammary gland for 10-15 minutes, 3-4 times a day. The heat will help reduce inflammation and relieve pain. You can also try taking a warm shower with your cat to moisten and loosen the skin around the infected area.
  • Gently massage the gland. Very gently massage the mammary gland to help loosen congestion and increase blood flow. Be extremely careful, as the area will be tender. Even the lightest touch may be painful, so go slowly.
  • Increase fluid intake. Encourage your cat to drink more water to stay hydrated. You can also supplement with an electrolyte solution recommended by your vet. Keeping your cat hydrated will support her immune system in fighting the infection.
  • Apply antibiotic ointment. If prescribed by your vet, apply an antibiotic ointment to the infected mammary gland as directed. Follow all instructions carefully and complete the full course of treatment.
  • Rest and isolate. Provide your cat a quiet, warm place to rest and heal. Isolate her from other pets to avoid injury or stress. Minimize handling and activities that could aggravate inflammation.
  • See a vet if symptoms worsen. While some cases of feline mastitis can be managed at home, see your vet right away if your cat’s symptoms worsen or don’t start improving within 2-3 days. They may prescribe oral antibiotics or other medication to clear the infection.

The most important things are rest, warmth, hydration and proper application of medications. Home treatment, combined with medication from your vet, will relieve your cat’s discomfort and get rid of the infection as quickly as possible. With some TLC and patience, she should recover fully and avoid complications.

See also  Ear Infections in Cats: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention

READ ALSO: Megacolon in Cats: Diagnosis and Treatment Options

FAQs

What is mastitis in cats?

Mastitis is an infection of the mammary glands, or breasts, in cats. It usually occurs in nursing mothers, but can also develop in female cats that have never had kittens. The mammary glands become inflamed, swollen, and painful. If left untreated, the infection can become severe.

What causes mastitis in cats?

Mastitis is usually caused by bacteria entering the mammary gland, often through cracks or sores in the nipples. The most common bacteria are Staphylococcus and Streptococcus. Poor nursing hygiene, unsanitary living conditions, and obesity can increase the risk of mastitis in cats.

What are the symptoms of mastitis in cats?

Common symptoms of mastitis include:

  • Swollen, painful mammary glands

  • Discharge from the nipples containing pus, blood or both

  • Lethargy or loss of appetite

  • Fever

  • Reluctance to nurse kittens

How is mastitis in cats treated at home?

For mild to moderate mastitis, home treatment may be attempted before antibiotics. Here are some suggestions:

  • Gently massage the mammary glands to help relieve swelling and encourage drainage. Apply warm compresses 3-4 times a day for 10-15 minutes.

  • Ensure the kittens are nursing frequently to keep the breasts drained. You may need to help weaker kittens latch on.

  • Improve nursing hygiene by cleaning the mammary area and nipples with a damp cloth before and after feeding.

  • Increase fluid intake to help flush out the infection. Offer canned kitten food, meat-based baby food, and extra water.

  • Rest as much as possible. Confine the cat and kittens to a small room.

  • See a vet if symptoms worsen or persist for more than 2-3 days. Antibiotic therapy may be required.

With prompt treatment and care, most cats recover well from mastitis. Be sure to continue monitoring your cat closely even after symptoms start to improve. Recurrence of mastitis can happen, so practicing good nursing hygiene and care can help prevent future infections.