Natural Remedies for Feline Scratches. Home Treatments That Soothe and Heal


Cat scratches are very common for pet owners, as cats use their claws for playing, hunting, and defending themselves. While most scratches heal on their own, they can sometimes get infected by bacteria found on a cat’s nails. This may lead to symptoms like redness, swelling, pus, and fever. Therefore, it’s helpful to know some natural remedies to treat cat scratches and prevent any complications. This article explores gentle, effective options to soothe scratching, speed healing, and reduce infection risk using ingredients from your home.

Clean the Scratch

It’s important to properly clean any cat scratches right away to help prevent infection. Use a gentle cleanser like soap and water and avoid harsh chemicals like hydrogen peroxide which can damage tissue (1). Gently clean around the scratch with a soft clean cloth, washing away any dirt or debris. Do not scrub hard as this can further damage the skin. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and pat dry with a clean towel. Keep an eye on the scratch for signs of infection like redness, swelling or pus (2). See your vet promptly if you notice any concerning symptoms.

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Apply Aloe Vera

One of the best natural remedies for cat scratches is fresh aloe vera gel. The gel from the aloe plant has anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, and skin regenerating properties that can help heal scratches quickly. According to Ibizaloe, aloe vera also has antibacterial properties that prevent infection in wounds.

For best results, use fresh gel directly from an aloe vera plant. Apply a liberal amount to the scratch 2-3 times per day. The aloe will soothe irritation, reduce inflammation, moisturize the area, and speed healing. It’s generally safe if your cat licks a small amount of aloe gel off its skin, but try to prevent your cat from ingesting large amounts. Look for an organic aloe vera plant if possible to avoid pesticides.

Alternatively, you can purchase bottled aloe vera gel made for skin use. Make sure it is pure 100% aloe vera without any added ingredients. Apply as directed above. The fresher the gel, the better it will work for healing scratches.

Try Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a natural way to help soothe and heal cat scratches. It has antioxidant, antiviral, and antibacterial properties that can help prevent infection in wounds ( When applied topically, coconut oil creates a thin protective layer over the scratch while also moisturizing the skin.

To use coconut oil on a cat scratch, first clean the area gently with water and pat dry. Apply a very thin layer of extra virgin coconut oil over the scratch, using just enough to lightly coat the area. The oil will soak in quickly. Coconut oil can help accelerate healing and reduce the risk of complications. According to cat owners, coconut oil worked “wonders” on their cats’ scratched skin (

Be sure to only apply a thin coating, as too much coconut oil may lead to greasiness. Only use pure, organic virgin coconut oil. It’s also a good idea to check with your vet before using coconut oil, especially if the scratch is deep or near the eyes.

Use Honey

One effective natural treatment for cat scratches is honey. Research shows that the best kind of honey to use for wounds is Manuka honey[1]. Manuka honey has natural antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and healing properties that can help treat scratches and prevent infection[2]. To use it, first clean and dry the scratch. Then apply a small amount of Manuka honey and cover it with a light bandage. Change the bandage daily. The honey helps kill bacteria, reduces inflammation and swelling, and speeds healing. Be sure to use medical-grade Manuka honey, not regular honey from the grocery store.

Apply Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is a natural astringent that can help soothe and heal cat scratches. It contains tannins and oils that have natural anti-inflammatory properties, which can reduce inflammation and irritation on the scratch. To apply witch hazel, soak a cotton ball with the liquid and gently dab it on the affected area. Be careful not to get witch hazel in your cat’s eyes. The astringent properties will help constrict blood vessels, ease discomfort, and promote healing. Witch hazel also acts as a mild disinfectant. Using it can help prevent infection by cleaning the wound. Continue applying 1-2 times per day until the scratch heals.

Make a Chamomile Compress

A chamomile compress can help soothe and calm irritated skin on your cat’s scratches. To make a chamomile compress:

  • Steep 2-3 chamomile tea bags in a cup of warm (not hot) water for 5-10 minutes.
  • Allow the tea to cool so it is warm but not hot to the touch.
  • Dip a clean cloth or gauze pad in the chamomile tea.
  • Gently press the damp compress onto the scratched area for 10-15 minutes.
  • You can repeat this 2-3 times per day as needed.

The anti-inflammatory properties of chamomile can reduce swelling, redness, and itching on the scratch. Chamomile also has a calming effect which can soothe skin irritation. Be sure to use cooled chamomile tea that is not too hot for your cat’s skin. Monitor your cat closely and stop using chamomile if any irritation occurs.


Try Calendula Ointment

Calendula ointment can be an effective natural remedy for cat scratches. Calendula, also known as pot marigold, has natural anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe irritated skin and promote healing (1). After cleaning the scratch, apply a small amount of calendula ointment to the affected area 1-2 times per day.

Calendula works to reduce inflammation and redness thanks to compounds like flavonoids (2). It also stimulates the production of collagen which aids in tissue repair. Just make sure to use ointments made specifically for pets, like this Boiron Homeopathic Calendula Ointment.

The anti-inflammatory properties of calendula make it a go-to remedy for minor cuts, scrapes, burns, and skin irritation in cats (3). Apply a thin layer after cleaning and let the natural healing powers of calendula go to work.

Use Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has natural antiseptic properties that can help clean and prevent infection in cat scratches ( It contains compounds like terpinen-4-ol that have antibacterial effects against common bacteria that causes wound infections (

However, tea tree oil can be toxic to cats if used undiluted or in large amounts. It’s important to dilute it properly before applying to your cat’s scratch. Mix 2-3 drops of tea tree oil with a teaspoon of carrier oil like coconut oil. Then use a cotton ball to gently dab the diluted oil onto the scratch.

Monitor your cat closely and discontinue use if irritation develops. Tea tree oil should not be ingested, so keep an eye on your cat to ensure they don’t lick the oil off their scratch.

When to See the Vet

If your cat’s scratches show signs of infection, it’s important to take them to the vet. Signs of infection include redness, swelling, pus, and the area feeling hot to the touch. Infected scratches can lead to more serious issues if left untreated, so it’s important to have your vet examine them.

You should also take your cat to the vet if the scratches are large or seem deep. Deep scratches are at greater risk for infection and may require stitches or other treatment to heal properly. Your vet can examine the scratches and determine if they require medical treatment.

Additionally, take your cat to the vet if they seem to be in distress or are acting lethargic after receiving scratches. Changes in behavior can indicate pain, infection, or other problems. It’s best to have your vet examine your cat to rule out any underlying issues.

In summary, signs that indicate a vet visit is needed include: infection, large/deep scratches, and changes in your cat’s behavior. It’s always better to be safe and have your vet examine any concerning scratches on your cat.

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