911: What to Do If Your Cat Has an Emergency | Cat Care of Vinings

911: What to Do If Your Cat Has an Emergency | Cat Care of Vinings

Like all pets, cats are prone to accidents, injuries, and illnesses. In fact, all pets, for the most part, will have at least one medical emergency in their lifetime. While we don’t want to think that something serious can happen to our beloved cat, there is every reason to be aware and prepared, should the unexpected occur. 

Do you know how to recognize a cat emergency? Are you prepared for what to do if your cat has an emergency?

The team at Cat Care of Vinings wants to give our wonderful cat lovers a better understanding of the signs of an emergency and how to quickly respond.

Can You Recognize a Cat Emergency?

Cats are skilled in many areas, from hunting to navigating narrow passages, and so on. They are also, unfortunately, good at masking their pain and injuries. In the wild, injury can signal that they are easy targets for other animals, which is why many pets still carry that instinct to hide their pain. The symptoms may be subtle, which is why it is important to know what to look for.

The following are some common signs that your cat is having a veterinary emergency.

Difficulty Breathing

If your cat is struggling to breathe, this is a definite cause for veterinary attention. Labored breathing or erratic breathing patterns are indicators that your cat isn’t getting enough oxygen. Other signs include coughing, wheezing, noises from the lungs, and other unusual breathing patterns.

Repetitive Vomiting/Diarrhea in Cats

If your pet vomits once, such as a fur ball or a little regurgitated food, it’s likely nothing to worry about. If the vomiting continues, however, along with diarrhea, your pet is in danger of dehydration. They could have eaten something poisonous or have other serious medical issues at play that need to be addressed.


Any major accident, such as being struck by a car, falling from a great height, having suffered an attack from an animal, or incurring other obvious injury, they need to be examined. Even if your kitty seems normal or unharmed, internal injuries and bleeding could be present. Fractures and head trauma are also cause for immediate attention.

Inappetence in Cats 

If your cat hasn’t eaten for 12 hours or more, it’s generally a sign that there is an underlying illness present. This is also true if your cat isn’t drinking water or vomits when they drink or eat. 

Gauge your cat’s water and food consumption and make note if there is a marked decrease. Sometimes, when a cat is drinking a lot more water than normal, this can indicate kidney disease or toxicity. So, follow up with us if this is the case.

Lethargy and Collapse

Extreme tiredness to the point of inability to get up or the desire to eat or drink is considered an emergency. This level of fatigue can lead to collapse, coma, and other serious symptoms of a medical emergency.


Paralysis can be sudden or gradual, and can be isolated to one side of the body or the back legs. Paralysis of the hind quarters can indicate a blog clot, which is a life-threatening and painful condition. Any sudden lameness in a pet should be examined right away.

Cat Seizures

Seizures can be caused by certain illnesses as well as ingestion of a poisonous substance. Certain pets also deal with conditions that cause seizures. A seizure is a sudden burst of electrical impulses in the brain which result in a loss of muscle control, changes in behavior, and uncontrolled movement of the body.

Problems Birthing Kittens

If your cat is having trouble during birth, and has not produced a kitten after 20-30 minutes of active labor, this is considered an urgent situation. This is also true when there appears to be a fluid filled sac in the birth canal that remains after ten minutes of straining. 

When Your Cat Has an Emergency

If you suspect something is off with your furry loved one, we recommend that you call us. Hiding more, eating less, disruption in sleep, and other changes in their daily life and well-being can be cause for further investigation. 

If your cat has an emergency, or if you think they are sick, please call us immediately so we can get them the help they need.

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