How Do I Know If My Cat Needs Veterinary Care?

While your cat does need a health check once every year, he might become sick in between appointments. This is a listing of the symptoms of more common veterinary emergencies for cats. It is possible for your cat to have a veterinary emergency that does not include these symptoms. If you are questioning whether or not your cat needs to be seen by a veterinarian, call us right away. Our phone number is (715) 924-3301. Be ready to describe your cat's symptoms when you call.

These symptoms may indicate difficulty urinating or urinary obstruction, a veterinary emergency. Urinary obstruction can be fatal in a few hours!

  • Spending a lot of time in the litterbox;
  • Howling or crying in the litterbox;
  • Licking genital area;
  • Bloody urine;
  • Painful abdomen;
  • Not eating, vomiting or diarrhea.

These symptoms may indicate a disease or trauma of the eye that requires veterinary care to protect the cat's sight.

  • Squinting;
  • Blinking more than normal;
  • Rubbing or pawing at the eyes;
  • Redness;
  • Discharge.

Vomiting or Diarrhea can be serious when combined with any of these symptoms!

  • Weak;
  • Depressed;
  • No appetite;
  • Blood in vomit or diarrhea.

Upper Respiratory Infections (URIs) can be caused by either virus or bacteria and are highly contagious. URI's are common in outdoor cats and in animal shelters. There are three types of URI's with similar symptoms. If your cats shows these symptoms for more than 7 days, schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

  • Eating less than normal;
  • Sneezing;
  • Coughing;
  • Runny eyes;
  • Discharge from nose or mouth;
  • Sores in the mouth or on the tip of the nose;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Difficulty breathing;
  • Limping, or tenderness in joints.

If you notice a foul discharge on your cat, call us to schedule an appointment. A bad-smelling discharge from a wound or body opening is a sign of infection and requires veterinary attention. You may also notice these symptoms.

  • Excessive licking;
  • Red, inflamed skin;
  • Foul odor;
  • Poor appetite;
  • Lethargy;
  • Increased thirst or urination.

Physical trauma can be anything from being attacked to being hit by a car. Symptoms may not be apparent until adrenaline has worn off - deep bite wounds, internal bleeding, or broken bones! If you notice these symptoms up to 2 days after a physical trauma, call us.

  • Difficulty moving;
  • Pain;
  • Pale gums;
  • Difficulty urinating, or unable to produce urine;
  • Coughing.

It is important to remember that kittens and senior cats are less able to tolerate diseases and heal more slowly from injuries; age is an important factor. A healthy cat might easily tolerate missing a meal or vomitting more than once, but for a kitten or senior cat it may be a critical first symptom. With kittens and senior cats, it is "better safe than sorry." Call us as soon as you suspect your cat is unwell. The sooner one of our veterinarians diagnose your cat, the sooner she can be on the path to wellness.

Posted on February 23, 2011 >> Article Archive