First Aid for Cats
Visits to the the vets can sometimes be stressful for your pet and many pet owners try to avoid attending the vets for this reason. However you should be aware of some conditions that need to be seen by the vet as a matter of urgency.
If you have an emergency please phone 01543 262464 / 262433
Urinary blockage is most common in male cats and is usually caused by crystals in the urine that form an obstruction in the urethra and subsequently prevent the passage of urine. Females can become blocked as well but this is quite rare as they have a much shorted and wider urethra.
Symptoms include: inability to pass urine, excessive straining in the litter tray, passing blood/crystals, trying to urinate in abnormal places.
Lethargy, pain and vocalisation, restlessness, aggression, inappetance, pacing and a hard swollen tummy.
If left untreated this condition can cause collapse, kidney failure, heart arrythmias and eventually death.
If you suspect your cat may be blocked it is vital you seek veterinary help immediately.
Seizures or Fits
While it can be extremely distressing to watch your pet having a seizure, do not try to restrain them as this can lead to further injury to your pet and yourself. There are things you can do though to help:
- Note the time
- Remove hazardous objects from around your cat
- Make sure your cat is not in a hazardous location ie. at top of the stairs. If so try to gently move them away from this hazard but only if it is safe for you to do so.
- Provide a quiet and if possible darkened environment and gently talk and reassure your cat.
Most seizures will last 1-2 minutes and will be followed by a period of disorientation.
If fitting lasts for more than 5 minutes, or if there have been multiple seizures over a short time – contact your vet immediately.
If your cat has had a short fit then we advise contacting your vet for advice but it is probably not necessary to see your pet urgently but we may advise for them to have an appointment with the vet to check them over.
Road Traffic Accidents
If your cat has been hit by a car seek veterinary help straight away. Even if your cat appears to have no external wounds or injuries he/she must be checked to ensure there are no internal problems.
To transport an injured cat, use a towel or blanket underneath them to act as a stretcher to reduce movement. If available use a pet carrier box and if the cat is collapsed cover with a blanket to keep warm.
Be aware that even the most placid cat may try to bite in these situations out of pain and fear. Please take care not to injury yourself.
Cuts and Wounds
Any deep cuts and wounds should be seen straight away as they may require stitching. If the wound is bleeding apply pressure with either a clean cloth, or apply a pressure bandage. Severe haemorrhage can lead to shock so it is very important that you seek veterinary help as soon as possible
There are many things found around the house and garden that can be toxic to your cat. Some of the most common include, lilies, paracetamol, anti-freeze, onions and rat bait. This is by no means a complete list and it is important to contact your vet if your cat has eaten something that you think could be toxic. Always act promptly when poisoning is suspected, the quicker we initiate treatment the better the prognosis for recovery. Most toxins will be absorbed into the bloodstream within just a couple of hours from ingestion.
Please provide as much detail as to the source of poison, including any packaging if avaiable, this will help us to initiate the most appropriate treatment.
You should never give your cat any human medication as this can be extremely harmful!
Vomiting / Diarrhoea
In most cases vomiting and diarrhoea with no other serious symptoms, does not require emergency treatment. These cases are often caused by dietary indiscretions or a mild stomach upset. Withold food for 24 hours and if the vomiting/diarrhoea has stopped, feed a bland diet, i.e. chicken or white fish (no bones) which is highly digestible. However there are some more serious instances which can require more urgent treatment.
If your cat is repeatedly vomiting and is unable to keep down any food or water, or if they seem listless and in pain then please contact us for advice. Vomiting/diarrhoea with blood may also require more urgent attention and veterinary advice should be sought in these cases.
Bee / Wasp Stings
Cats are most commonly stung either on the face or feet often causing swelling of the area. If swelling of the face is occuring it is important to monitor for signs of difficulty with breathing. If you have any concerns with your cats breathing then please call the practice immediately.
In cases where swelling is extensive we can administer an injection to help reduce the swelling.
Eye injuries are serious as they can lead to blindness or permenant scarring. They require prompt veterinary attention. Signs of problems with the eye may include squinting, irritation, discomfort or visible changes to the eye i.e. becoming very red and angry, cloudy or sometimes blood may be seen