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When to Call an Emergency Vet, and How to Find One for Your Cat

Cats are nice at masking ache — which makes it harder for kitty dad and mom to establish what’s an emergency and what’s not. Here are some signs in cats that decision for emergency vet care, together with assets for discovering a 24-hour or emergency vet in the event you don’t have already got one:

An orange cat annoyed and scared at the vet. Photography by pyotr021/Thinkstock.

When must you name an emergency vet for your cat? Photography by pyotr021/Thinkstock.

Difficulty respiration

If your cat exhibits indicators of labored respiration, it’s a matter of minutes earlier than the state of affairs might turn out to be harmful. Unlike canine, it’s not regular for cats to pant or breathe with their mouths open. Other crimson flags embrace wheezing and irregular respiratory sounds.

Repeated vomiting and/or diarrhea

Cats typically vomit, however in the event you discover your cat vomiting a number of occasions a day, it’s time to examine the chance that he’s ingested one thing harmful. Vomiting and/or diarrhea may be indicators of intestinal blockage from a international object, parasites, a sudden change in weight loss plan and even an infectious illness. Vomiting and diarrhea might additionally rapidly lead to dehydration, so search out an emergency vet instantly.

Toxic ingestion

The signs could differ relying on the kind of toxin, however in the event you suspect your cat has ingested a poisonous substance of any type, take him to the vet as quickly as doable. If you have got a query a few explicit substance, name ASPCA Animal Poison Control. Some frequent toxins for cats embrace lilies, remedy (prescription and over-the-counter — OTC), cleansing merchandise, pesticides and rodenticides and gardening merchandise.


Trauma warrants an examination, even when the cat seems unhurt. Trauma can happen after a  fall from an elevated location, being hit by a automobile, an assault by one other animal or some other kind of accident. A cat might emerge from such a state of affairs with lacerations, damaged bones, inside accidents, blood loss, shock or extra. Seek care instantly.

Foreign physique ingestion

Cats are playful and are recognized for chasing string-like objects. Ingesting objects like string, dental floss, ribbons or fishing wire may cause gastrointestinal obstruction or choking and suffocation. If you see a string-like object hanging out of your cat’s backside, don’t try to take away it — search veterinary consideration.


Epilepsy, mind tumors, mind swelling, low blood sugar and electrolyte points may cause seizures in cats. Report any episodes of this irregular mind exercise to a medical skilled instantly.

Difficulty urinating

If your cat strains to urinate, it might point out a urinary tract an infection, stress or one thing extra severe. Difficulty urinating is likely to be brought on by stones or crystals within the bladder, irritation, blood clots or most cancers.

Not consuming or consuming

Not consuming might be a results of a cat’s dislike of a brand new meals — nevertheless it’s not frequent for a cat to go a full day with out consuming or consuming. If you discover this conduct, contact an emergency vet to rule out kidney failure, problems from diabetes or intestinal obstruction. 

How to discover assist for an emergency state of affairs

At your common vet visits, ask knowledgeable if the clinic provides 24/7 emergency care — and if not, ask for a advice. Always have a cat first-aid package and a secure and snug cat provider prepared to go. Keep your vet clinic’s quantity, in addition to the emergency facility’s data, in your cellphone or pockets and in a visual location inside your house. If the emergency clinic isn’t in an space with which you’re acquainted, make a check run so that you’re not involved about instructions throughout an precise emergency.

It’s a good suggestion to plan beforehand, however accidents do occur. If you end up coping with a cat accident, Google “24 hour vet near me” or “emergency vet near me” and permit Google to use your location for probably the most correct outcomes.

ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center Phone Number (888-426-4435) or the Pet Poison Helpline (855-764-7661) are open 24 hours, 7 days per week, 365 days a yr and useful in case your cat ingests one thing probably dangerous — however we nonetheless counsel taking him to the vet as quickly as doable.

You know your cat’s habits and behaviors higher than anybody, so in the event you discover any signs that could be emergency conditions, don’t delay — name your vet or head to the closest emergency clinic.

Thumbnail: Photography by DoraZett/Thinkstock.

Read extra about cats and emergencies on Catster.com:

About Micky Antonio

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