Feline Healthcare

Although some emergencies can be managed at home, others require immediate veterinary attention. These signs indicate an emergency that requires immediate veterinary assessment:

1. Non-responsiveness: A non-responsive kitten is usually in serious trouble. If you get no response or reaction when you call, stroke or touch your kitten, immediately check its breathing. Airway obstruction, cardiac arrest and poisonings are a few things that can cause non-responsiveness.

2. Laboured breathing: Respiratory problems require immediate attention. Fluid in the lungs or the chest cavity can obstruct breathing and kittens can go into respiratory arrest, followed by cardiac arrest, if untreated.

3. Drooling profusely: Electric cord burns to the mouth and tongue, contact with household poisons or plants and nausea from other systemic illnesses can cause profuse drooling.

4. Incessant vomiting: Serious electrolyte abnormalities and dehydration can occur from continuous vomiting. Intestinal obstruction from a ribbon, rubber band or string is a common cause of chronic vomiting in kittens and requires immediate attention.

5. Profuse diarrhoea: Diarrhoea can cause severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalances leading to rapid deterioration in kittens if not addressed promptly.

6. Abnormal colouration of the gums: Pale gums imply anaemia, bluish gums suggest a cardiac or respiratory problem and yellow gums denote red blood cell destruction or severe liver disease. All of these conditions require immediate assessment by a veterinarian.

7. Fever: Fevers in kittens often are caused by infectious conditions. Fever increases kittens’ fluid requirements and often depresses their appetite. Malnutrition and dehydration prove a dangerous combination. Kittens with a temperature greater than 103 degrees Fahrenheit should be examined promptly.

Other signs of illness include:-

  • Significant weight change (in either direction) over a short period
  • Loss of appetite
  • Drinking much more or less than normal
  • Lack of energy/sleeping more than usual
  • Unusual swellings
  • Skin conditions
  • Limping
  • Coughing
  • Unusual bleeding
  • Signs of pain, such as sensitivity to touch
  • Runny eyes or nose

If you are worried about the health of your cat it is always best to contact your local veterinary practice.


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