Burns can be very nasty injuries which can take a long time to heal. An additional problem with cats is that there may be no visible indication of damage when the injury first occurs unless the fur is burnt. This is particularly true with burns from hot liquids.
As with people, prompt first aid is the most important factor in how bad an injury a burn will cause. When the skin is burnt, it is heated and the longer it stays hot, the more damage is caused. To reduce the damage, the skin must be cooled immediately with cold water. Since your cat cannot tell you it has been burnt, if you suspect a burn, treat the cat rapidly with cold water. It is best to fall on the side of caution, as cold water can make the difference between minor reddening and loss of skin from the same burn.
Immediately after a burn has occurred, there is often very little visible damage, but over the next few hours there will be reddening of the skin. If this is all, a soothing cream will see the skin back to normal in a few days. If the skin becomes black and hard, then the damage has been deep and severe; the skin is dead and will fall off. If this occurs, seek veterinary attention.
The amount of area burnt is important. A very small burn will probably heal quickly, but large areas of burns can take months to heal and can be life threatening without prompt and appropriate treatment. In severe cases, shock may set in within a few hours. Any large area burns should see a vet as an emergency – after immediate cold water treatment.
This pet health article is for reference only.
If your pet is showing any symptoms or distress, and you suspect your pet is ill CONTACT YOUR VET IMMEDIATELY.