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When to Take your Cat to the Emergency Vet

It can be difficult to tell when your cat is uncomfortable or sick when they can't tell you what's wrong. Without a common language, cats' behavior can seem mysterious at best or frightening at worst.

What is normal for a cat, and when should you take your cat to the emergency vet? It can be difficult for animal owners to tell if their kitty is experiencing minor discomfort or if there might be a more serious underlying health issue.


Here are some warning signs that pet owners might need to get their kitty emergency veterinary care.


Unusual litter box behavior

If your cat has a urinary tract infection (UTI) or obstruction, it cannot pass urine. This condition is grave for cats and can lead to death. Find emergency vet treatment immediately if your cat suddenly starts urinating outside of the litter box, straining, crying, and producing very little urine, or excessively grooming their genital area.


Your cat is vomiting

It's normal for a cat to vomit from time to time because of indigestion, nervousness, or hairballs. Clear vomit is quite common, as is vomit with plant matter (in the case of outdoor cats).


However, if a cat is vomiting repeatedly, if there’s blood in the vomit, or if the vomiting is accompanied by fatigue, look for local veterinary services as soon as possible. And if your cat is vomiting suddenly after a trip outside? Take your cat to an emergency vet immediately in case they ingested something poisonous.


Your cat's appetite has changed

Cats will usually refuse to eat if they aren't feeling well. However, certain illnesses can increase their appetite. A change in thirst can also be a warning sign. A cat that suddenly drinks a lot of fluids may have diabetes or kidney disease.


Your cat’s walking is abnormal

Your cat may be suffering from arthritis, infection, or a preference for one limb of his or her body. Even if you didn’t notice any specific trauma or accident, your cat may have sustained a minor injury that worsened over time.


Preference for one limb and/or limping is a surefire sign you’re due for a visit to the emergency vet.


Unusual growths, bumps or lumps

Although bumps and lumps can be harmless, an examination is necessary to determine if they are serious. Even if it is not harmful, it could cause discomfort for your pet.


Discharge from the eyes or nose

A respiratory infection can manifest as discharge from the nose or eyes, especially when combined with shortness of breath, panting, or sneezing. If left untreated, these infections can progress quickly.


Your cat has a bad cough

Chronic coughing for more than one day may indicate a serious condition such as asthma, allergies or heart disease. Seek emergency veterinary care immediately if your cat has difficulty breathing or blue-colored gums.


You keep wondering...

Trust your gut. No one knows your cat better than you, so if something seems off, take your furry friend to get immediate emergency veterinary care. For pet owners, it's always better to be safe than sorry.


Companion Veterinary & Urgent Care Center serves as your regularly scheduled primary pet care provider and offers emergency vet care at our full-service veterinary hospital.


If you and your kitty live in the Bradenton, Anna Maria, Longboat, Palmetto, Ellenton, or Sarasota, FL area, get in touch with our team for excellent care for your furry friend today.


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