Top Cat Emergencies Across the U.S.

Dr. Kelsey Bradley

Dec 14, 2022

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If you’re a cat owner and you live in the United States, you’re probably already familiar with some of the most common emergencies cats may face in this part of the world. However, it’s always a good idea to brush up on this information so you can be prepared for problems before they arise.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the most common cat emergencies you and your pet may potentially face at some point. Read on to find out more.

Respiratory Distress

Cats can have trouble breathing for a variety of reasons that can range from a mild infection or inflammation to life threatening diseases. It can sometimes be hard to determine if your cat is having trouble breathing as well. It is not normal for a cat to pant or breathe with their mouth open. If your cat is open-mouth breathing, has significant nasal discharge that is making it hard for them to breathe, breathing faster or with more effort than normal, or appears to be choking, go to the emergency vet immediately.

Inappropriate Urination

If your cat is having trouble urinating – often seen as going into the litter box frequently, straining to urinate with little to no urine coming out, and vocalizing in pain while attempting to urinate – this could indicate a urinary obstruction which is life threatening. This is most often seen in male cats but if you see these signs in your cat, whether male or female, take them to the emergency vet immediately to be evaluated.

Traumatic Injury

Any traumatic injury may warrant a trip to the emergency vet. Traumatic injuries can include falling from a large height, being attacked by another animal, being injured by a vehicle, and other problems.

Indoor and outdoor cats are both at risk of traumatic injury, but outdoor cats are considerably more likely to experience this type of injury. If your cat is injured or suddenly is unable to get up or use one or more of their legs, go to the emergency vet, even if she isn’t acting like she’s in pain. Cats hide their pain very well and the extent of damage may be more significant than they are showing.

Ingestion of a Toxic Substance

Cats are prone to licking and eating objects and substances that they shouldn’t. Unfortunately, both indoor and outdoor cats alike are frequently exposed to harmful substances that may be toxic when consumed, even in small quantities. Some types of human foods may be equally toxic to cats, so it’s important to remember this household hazard.

If your cat has ingested something toxic or you suspect that she has, don’t wait to take her to the emergency vet. Prompt care is essential for helping your cat recover from any type of poisoning or toxicity, and she may need to stay at the vet for a while, too.

Insect or Snake Bite or Sting

Indoor and outdoor cats alike are at risk of being bitten or stung by venomous insects. If you live in an area that is known for dangerous insects and spiders, your cat may be even more at risk of this type of injury. And if your cat ever spends time outdoors, snake bites can also be a potential problem.

If you notice that your cat has been bitten or stung by something, watch for signs of a reaction. In the event of swelling at the site of the bite, swelling in the face or neck, or elevated heart rate, go to the emergency vet immediately.

Eye Injury

It is possible for cats to be injured in and around the eye. If this happens, the cat could potentially lose an eye, especially in severe instances. The faster you respond to an eye injury in your cat, the more likely it will be for your pet to keep her eye.

Eye injuries can happen at almost any time. Even indoor cats who rarely get into too much mischief may be at risk, so keep this in mind and frequently check your cat’s eyes for signs of damage.

Persistent vomiting and/or diarrhea

Vomiting and/or diarrhea can lead to dehydration which is a serious problem in cats, whether your cat’s symptoms are caused by something they ate, an infection, an underlying disease process, or something else. Some cats have intermittent hairballs or vomit occasionally. If you notice an increase in frequency, change in appetite or behavior, or persistent vomiting and/or diarrhea it is important to have them evaluated by a veterinarian promptly.

Come to VEG for all Cat Emergencies 

Based on this information, you now know the top cat emergencies across the U.S and you can see just how many emergencies are considered common among cats. As a responsible cat owner, it’s a good idea for you to learn how to recognize these problems quickly and understand how to respond if they occur, too.

Additionally, be sure you have a good, trusted emergency vet in mind before an emergency situation arises. This way, you won’t have to scramble to find someone in the middle of a crisis, and you’ll have a faster reaction time to help your pet, too.

If you have a cat emergency, contact VEG by calling one of our locations. With locations all over the country, we have emergency veterinarians available 24/7 to help guide you in the best direction and make sure your cat receives the care they need.