Kitty 911! Recognizing a Cat Emergency

Kitty 911! Recognizing a cat emergency

How Do You Know When To Call The Vet?

The least of the things that you want to happen is to have a cat emergency. As a loving pet owner, you want your cat to stay as healthy and happy as possible. However, you can’t simply leave everything to chance and wishful thinking.

As much as we would like that accidents and sicknesses won’t happen, it could happen and when it happens, you would thank yourself for knowing what cat emergencies are and what you can do about it. Your knowledge won’t just save you from the trouble of false alarms, but it could potentially save your feline friend.

In this post, let us share with you some of the most common cat emergencies that you should be aware of. Once you get to see these signs, you should drop everything and call your vet.

Kitty 911! Recognizing a cat emergency

Difficulty in Breathing

If you see your cat breathing emphatically, extending his neck, and position his elbows away from the body, then your cat needs emergency attention. Look closely as well if he is using his abdominal muscles to aid in breathing. This should indicate that he is trying hard to gasp for air.

Timing is key here. Even for just four minutes that your cat stops breathing, it could cause brain damage and paralysis. So, once you see your cat isn’t breathing properly, act fast and call your vet.

Excessive Vomiting

Vomiting itself should not be a cause of alarm. Cats are known to vomit due to swallowed fur balls or inappropriate eating of foods.

Nevertheless, if you see your cat having more than three episodes of vomiting or he is vomiting excessively that leads to weakness, then you need to call the vet. Not only that but if you see your cat’s vomit comes with blood, that should raise a red flag.

Kitty 911! Recognizing a cat emergency

Refusal to Eat And Drink

Cats love to eat. We all know that. This is why we get worried if they don’t consume their food.

Cats who do not eat for a few hours should not cause alarm. However, if within 24 hours, your cat isn’t drinking water or not eating and this is accompanied by other signs of illness, then you better call the vet.

Inability to Pass Waste Products

Do you see your cat repeatedly strains when urinating or passing stool? Do you observe blood in his excrements? Does your cat peeing and pooping too little? If your answer to these questions is yes, it could be a medical emergency. If your cat won’t be able to eliminate waste products, it could eventually lead to poisoning and death.

Kitty 911! Recognizing a cat emergency

Swollen Legs or Joints

Playing is a cat’s hobby. They always walk, run and chase things with their legs. If swelling, bruising or spraining happens, it should be referred to your vet immediately. You don’t want your cat to continue walking with those swollen legs as this may worsen the injury.

While calling or waiting for the vet, you can apply an ice pack to the affected area. This should help in alleviating inflammation and decreasing pain.


Your cat likes to wander around. He may sneak outdoors and get injured. He may come home with obvious signs of trauma such as abrasions and limping.

If you suspect something is off, you better bring your cat to the vet for a general check-up. Remember, some traumas are not easily seen such as internal bleeding. Thus, it would be better to stay on the side of caution and get your furry friend checked.


Wounds are cat emergencies especially when it is arterial bleeding. It is a type of bleeding that comes from an injury in the arteries. Bleeding, if not controlled, would result in hypovolemic shock. Continuous bleeding would eventually lead to death.

Kitty 911! Recognizing a cat emergency

Poison Ingestion

At this point, it is useful to know the different substances, plants, and food that could be poisonous to your cat. Depending on the toxins, your cat would manifest various signs and symptoms.

If you suspect your cat has eaten harmful substances, be sure to call your vet, the APSCA Animal Poison Control, or Pet Poison Helpline.

Responsibility Is The Key

Knowledge is power and this is certainly true in saving your cat’s life. These are just some of the cat emergencies that you should be aware of and there are others not mentioned in this post. Thus, it would be a good idea to read more about this topic. Who knows, what you will learn today would save your cat tomorrow.