10 Cat Behaviors That Require An IMMEDIATE Vet Visit

| Published on May 20, 2015

No one wants to think about tragedy striking in your home, but being aware of these signs that something is wrong with your feline friend can save their life. Dr. Kathryn Primm, owner of Applebrook Animal Hospital and the “Animal Stuff You Wonder About” blog says if you notice any of the following ten behaviors in your cat, take him to the vet IMMEDIATELY.

#1 – Inability to produce urine or feces

Cats can have a urinary blockage that is immediately life threatening. If you think that your cat is not able to produce urine at all, you have a matter of hours to seek help. Cats can also become constipated and although this is not as immediately life threatening, it is certainly something that can necessitate veterinary intervention.

Image source: @LauraBittner via Flickr

#2 – Vomiting

Vomiting occasionally is not as emergent as multiple episodes of vomiting, especially if accompanied by anorexia and lethargy. If your cat is vomiting and seems to feel bad also, it is time to call the vet. The cat might have eaten a toy or string or he could be suffering from a toxin or metabolic condition, like kidney disease or liver disease.

Image source: @JorbasaFotografie via Flickr

#3 – Open mouthed breathing

Sometimes cats will pant from stress acutely and it will resolve once the stress is over, but continued panting in a cat could be a sign of some very serious conditions including heart failure and certain cancers.  Don’t delay.

Image source: @QuinnDombrowski via Flickr

#4 – Non weight bearing lameness

If your cat is no using one of its limbs, something is very wrong.  Subtle lameness can maybe wait, but holding up a limb all the time is a good reason to see a vet for x-rays.

Image source: @LivinginMonrovia via Flickr

#5 – Excessive thirst

If you notice that your cat is frequently at his water dish, something is wrong. Normal cats do not drink excessive amounts of water and able to concentrate their urine well. A cat that cried for water could have diabetes or kidney disease.  Blood work is definitely in order.

Image source: @CelloPics via Flickr
Image source: @CelloPics via Flickr

#6 – Seizures (a sudden attack of convulsions)

Epilepsy is not extremely common in cats and there are many other causes for seizures that need a veterinarian to figure them out. Toxins, metabolic diseases, certain cancers and trauma from falls can all cause seizures.

Image source: @AnneWorner via Flickr


#7 – Dizziness or imbalance

If you cat is staggering when she tries to walk, you need a vet.  She could have eaten something toxic or sustained an injury to her head or spinal cord.

Image source: @iris via Flickr
Image source: @iris via Flickr

#8 -Paralysis

A cat that is dragging a limb or limbs and is not able to move normally should be evaluated by a veterinary team. Paralysis can be related to injury or disease of the spinal cords and certain types of cancers, among other causes.

Image source: @alexyoslfov via Flickr


#9 – Collapse

A cat that seems to lose consciousness should be immediately seen by a vet.  Some of the same types of diseases can cause this as many of the others, but also heart disease can cause collapse.

Image source: @BenGrantham via Flickr

#10 – Screaming in pain

This symptom seems like common sense, but when it is your cat screaming, you can become paralyzed and not know what to do.  The most common cause for relentless screaming is trauma or sometimes as a sequel of heart disease a cat can have a clot that is dislodged from his heart and settles in one of his vessels, causing the tissues perfused by that vessel to die.  This is an absolute emergency. Get your cat to a vet fast.

Image source: @GluhWurmchen via Flickr

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