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Why is my Cat’s Face Swollen?

Two days ago my cat developed a golf ball size lump on the side of his face. I checked for bites or cuts but couldn't...

Dr. Eric Barchas  |  Jun 15th 2010


Two days ago my cat developed a golf ball size lump on the side of his face. I checked for bites or cuts but couldn’t find any. His eating habits haven’t changed and he doesn’t mind if I touch it. He goes out in the day time in the back yard but he is in every night. I have seen a couple of strays around but I did not hear any fighting. Could it be something as simple as an insect bite and should it be drained? He is about four years old and he is up to date on his shots.

Thanks,

Lance and Bonnie

I suspect your cat has an abscess on his face.

Abscesses are focal accumulations of pus in response to infection. On the face, there are two potential causes.

A cat fight abscess is most likely. These infections occur when cats are injured during fights with other members of their species.

A dental abscess also is possible but less likely. Dental abscesses occur when rotten teeth overwhelm the body. Most four-year-old cats do not yet have sufficient periodontal disease for this to happen.

Either way, the abscess needs to be drained. You should go to your vet for treatment and antibiotics.