My cats toenail is bleeding. What should I do?

If your cat's nail is bleeding, it is likely because the "quick" of the nail, which contains blood vessels and nerves, was accidentally cut or injured. This is often the case when a nail is trimmed too short.

To stop the bleeding, follow these steps:

1. **Stay Calm**: Animals can sense our anxiety and stress. So, it's essential to stay calm to not cause additional stress to your cat.

2. **Potassium Permanganate**: In the absence of a styptic powder or pencil, you can use a very dilute solution of potassium permanganate (KMnO4). Be aware that it's a strong oxidizer and should be used with caution. First, you'll want to dilute it to a light pink solution. Using a cotton swab or cloth, gently dab the solution onto the bleeding nail. Be careful not to let your cat ingest any of it, as it can be harmful when swallowed. It's not typically the first choice for stopping bleeding, but it can have a clotting effect. Also, be prepared for staining as it can temporarily color skin and fur a brownish-purple hue.

3. **Apply Pressure**: If the bleeding continues, gently apply pressure to the wound with a clean cloth or bandage for a few minutes at a time.

4. **Keep Your Cat Calm**: Try to keep your cat as calm and still as possible for at least half an hour to prevent the wound from reopening.

5. **Monitor**: Keep an eye on the wounded area. If it continues to bleed or if you notice any swelling, infection, or if the cat is excessively licking the area, contact your vet immediately.

Remember, it's always best to consult a vet if you're unsure about what to do or if the bleeding doesn't stop.

In the future, to prevent this from happening, be very careful when trimming your cat's nails. Only trim the transparent part of the nail and avoid the quick, which is usually pink and clearly visible in the nail. It may be beneficial to have a vet or professional groomer show you the correct way to trim your cat's nails to avoid injury.

Please remember that while potassium permanganate can be used in some first aid situations, it is not typically recommended for use by untrained individuals because of its potential dangers. It can cause burns if used improperly, and is toxic if ingested. Always contact a veterinarian for guidance if you're unsure about treating an injury on your pet.