If you notice that your cat is eating less and sleeping more than usual it may be time for a visit to the vet. If humans or some animals, such as dogs, don’t eat for a week or even longer, their bodies will feel it but should be able to handle it. However cats cannot.
If a cat stops eating for any reason their bodies cannot handle it and the situation can fairly quickly lead to liver problems that can be life-threatening.
This is a list of some symptoms that could indicate that your cat may be unwell:
- Loss of appetite
- Excessive thirst
- Sudden loss of weight
- Mucus from nose or eyes
- Excessive panting
- Unusual aggression
- Difficulty walking.
By the time your cat is displaying noticeable symptoms that something is wrong, it’s likely that the problem has existed for a while.
When it comes to caring for a sick cat – take it to the vet as soon as possible when something is not quite right.
It is better to pay for an office visit and be on the safe side then to wait and then be faced with huge vet bills or, much worse, the loss of your beloved pet.
If your cat has diarrhoea or is vomiting, but it goes away after one day, then a vet visit may not be needed. Observe your cat carefully and if the symptoms continue longer than 24 hours, or if they go away and come back, then you should take your cat to the vet.
Many pet owners find themselves caring for a sick cat. These owners have taken their cat to the vet, the problem was diagnosed, and they have received instructions about medications and follow up visits.
It is no fun having a sick cat, but there are a few things you can do to make your pet a little more comfortable.
- If you have other pets, find a way to isolate your cat from them if possible. You could set up a place for your cat in a room that is not used very often.
- Limit the contact that small children have with the sick cat. Remember – little children’s hugs can be quite rough.
- Always be present when small children are interacting with the sick cat
- Make sure that bedding is clean and check it daily to be sure the cat has not soiled it.
- Some cats will begin to sleep in their litter box when they are sick. So consider setting up a cage (leave the door open, so they can come and go), so that your cat will have a safe place to hide without having to take refuge in her litter box.
- If your cat must be confined to a cage, be sure that there is clean bedding and that you check it daily for soiling. Keep the litter box very clean, and wash the bedding at least twice a week.
- You may have specific instructions from the vet about feeding your sick cat. If so, be sure to follow those directions to the letter. If not, then it is important to avoid the temptation to give your cat “special” food while they are recovering. Depending on the illness, they may require a bland diet or special food that is available by prescription only. If that is the case, then you should not feed them anything other than those foods. Even if no special diet is required, you should stick to only to foods that are part of their normal diet. Save the special treats or any changes in food for after they have fully recovered.
- Depending on the illness, your cat may need to be cared for around the clock. If you are unable to do this yourself, you may have to consider boarding your cat at an emergency pet hospital where constant care is available.
Caring for a sick cat is not one of the greatest joys of pet ownership, but it is not as hard as you might think. Keep in touch with your vet, inform him of any changes, follow his instructions carefully and shower your cat with extra love and attention.