Part of being a cat owner is wondering if you need to go to the vet. Some ailments seem to clear up as spontaneously as they appear and leave no lasting harm. Others are the early warning signs of serious health problems and need a vet’s attention.
Today we’re taking a look at a few common feline symptoms and asking if it’s time to visit the vet.
Perhaps the most common health problem cat owners will run into with their charges is an upset stomach. It’s not unusual at all for cats to suffer from diarrhea or vomiting, and while often it’s nothing to worry about, on some occasions, you’ll need help to make sure your cat recovers quickly and safely.
If you’re dealing with cat vomiting and diarrhea when to call the vet is the most important question – most cases of feline gastric problems clear up within a couple of days. The time to call the vet is if it lasts longer, and especially if there are other symptoms alongside the vomiting and diarrhea. Lack of energy and appetite should worry you, as should finding blood in the diarrhea or vomit, or your cat becoming more aggressive or withdrawn than usual. Any of these secondary symptoms should prompt a vet visit without delay.
Any cat that explores outside does so at the risk of injury – and this one area where you definitely can’t afford to wait. Even a small cut can become infected, and lead to more serious health problems.
Whether it’s from an accident like a fall, or the result of a fight, if you notice an injury, then you should make an appointment at the vet without delay. Of course, it might not be easy to spot that injury. Cats instinctively try to disguise signs of illness or weakness, as in the wild it would make them more vulnerable to attack. You need to be vigilant – watch for signs like your cat limping or walking awkwardly, withdrawing from your touch or being uncharacteristically aggressive. This could be an indicator for an injury that requires attention.
It’s not normally a good idea to attempt first aid on your cat, but you can make an exception if you see a wound that’s bleeding freely. If you’re able to apply pressure or a bandage to help stem the flow, it’ll help until the vet can take a look, and apply a proper dressing – though you should balance the extent to which you can help against the distress your efforts could cause your cat.