It’s never fun to be a cat owner with a sick cat. You know all too well that you have to keep your cat safe and well, so the responsibility falls to you to work out what’s wrong and get them the right help.
Unfortunately, for all the natural anxiety you’re feeling, one of the worst things you can do is panic. Cats are quick to pick up on our moods, and if you’re tense and panicky your cat could become anxious and defensive, and that makes it harder to give the care it needs – even if that care is simply rest.
Today we’re taking a look at a few common problems to help you feel confident about how to care for your sick cat, and less liable to panic.
It’s never fun to be faced with a vomiting cat, and less still one with diarrhea. Fortunately, many feline gastric issues clear up quickly and aren’t indicative of more serious problems. You just need to keep your cat hydrated, so ensure plenty of clean water is available close to them, and offer smaller, more frequent meals that are easy for them to digest.
You only need to worry if it takes longer than 2-3 days for your cat to recover, or if you notice any other worrying secondary symptoms, like blood in the vomit or diarrhea, evidence that your cat is in pain, or a lack of appetite. Then the best thing you can do is get in touch with a vet without delay, and they can advise whether you should bring your cat in as a matter of urgency, for a normal appointment or to continue care at home with renewed confidence.
There’s always a small risk your cat could be injured and this is magnified if it’s a cat that explores outside. Whether it takes a scratch or bite in a fight, suffers a fall or gets a cut in the course of exploring its territory, this is one situation where your panic is justified – though you should try to remain calm, and move and speak slowly to help keep your cat calm.
Any injury could cause an infection, heal badly or otherwise cause distress and suffering for your cat – it’s your duty (both moral and legal) to get help. Make an emergency appointment and get your cat to the vet without delay.
Getting Your Cat to the Vet
It can be difficult to get your cat to the vet, especially if they’re in distress. Many don’t like going into a carrier: they can tell they’ll be trapped, and may associate it with other traumatic experiences.
One of the best things you can do is plan ahead. Leave the carrier available for your cat to explore, and encourage it to play in there. You can even feed your cat in its carrier. This creates good associations, means it’s easier to persuade your cat to walk into its carrier or at least makes it less traumatic for your cat to be put into it if that’s what’s necessary.