Feline First Aid: What to do When Your Cat is Sick or Injured

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If your cat starts showing symptoms of sickness, or is suddenly and unexpectedly injured, then it’s easy to panic. Unfortunately your panic can’t help your cat. It’s relying on you to get it the help it needs  -and time could be of the essence.

Today we’re taking a look at some of the most important things you can do when your cat shows you something is wrong.

Digestion Problems

Some of the most common problems you’ll encounter as a pet owner are your cat throwing up and diarrhea too. As curious explorers, hunters and scavengers cats can encounter spoiled food, parasites or even simply snack on something that upsets their delicate digestion.

If your cat is unable to hold down food, there are some simple things you can do to help.

  • Provide clean, fresh water

It’s easy for a sick cat to become dehydrated, and this can lead to even more health issues. Make it easy for them to keep hydrated by providing plenty of fresh, clean water close to them – whether that’s in a bowl or a drinking fountain depends on their preference.

  • Feed them

Even if your cat can’t keep food down, you shouldn’t starve them – this can cause much more serious problems like liver damage. Try small, regular meals of easily digestible food – boiled chicken or white fish and rice will help keep them nourished and are easy on the digestive system.

  • Stay alert for other symptoms

While most upset stomachs pass quickly, you need to make sure you’re looking for more concerning symptoms: blood in the stool or urine, sluggishness, loss of appetite, evidence of pain can all add up to a more serious picture. If you’re concerned about your cat’s health, you should make an appointment with your vet without delay.

Bleeding, Pain and Injuries

With an injury, you can’t afford to wait – even a scratch could lead to dangerous infections, and you’ll need to get your cat to the vet as a matter of urgency.

Unfortunately, our pets don’t always make it easy to see when something is wrong. Cats will instinctively hide their injuries, so you’ll need to look for more subtle signs: excessive grooming, being uncharacteristically withdrawn or aggressive, limping, listlessness and fatigue can all be indicators of a more serious problem.

When you become aware your pet is wounded, there’s little first aid you should try yourself – you could make the problem worse. There’s one exception to this, and that’s bleeding: if your cat is bleeding seriously, you can try to apply a bandage to stem the flow of blood. You can use strips of cloth or sheet if necessary – wrap it tightly around the wound, and if it bleeds through, apply another layer.

Don’t let this delay you making an emergency appointment with your vet, and try to make your cat comfortable in the meantime – blankets, cushions, a box to hide in and plentiful fresh water will make them feel safe and secure.