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Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 21415
Experience:  Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
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Can I put an antibiotic ointment, such as Neosporin or ...

Customer Question

Can I put an antibiotic ointment, such as Neosporin or Bacitracin, on a cat? Thanks for any help!
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Cher replied 11 years ago.

Where do you want apply these antibiotic ointments and for what purpose?

Cher : )
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Jessesmom's Post: Dear Cher,
Thanks for your rapid response. I want to apply the ointment to a open abrasion on my cat's lower right leg. She has been chewing and pulling the skin, and has made the abrasion larger. I am worried that it will get infected. My concern is that she will lick it, and I want to know if it will harm her to ingest the antibiotic. Thanks for your help.
Expert:  Cher replied 11 years ago.

Sorry for the delay in my response this time! : )

I've done extensive research and have not found any information regarding antibiotic creams like Neosporin or Bacitracin being toxic to cats. It's recommended to treat minor skin abrasions or irritations, but mentions nothing about toxicity.
I would use the cream as opposed to the ointment   because it absorbs better. The ointment does contain petrolatum (vaseline) which I know is not toxic to cats, but it will stay on the surface longer, due to it's oil base. It might also soak through the baby sock....(see below)

The thing is, after you apply the Neosporin, you should try to cover the area to keep her from licking it. You can do this by using stretchy (cotton knit, not polyester) baby sock. Cut off the toe part of the sock and pull it onto her leg. It should fit snugly enough to not move, but of course not too snugly that it cuts off her circulation. Make sure there are no loose threads or frayed areas after you cut it; you wouldn't want her to ingest that. If it does fray, try to fold it over or under so she can't get to it.

Which came first, the abrasion, which she's chewing and pulling at because it's uncomfortable, or did she cause the abrasion on herself from excessive licking, chewing of the skin in the area? If she did it to herself, this is a common condition in some cats and it's usually treated with steroids (Prednisone). It can be caused by a skin allergy or a stress/anxiety-based behavior.

If this is the case, you should take her to the vet to have this area checked out and then the proper treatment will be prescribed.

Again, please forgive the delay! I hope the problem resolves very soon. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Cher   : )