When Should You Take Your Cat to the Vet Immediately?
4 April, 2018
when to take cat to vet

Cats are great at masking their feelings.  We certainly know when they are happy and excited, but when they are feeling sick or under the weather, it’s hard to catch the signs.  After all, they sleep all day long even when they feel great!  There are certain times when you should take your cat to the vet immediately.

1. Your cat has not eaten for more than a day

Any cat that has not eaten anything in more than a day should be seen by a vet. When your cat doesn’t eat, it can be symptomatic of a bigger issue. If you recently changed your cat’s food or think it could be something she ate, than you can give it a day.  Put out your cat’s favorite food, like tuna, and if your cat walks away, your cat could be suffering some other ailment, like pancreatitis, a urinary obstruction, intestinal blockage, upper respiratory infection or a kidney issue.

2. Your cat has trouble urinating

If you notice your cat making many visits to the litter box and has difficulty urinating, this is an emergency.   Your cat could have an obstruction which mostly occurs in male cats but affects females also. If your cat is restless, crying or any other abnormal sign, call your vet.  If not acted on immediately, it could become serious kidney failure or a ruptured bladder.

3. Your cat becomes extremely lethargic

If you notice your cat sleeping more than usual, being disinterested in food or toys, and not reacting like normal to certain things – he is lethargic.  He might slow down his eating, take longer to jump on the couch or sleep even more than his or her usual 16 hours.

Lethargy can signal many possible serious health issues, like arthritis, asthma, bladder infection, cancer, dehydration, depression, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, and poisoning. If your cat is being extremely slow and lacks energy, take your cat to the vet.

4. Breathing becomes labored for your cat

Just as in humans, when breathing becomes labored, it can be an urgent emergency. A cat that has trouble breathing should be taken to the emergency room immediately. Watch out for open-mouth breathing. It’s important to get your kitty to the vet to determine the cause and help your cat get much-needed aid.

5. Bleeding from anything other than a minor wound

Any kind of bleeding may be an emergency or it may be temporary, like bleeding from a wound, that you’re able to treat at home. Excessive bleeding that doesn’t stop is an emergency. Vomiting, diarrhea, or urine accompanied by blood should also be considered an emergency.

6. Your cat ate a plant or something toxic

Ingestion of toxins such as lily or antifreeze should be treated immediately. Rapid action can dramatically improve outcomes in many different types of toxicity.

7. Signs of severe pain or obvious distress

Bring your kitty to your vet immediately if you notice your cat is in pain. Pain always requires treatment, but it also can be a sign of more serious problems such as urinary obstruction or any other obstruction. Symptoms of pain and distress include vocalizing (howling), panting, hiding and overreacting to contact with a painful area.

8. Vomiting or Diarrhea

Vomiting or diarrhea requires immediate veterinary attention, especially when blood is present. Almost all cats occasionally vomit or have soft stools, and such incidents usually aren’t emergencies. But cats who vomit repeatedly or have blowout diarrhea should see the vet immediately.

This list is not entirely comprehensive as there are other reasons why your cat might not feel well and should be seen by the vet.  As always, when in doubt, call your vet to make sure all is OK with your kitty.

Other related articles:

Why Is Your Cat Throwing Up?

What Are Urine Crystals in Cats?

Food Items That are Dangerous to Cats.


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