If you have a cat with a chronic disease, obviously vet visits are frequent. However, what about for a cat who doesn’t have a condition? When should you go to the vet?
Obviously visiting the vet can be somewhat expensive, so here are some defininte guidelines for certain symptoms that require a visit to the vet.
1. Vomiting or diarrhea for more than 12 hours
Because cats are known for their grooming habits, it isn’t uncommon for your cat to need to throw up a hair-ball now and then, especially when the seasons change or when shedding their coat. As horrible as it sounds, if you cat does vomit you need to assess the vomit. If you see any foam, blood or excessive mucus then the kitty needs vet attention. If you just said the hairball or grass then make sure to monitor them and if it doesn’t occur again they should be ok.
If this is a regular occurrence (e.g. more than once every 2 months) then your cat might need some further examination from the vet.
GUIDELINE 1) See vet if your cat vomits more than twice over a 6 hour period or if their vomit contains excessive foam or mucus, any sign of blood or if you are concerned they have consumed something poisonous.
2. If you notice skin infections or a lump
Felines are highly prone to developing dermal-abscesses or cysts. These can be from a cat fights or from over scratching. Often these do require excision or removal and sometimes they also need drainage. Sometimes in regions of the world with a high UV rating, skin lumps or bumps can be a sign of skin cancers.
It’s very important to be careful if you do find a mass on their skin, because if the cyst bursts there can be the risk of a more severe infection or the infection might spread to you too.
GUIDELINE 2) If you find any abnormal lumps or bumps under the skin, it’s very important you visit the vet. Especially if you suspect they have been in a fight or have a history of tumors.
3. Changes in behaviour
Cats tend to exhibit different behaviours when they are unwell. They often will be withdrawn or hide. It’s very important if your cat is behaving especially out of character, that you take them to the vet. There is a chance they need a checkover or that they might be unwell.
GUIDELINE 3) Significant changes in behavior (without an obvious reason) warrant a vet visit
4. Any type of rash
Many cats are prone to allergies, especially when there is a change of season. Often their skin can become incredibly inflamed and ichy (just like ecxema for humans). It’s very important that you have them assessed by a vet, because often cats prone to skin inflammation are at a high risk of asthma too (which can become deadly). Often cats with these conditions need ongoing medication to suppress their immune reaction.
GUIDELINE 4) Skin inflammation and rashes warrant a vet visit.
This is commonly combined with changes in behavior, but any time your cat won’t let you pick them up, when they are making abnormal noises, act out of character or if you suspect they may have hurt themselves they NEED to be checked over. Cats can break bones, dislocate joints and hurt themselves just like we do.
GUIDELINE 5) If your cat seems to be in pain, they need a vet visit.