Why do desexed male cats still fight?
Entire male cats are very territorial; they will defend an area around their home and continually try to expand the borders of their territory. The desire for more territory and the need to keep intruders out of their existing territory means that they can fight with other cats. In contrast, desexed male cats defend a smaller area of territory around their home. If this territory is breached by another cat they will defend it by fighting. The frequency of fighting will depend on the number of cats in the neighborhood and particularly the presence of entire male cats. Female cats will also defend their territory by fighting with other cats.
Your cat has had a fight, but there aren’t any bite marks.
Puncture wounds heal very quickly so there is often nothing to see or feel. The most common sites of bites are on the head, forelimbs or at the base of the tail. If cats have been bitten on a limb, the leg is usually painful and lameness is seen. It may be possible to feel heat and swelling in the area of the bite. Some cats may just be lethargic and have a fever. Many cats will excessively groom the injured area.
Why do abscesses form in the same place?
This may reflect inadequate treatment where the abscess never completely resolves. Alternatively, it may reflect an individual cat’s method of fighting; the cat that runs away will tend always to get bitten on the tail base whereas the aggressive attacking cat will tend always to be bitten on the head or forelimbs.
How can you minimise the risk of your cat being in a fight?
Desexing will assist in the territorial behaviour of cats but it will not completely eliminate fighting. Confining the cat to your house or to a cat enclosure, particularly at night when cat fights are most common, will reduce the number of bites your cat sustains.
It’s also a good idea to discourage other cats coming into your backyard. For example, try not to leave food outside that will attract other neighbourhood cats.
Are there any other possible problems associated with fight wound infections?
Bite wounds are considered to be the main route of transmission of some important feline infections, most notably, Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV). Blood tests should be performed after any bite wounds to diagnose these infections. It’s also a very good idea to have your cat vaccinated against FIV and Leukemia to prevent their transmission .