Understanding and keeping a list of the most common ᴇᴍᴇʀɢencies that require a veterinarian’s attention will help keep a cat healthy for a long time.
1. Inability to Toilet
If the animal has ᴘᴀɪɴ in ᴜʀɪɴation or ᴅᴇꜰᴇᴄᴀᴛion or can do neither, it’s important to find out why. The animal could have an issue larger than you can handle and may need a doctor’s care. Animals often do not express ᴘᴀɪɴ, so an ongoing issue can progress to a life-ᴛʜʀᴇᴀᴛening problem without your knowledge.
2. ᴄʜᴏᴋing and Difficulty Breathing
As with humans, it’s never a good idea to “wait and see” when an animal cannot breathe. Never try to clear the airway. Learn animal CPR to keep the animal safe. Even if CPR helps the animal breathe again, take the cat to ᴇᴍᴇʀɢᴇɴᴄʏ care to make sure the animal is safe. A vet is the best-trained person to make sure the animal does not have internal ᴅᴀᴍᴀɢe that caused the breathing issues.
3. ᴘᴀɪɴ and Anxiety
As stated above, cats will not tell their humans when there is ᴘᴀɪɴ. If an animal is exhibiting signs of ᴘᴀɪɴ, it has progressed to a sᴇᴠᴇʀᴇ state and the animal must see a vet right away. Another method of expressing ᴘᴀɪɴ or illness is anxiety. If you can pinpoint the area of the ᴘᴀɪɴ, it will help the vet’s diagnosis. Note the animal’s change in behavior and anxiety activities as well, as these notes will also help the vet.
This item seems obvious, but some cat owners may think their animal is simply sleeping. If the animal cannot be roused from a sleep, contact a vet right away. The animal may have ᴘᴀssᴇᴅ ᴏᴜᴛ. The vet will need to evaluate the animal to find out what could be happening to make the animal lose ᴄᴏɴsᴄɪᴏᴜsness.
5. Heat Sᴛʀᴏᴋᴇ
As more stories of animals left in cars surface, so does the awareness of heat sᴛʀᴏᴋᴇ. If an animal is suffering from heat sᴛʀᴏᴋᴇ, he or she must see a vet immediately. Some signs of heat sᴛʀᴏᴋᴇ are:
- Panting excessively
- Dark or bright red gums
- Dry tongue
- Staggering, sᴛᴜᴘᴏʀ, or sᴇɪᴢures
- ʙʟᴏᴏᴅy ᴅɪᴀʀʀʜᴇᴀ and/or vomiting
6. Refusal to Drink
An animal will drink consistently. If the animal has had nothing to drink in the past 24 hours, despite available water, take the animal to the vet. It’s important to keep the water dish clean, but even if the dish is dirty, an animal will eventually drink from it. Any refusal to do so for 24 hours is an indication of an ᴇᴍᴇʀɢᴇɴᴄʏ situation.
7. ɪɴᴊᴜʀy to Eyes
An animal’s eyes are structured differently than a human’s eyes. If the eye is ɪɴᴊᴜʀed, there could be internal ᴅᴀᴍᴀɢe to structures close to the brain. Asking a vet for help will save your cat from further ʜᴀʀᴍ.
8. ʟᴀᴍᴇness and Broken ʙᴏɴᴇs
It’s never a good idea to allow an animal to “heal” when he or she displays leg issues. Allowing this to happen will cause the animal unnecessary ᴘᴀɪɴ later in life. Avoid these issues by taking the animal to the vet and help him or her live a longer, healthier, happier life.
9. Eating ᴘᴏɪsᴏɴ
Many things that are fine for humans are ᴛᴏxɪc for animals. Items such as multivitamins, chocolate, ᴘᴇsᴛ ᴘᴏɪsᴏɴ, antifreeze, and more are very ᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀous to a cat. They are also items an animal will ingest willingly. Learn what items are ᴘᴏɪsᴏɴous to your cat and call a vet ᴇᴍᴇʀɢᴇɴᴄʏ service immediately if you suspect your animal has ingested any ᴘᴏɪsᴏɴous substance.
10. Sᴇᴠᴇʀᴇ Vomiting/ᴅɪᴀʀʀʜᴇᴀ
Many people like to wait these symptoms out, but either of these items if sᴇᴠᴇʀᴇ will cause dehydration and ᴅᴇᴀᴛʜ quickly. It’s important to find out why the animal is having this reaction. Take the animal to the vet, and try to remember what the animal has eaten. Consider any ᴘᴏɪsᴏɴs the animal may have encountered using the ᴘᴏɪsᴏɴ list mentioned above. The information you can provide about your cat’s most recent activities will help the vet find out what’s wrong.
If an animal sᴇɪᴢes, vet attention is required immediately. Staggering also falls under this category. These activities indicate a problem with the brain, and the animal needs immediate help. A vet can assess the situation and might require more tests to find out how to best help the animal.
12. ʙʟᴏᴏᴅ from Extremities
If there is ʙʟᴏᴏᴅ in its sᴘᴜᴛᴜᴍ, vomit, ᴇxᴄʀᴇᴍᴇɴᴛ, nose, ears, eyes, or mouth, it’s important to find out why. Perhaps the animal was ɪɴᴊᴜʀed while out of your sight and needs ᴇᴍᴇʀɢᴇɴᴄʏ procedures to live. ʙʟᴏᴏᴅ should never be taken lightly. Seek ᴇᴍᴇʀɢᴇɴᴄʏ care immediately if ʙʟᴏᴏᴅ is found coming from an animal. There could be unseen internal ɪɴᴊᴜʀies.
13. Sᴇᴠᴇʀᴇ ʙʟᴇᴇᴅing
This is the number one ᴇᴍᴇʀɢᴇɴᴄʏ because too many people believe an animal’s first aid can be done at home. If ʙʟᴇᴇᴅing is sᴇᴠᴇʀᴇ or lasts more than five minutes, it must be checked by a vet. The fur could be hiding a bigger problem, or the animal might need stitches to heal without ɪɴꜰᴇᴄᴛion. The cut could be deeper than it appears, or there could be internal ʙʟᴇᴇᴅing that needs surgery.