When to Call for Help: How to know when to take your Cat to the Vet

Sick catIllness in a cat is not always easy to spot because cats often try to act as if they are not ill. This goes back to their more primitive days when a sick-looking cat would make an easy target for predators. For its own protection, a cat will try to look healthy, or otherwise hide away. This is why a normally sociable cat can become withdrawn when it is unwell.

Should you notice any of the following symptoms (besides any obvious wounds or broken limbs, etcetera), your cat is probably ill and needs urgent medical attention. Use this handy checklist as a guide:

  • Blood in urine, faeces or vomit
  • High temperature – very hot ears can indicate a high temperature
  • Vomiting with diarrhoea
  • Repeated vomiting or severe diarrhoea
  • Bleeding from the genitals
  • Straining to pass urine
  • Noisy, shallow or laboured breathing (other than natural panting)
  • Seizure, collapse or balance problems
  • Severe pain or discomfort
  • Involvement in a traffic accident – even if your cat “seems” fine
  • Ingesting a toxic substance or plant
  • Lumps around the neck
  • Discharge from the nose
  • Cloudiness or redness in the eyes
  • A drop in weight of more than 225g in an adult cat
  • A build-up of tartar at the base of the teeth

It is important to note that your cat may become severely ill or injured outside of your vet’s normal clinic hours. Make sure that you have your vet’s emergency number saved on your phone, as well as a number for a 24-hour medical clinic in your area, should there be one.

Source: The Cat Care Handbook by Catherine Davidson

– Article posted by Phillipa Mitchell

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