Happy Silly Cat

Anaerobic Bacterial Infections in Cats: Causes Symptoms and Treatment

Anaerobic Bacterial Infections in Cats

Cats are playful and active animals that are prone to injuries and wounds. While many injuries can heal on their own, some wounds can become infected and threaten your cat’s health.

Anaerobic bacterial infections are one such type of health concern that can develop. In this article, we will explain what anaerobic bacterial infections are, their causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.

Normal Body Bacteria

Many bacteria are present on and inside your cat’s body, forming a healthy symbiotic relationship. The abdomen, vaginal canal, intestines, and mouth are just a few of the areas where normal bacteria live without causing any harm.

However, when this balance is disrupted, it can lead to an infection.

Causes of Infection

There are various ways anaerobic bacterial infections can arise in cats. Trauma, injury, or surgery can disrupt the skin and tissue, providing an environment for bacteria to thrive.

Metal implants such as pins, plates, and screws can also create sites for the growth of anaerobic bacteria. If these organisms go unchecked, it can cause severe infections, resulting in the need for surgery and long-term medication administration.

Symptoms and Types

The most common signs of anaerobic bacterial infections are pus formation, slow-healing wounds, swelling, and inflammation. Bite wounds, fractures, and lameness are some of the most common types of wounds that can become infected.

Difficulty eating and loss of appetite are also symptoms of anaerobic bacterial infections in cats. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately.


Your veterinarian will take a thorough medical history and perform a physical examination to identify anaerobic bacterial infections. Blood profiles, white blood cell count, urinalysis, and laboratory culture may also be necessary to determine the severity of the infection and its underlying cause.


Antibiotics are the primary treatment for anaerobic bacterial infections in cats. Depending on the severity of the infection, your cat may need long-term medication administration and possibly surgical intervention.

Cleaning the infected area and using an Elizabethan collar to prevent licking and scratching can also help. Follow-up appointments with your veterinarian will ensure that the infection is under control, and your cat is healing correctly.

Anaerobic Bacteria

Anaerobic bacteria are a group of bacteria that can grow in the absence of oxygen. The five primary types of anaerobic bacteria found in cats are Bacteroides, Fusobacterium, Actinomyces, Clostridium, and Peptostreptococcus.

Anaerobic bacteria thrive in warm, moist environments and are commonly present in the mouth, gums, deep wounds, puncture wounds, bone fractures, and bite wounds.


Anaerobic bacterial infections are a common health concern for cats. If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned in this article, contact your veterinarian right away.

With proper diagnosis and treatment, your cat can make a full recovery. Remember, prevention is always better than cure.

Regular check-ups and vaccinations are the first line of defense in keeping your cat healthy.

Potential Complications

While anaerobic bacterial infections can be treated and managed, there are potential complications that can arise from these infections. The following sections will provide an in-depth look at the different complications and their possible impact on your cat.

Tissue Death and Deep Infections

When anaerobic bacteria invade the body, it can lead to deep tissue infections. The bacteria release toxins that can cause serious damage to tissues in the body, leading to shock and even death.

In severe cases, muscles and bones may also become infected, making it challenging to treat the infection effectively.

Long-Term Infection Effects

Chronic anaerobic bacterial infections can have long-term effects on your cat’s health. These types of infections will require continuous monitoring and follow-up appointments.

As the infection is being treated, it is essential to provide homecare that includes frequent bandaging, the use of Elizabethan collar, and monitoring your cat’s litter box cleanliness.

Behavioral Changes

Anaerobic bacterial infections can cause changes in your cat’s behavior. They may experience fatigue and lack of appetite, which can lead to weight loss.

Some cats may also develop redness, swelling, and pus formation on the affected area.

Treatment and Recovery

Treatment for anaerobic bacterial infections depends on the severity of the infection and your cat’s overall health condition. Successful treatment often involves long-term antibiotic administration, surgical intervention, and additional monitoring and follow-up appointments.

Antibiotic Administration

The most common form of treatment for anaerobic bacterial infections in cats is long-term antibiotic administration. This treatment can be a challenge for reluctant cats who may spit out or refuse to swallow their medication.

Cat owners can try hiding medication in wet food, wrapping it in a treat, or purchasing medication that tastes better for cats.

Surgical Intervention

In severe cases, anaerobic bacterial infections may require surgical intervention. The surgery will involve cleaning dead tissue and exposing the infected area to oxygen, as anaerobic bacteria thrive in the absence of oxygen.

Muscle infections may require that your cat be anesthetized before surgically opening and cleaning the area.

Monitoring and Follow-Up

Monitoring and follow-up appointments are essential when treating anaerobic bacterial infections. Follow-up appointments will help ensure that the wound is healing correctly and that there is no sign of re-infection.

Your veterinarian may also perform biochemical profiles to check if your cat’s organs are functioning correctly.

Home Care

Homecare is also important when treating and managing anaerobic bacterial infections. Limiting outdoor time for your cat is essential to prevent further injury and the introduction of new bacteria.

Litter box cleanliness is equally vital as you need to ensure that your cat is not exposing themselves to any additional bacteria. Wound cleanliness is also vital, and it may be necessary to keep an Elizabethan collar on your cat to prevent licking and scratching of the wound.

Finally, it is essential to report any complications or concerns to your veterinarian. In conclusion, anaerobic bacterial infections are a severe concern for cats that require diligent monitoring and attention.

Knowing the potential complications and taking the necessary steps to treat and manage these infections can make a significant difference in your cat’s health and recovery. Anaerobic bacterial infections in cats are a serious concern that can lead to tissue death, deep infections, chronic health issues, and changes in behavior.

Treatment options include long-term antibiotic administration, surgical intervention, and homecare that includes monitoring and follow-up appointments. To prevent complications, it is essential to limit your cat’s outdoor time, maintain litter box cleanliness, and report any complications to your veterinarian.

By taking the necessary steps to treat and manage anaerobic bacterial infections, you can ensure that your cat makes a full recovery and lives a happy and healthy life.

Popular Posts