Why is my Cat's Face Swollen?
photo 2006 Till Westermayer | more info (via: Wylio)
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.
Bonnie and Claire
Abscesses are the most common culprits when sudden feline facial swelling occurs.
Abscesses are areas of infection that fill with pus. This causes rapid swelling. On the face, abscesses may be the result of fight wounds, infected teeth, or, rarely, trauma to the oral cavity (such as might occur if a cat chews on a sharp object). Since your cat is young and he goes outside, a fight wound is the most likely culprit. Cat fight abscesses frequently develop in the absence of any visible skin wounds because cat teeth are so thin and needle-like.
Abscesses generally will not heal unless they are drained. Cats with abscesses generally require antibiotic therapy as well.
Other causes of acute facial swelling include insect bites, tumors, and bleeding under the skin secondary to trauma or an inability to clot the blood. These causes are very rare compared to abscesses.
Any cat with facial swelling should see a vet as soon as possible.