Bacterial Infections in Cats

Bacterial Infections in Cats - Vetster

Cats can fall ill or become injured from a variety of reasons. Many of the illnesses cats experience are caused by viral or bacterial infections. Very old cats as well as very young cats are more prone to infections due to their lack of major antibodies, which can affect the cat’s skin, eyes, ears, and other major organs.

Common sources of bacteria that can cause these infections are contaminated water, feces, or undercooked meat. If a cat's bacterial infection goes untreated, it may develop into life-threatening situations. Outdoor cats are at a much greater risk for the development of bacterial wound infections known as abscesses following interact fighting (cat bite abscess).


Common symptoms and signs of bacterial infections include the following: 

  • Fever
  • Reduced appetite
  • Wound infections
  • Coughing and runny nose
  • Red and runny eyes
  • Vomiting   
  • Skin inflammation and redness
  • Pain and lethargy
  • Lameness
  • Soft or hard swellings under the skin


The cat will first be physically examined by a veterinarian, who then may conduct blood tests, skin biopsies, sensitivity testing and other additional testing to confirm the diagnosis. The veterinarian may need to perform minor surgery depending on the type of infection. Treatment of bacterial infections typically involves the prescription of antibiotics and topical medications, with prescribed fever and pain medications as well if needed. 

Prevention and recommendations

Regular follow-up appointments to the vet and an infection management plan should be maintained for a speedy bacterial infection recovery. It is also important to limit the cat’s outdoor exposure to prevent other infections, especially during recovery. Ensure you keep a close eye on your cat throughout the recovery process and provide your cat with a healthy, nutritious and balanced diet.

Concerned your cat may have a bacterial infection? Schedule an appointment with one of our veterinary professionals today for advice and to learn more about your pet’s wellness.

The Vetster Editorial Team is comprised of seasoned writers and communicators dedicated to elevating stories about Vetster, pets and their owners.
Book online vet feature photo

Health concern with your pet?

Start a video chat with a licensed veterinarian right now on Vetster!

Book an online vet