Bacitracin is an antibiotic useful for treating mild bacterial infections such as those from minor cuts or burns. When it's used on a cat, it's generally with two other antibiotics, such as polymycin, neomycin or gramicidin, in the form of a triple antibiotic ointment. Such ointments are especially helpful for curing cat eye infections.
Bacitracin Opthalmic Ointment
On its own, bacitracin is effective for treating gram-positive bacteria by inhibiting the synthesis of their cell walls. When combined with other antibiotics, bacitracin becomes more powerful, able to take on a greater variety of bacteria. As part of a triple antibiotic ointment, it's often a veterinarian's go-to treatment for corneal ulcers and wounds, conjunctivitis, eyelid wounds and some types of keratitis.
Side effects to triple antibiotics are rare and often a result of the neomycin element; some cats have allergic reactions to neomycin. Extended use of opthalmic ointment may cause resistance to the product, ultimately decreasing its effectiveness.
Bacitracin for Minor Wounds
Bacitracin ointment can help prevent the spread of infection in minor wounds. If your cat has a scrape or small cut, gently clean it with antiseptic and water -- steer clear of peroxide and alcohol -- using a cloth or gauze. Apply a thin film of ointment to her wound; if she's able to lick her injury, employ an Elizabethan collar.
If the wound doesn't improve in a day or two, or begins to bleed, swell or feel warm, consult the vet. If her wound is a puncture, is bleeding profusely, is long, is deep or is contaminated with debris, she requires professional care.
- Exclusive Visual/iStock/Getty Images