Cat Emergencies – 6 Signs of Trouble
By Laura Noaker – VERGI 24/7
Let’s face it, having a cat is a commitment and they certainly don’t come with warning labels. One way of becoming a good cat owner is getting to know your kitty well enough to pick up on signs that something could be wrong. Sometimes cat owners don’t understand the most common cat emergency situations and neglect to get help until it’s too late. Although some emergencies come on suddenly and are anything but subtle, many others start with vague symptoms. Early recognition of emergencies will improve the chances of a good outcome.
The following list is designed to help recognize feline emergencies:
Breathing problems in cats can be hard to recognize at first. Symptoms to watch out for are heaving sides, breathing with the mouth open, coughing, wheezing, abnormal respiratory noises, and the catch-all appearance of “breathing funny.”
Stopping Eating and/or Drinking
This could mean serious trouble. It’s not normal for any cat, when food is available, to go a full day without eating. This may be a symptom of many things including kidney failure, complications of diabetes and even intestinal obstruction.
Vomiting and/or diarrhea
This is a sign that requires immediate veterinary attention, especially if blood is present. We all know cats occasionally yak 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.
Profound lethargy or collapse
This should trigger trouble followed by an urgent trip to the vet. Profound lethargy often manifests as “not moving,” hiding in a single room for an extensive period, and not reacting to stimuli such as food in a normal fashion.
Cat owners should be aware that seizures often come in clusters that get worse over the course of several hours. They can also be a symptom of exposure to toxins such as mold or low-quality flea control products. Cats who suffer a seizure should go straight to the vet.
Signs of severe pain or obvious distress
Pain itself always warrants treatment, but it also can be a sign of more serious problems such as urinary obstruction or aortic thromboembolism. Symptoms of pain and distress include vocalizing like howling, panting, hiding, and overreacting to contact with a painful area.
This is by no means a complete list and there are other more obvious emergencies such as cat fights, major trauma, gaping wounds or massive hemorrhage. One more thing to remember, sometimes cats who have fallen from high elevations, been hit by cars, struck by garage doors, or attacked by other cats or dogs can have major internal injuries can appear unharmed after the incident. Any time you are aware of such an occurrence, don’t take a chance, get your cat checked out.
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