As a doting cat owner, we do our best to keep our cats healthy and happy. Sometimes, though, a problem arises: our cat vomits, or gets bit by a strange bug, or even collapses.
While this is always a scary moment for cats and their owners alike, there is some solace to take in the fact that these are common cat emergencies.
This doesn’t take away from how serious they are, of course. Instead, it shows us that being prepared and understanding the signs and symptoms of some of these emergencies can help us get our cats feeling better again more quickly.
At Catonsville Cat Clinic, Maryland’s premier feline veterinary practice since 1997, we understand the deep bond between cats and their owners, and we know that with a little bit of information, you can ensure that you’re prepared for even the most surprising situations.
Today we are outlining 13 common cat emergencies, shedding light on their symptoms and providing guidance on what to do in these situations.
What Sets Cat Emergencies Apart?
Unlike other cat illnesses or conditions, emergencies demand swift action to ensure the well-being and survival of your furry friend. These cat emergencies are sudden and potentially life-threatening situations that require immediate veterinary attention.
Recognizing the signs of a cat emergency is crucial for timely intervention and can make all the difference in saving your cat’s life. Below we have 13 of the most common cat emergencies we’ve come across.
1. Vomiting and/or Diarrhea
Frequent vomiting and diarrhea can quickly lead to dehydration and nutrient loss in cats. While occasional upset stomachs may not be cause for alarm, persistent or severe symptoms should be treated as an emergency.
These signs can indicate various underlying conditions, including gastrointestinal obstruction, poisoning, or infections.
If your cat suddenly collapses or loses consciousness, it is undoubtedly a cause for immediate concern. Collapse can be a result of severe illness, trauma, heart problems, or even toxic exposure.
Swift action is necessary to stabilize your cat and determine the underlying cause.
3. Allergic Reactions
Just like humans, cats can experience severe allergic reactions to certain substances. Common allergens include insect bites, medications, certain foods, or environmental factors.
If you notice your cat experiencing difficulty breathing, swelling, hives, or vomiting after exposure to a potential allergen, it is crucial to seek emergency veterinary care.
4. Eye Problems
Eye issues in cats, such as sudden onset redness, swelling, discharge, or cloudiness, can indicate infections, injuries, or underlying health conditions.
Prompt evaluation by a veterinarian is necessary to prevent vision loss or further complications.
5. Seizures and Fits
Witnessing your cat having a seizure or fit can be an alarming experience. Seizures may occur due to epilepsy, poisoning, head trauma, or other neurological disorders.
During a seizure, ensure your cat’s safety, remove any objects that could harm them, and seek immediate veterinary assistance.
6. Stings, Bites, and Other Injuries
Cats are curious creatures and may encounter insects, spiders, or other animals that can bite or sting them. Swelling, pain, difficulty breathing, or anaphylactic reactions may follow.
It is vital to monitor your cat closely and consult a veterinarian if you suspect an adverse reaction.
7. Poisoning/Food Poison
Accidental ingestion of toxic substances or unsafe foods can have severe consequences for cats. Symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, seizures, or even organ failure.
Quick action is crucial to identify the toxin and administer appropriate treatment.
8. High Body Temperatures
Cats are susceptible to heatstroke, especially in warm weather or when confined to hot spaces. Heatstroke can quickly become life-threatening, leading to organ damage or death.
If your cat is panting excessively, lethargic, or collapsing, it is essential to cool them down immediately and seek veterinary care.
9. Infected Wounds
Wounds, particularly deep or puncture wounds, can quickly become infected in cats. Signs of infection include swelling, redness, discharge, and increased pain.
Prompt veterinary attention is crucial to prevent the spread of infection and promote healing.
10. Blood Clots
Blood clots can occur in cats with certain underlying conditions, such as heart disease or hyperthyroidism. Symptoms may include sudden paralysis of limbs, pain, or difficulty breathing.
Urgent veterinary care is necessary to manage the clot and prevent further complications.
11. Traffic Accidents
Cats allowed outdoors are at risk of being involved in traffic accidents. Even if your cat appears uninjured, internal injuries or fractures may not be immediately apparent.
If your cat has been hit by a vehicle, seek immediate veterinary care to assess their condition.
12. Difficulty Breathing
Breathing difficulties in cats can be indicative of respiratory infections, asthma, allergic reactions, or heart problems. Signs may include wheezing, coughing, open-mouthed breathing, or rapid breathing.
Prompt veterinary intervention is essential to determine the cause and provide appropriate treatment.
13. Urinary Tract Blockage
Male cats, in particular, are prone to urinary tract blockages, which can be life-threatening. Symptoms include frequent attempts to urinate, painful urination, or inability to urinate.
This condition requires immediate veterinary attention to relieve the blockage and prevent further complications.
What To Do If You Your Cat Is Dealing With One Of These Common Cat Emergencies
In any emergency situation involving your beloved feline, remember that time is of the essence. Reach out to our experienced team at Catonsville Cat Clinic without delay. We offer complete and compassionate care for your feline family. Your cat’s well-being is our top priority.
Contact Catonsville Cat Clinic at 410.869.0800 for immediate assistance in any cat emergency.