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Signs Your Cat Needs Immediate Veterinary Attention

Part of the Cats For Dummies Cheat Sheet

If your cat gets injured or becomes ill, you may need to make a quick trip to the vet or to the emergency care facility. Following is a list of some symptoms that require your cat to see a veterinarian now:

  • Seizure, fainting, or collapse.

  • Eye injury, no matter how mild.

  • Vomiting or diarrhea — anything more than two or three times within an hour or so.

  • Allergic reactions, such as swelling around the face, or hives, most easily seen on the belly.

  • Any suspected poisoning, including antifreeze, rodent or snail bait, or human medication. Cats are also especially sensitive to insecticides (such as flea-control medication for dogs) and petroleum-based products.

  • Snake or venomous spider bite.

  • Thermal stress — from being either too cold or too hot — even if the cat seems to have recovered. (The internal story could be quite different.)

  • Any wound or laceration that’s open and bleeding, or any animal bite.

  • Trauma, such as being hit by a car, even if the cat seems fine.

  • Any respiratory problem: chronic coughing, trouble breathing, or near drowning.

  • Straining to urinate or defecate.

When in doubt, day or night, don’t wait: Call a veterinarian!

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