How To Care For A Sick Kitten At Home
Having a sick kitten can make any cat lover feel helpless and scared. One of the first things they want to know is how to care for a sick kitten at home.
To care for a young cat thats under the weather, it is critical to know how to identify if theyre sick, how to feed them, and finally what kind of general care you can provide at home. In this article, we will help you understand all of these points, so lets start with how you can tell if your kitten is sick.
Do I Need To Take My Cat To The Vet For A Cold
Cats get a lot of upper respiratory congestion, and they tend to be viral in nature. If the cat is mildly ill with just a bit of sneezing, the fluid coming out of their nose is clear, and theyre eating and drinking, youre probably okay. However, if they have a fever above 102, and theyre not eating or drinking, or if the fluid theyre sneezing out is yellow or green or bloody, seek veterinary intervention.
If its a viral infection, there isnt much we can do for cats. But if they get a secondary bacterial infection, then your veterinarian can intervene with antibiotics. Also, if the cats not eating or drinking well, we can try other supportive methods, like subcutaneous fluids or appetite stimulant medications. Theres a lot we can do to ease their discomfort while theyre recovering.
How Can I Treat A Sick Cat At Home
What can I do if my cat is being sick?Remove food for two hours, but continue to provide water.After this time, try offering a teaspoon of their usual food or bland low-fat cooked food such as chicken or white fish.If they keep this down, offer small amounts every few hours for the. Then go back to your usual routine.2 Feb 2017
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What Changes Should I Look For In The Litterbox
Both diarrhea and constipation are indicators of disease in cats. Diarrhea is usually easy to recognize in the litterbox, but constipation can be more problematic to notice. Small, hard, dry stools are never normal and are often an early indication of kidney disease.
Increased amounts of urine in the box indicate an of inability to properly conserve water and may mean that your cat is developing kidney or liver problems, or diabetes mellitus.
Reasons Why Your Cat Is Not Eating
Alycia Washington is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine with nearly a decade of experience as a small animal emergency veterinarian. She currently works as a relief veterinarian for various emergency and specialty hospitals. Dr. Washington recognizes the importance of education and also works as a freelance veterinary writer.
The Spruce / Ana Cadena
A cat that suddenly decides to stop eating is often a sign of a more serious problem. It’s not usually because a cat just doesn’t want a certain treat anymore. If your cat isn’t eating and has skipped several meals, or gone a few days without food, you should take action. There may be things you can do at home to help your cat regain its appetite, but sometimes veterinary intervention is necessary.
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What Happens When I Bring My Cat For An Evaluation
Generally, your feline veterinarian will want to do a physical examination and some baseline health screening laboratory testing, because we cant know what we cant see. Once the diagnostic values are returned, your feline veterinarian is able to use his or her expertise in cat medicine to analyze the lab results based on your cats previous values , the diet, the physical exam, and your observations. All these factors help your feline veterinarian determine what might be going on with your cat.
Dont wait to have your cat seen! By the time a cat shows clear outward signs of illness, the illness is often severe so severe that they cant hide it anymore. Early intervention, when indicated, is always the most beneficial health-wise and also the most cost-effective way to care for your cat.
We want your kitty to live the best life possible, and to thrive, not just survive.
Some Common Causes Of Illness In Cats
The symptoms listed above are all signs that your cat may be sick. Here are a few common illnesses that cats can develop:
- The sudden appearance of litter box issues could indicate anything from a urinary tract infection to bladder stones or kidney disease.
- A sudden increased appetite could be an indication of diabetes, hyperthyroidism, inflammatory bowel disease or even intestinal cancer.
- If your cat is drinking far more water than usual, it could be a sign that your cat is suffering from kidney disease, thyroid problems, or diabetes.
- Upper respiratory infections can cause breathing problems and reduce your cat’s enthusiasm for activities and play.
- Injuries and arthritis can result in a drop-off in your cats acrobatic activities.
- Bad breath in cats is a strong sign that your cat may be suffering from periodontal disease or experiencing tooth pain. If left untreated, dental disease in cats can lead to more serious issues such as heart, liver and kidney conditions.
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Change In Mood/suddenly Cranky
A sudden change in your cats mood, like suddenly becoming cranky, may be caused by a few underlying conditions:
Persistently larger or dilated pupils may be caused by hypertension, retinal disease, or a tumor affecting a cranial nerve or the brain.
Persistently small pupils may be caused by disease in the brain or Horners syndrome.
What You Can Do If Your Cat Is Sick
Your vet at Angel Animal Hospital is here to provide diagnosis and treatment if your cat is exhibiting any unusual behaviors. Early detection and treatment of illnesses can help to prevent conditions from worsening or becoming life-threatening.
Cat illnesses or injuries often need urgent medical attention, surgery or even emergency care. It is essential to seek professional veterinary advice as soon as possible. The sooner treatment begins, the sooner your furry friend will be acting more like themselves again.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet’s condition, please make an appointment with your vet.
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What Should I Do If I See Any Of These Signs That My Cat May Be Sick
If you see any of these subtle signs that your cat may be sick or are concerned about other behaviors you are seeing, its time to take action and bring your cat to a feline veterinarian. Exhibiting one or more of these signs may not mean your cat is seriously ill, but any one of these signs is an indication that the situation needs to be explored more fully, to rule out any illness.
Subtle Signs & Symptoms Your Cat Is Sick
By: Jane Harrell, Petfinder.com associate producer and Steve Dale, the host of the nationally syndicated radio shows Steve Dales Pet World and The Pet Minute with Steve Dale. His column, My Pet World, is carried in more than 100 newspapers nationwide and his new column, The CATalyst , just debuted. Steve also serves on the board of directors for the American Humane Association. Used with permission.
Cats outnumber dogs in the U.S. by about 15 million, according to the CATalyst Council. But cats receive less frequent veterinary care than dogs, and their signs of illness are often more subtle than their canine counterparts.
Dogs are more than twice as likely to visit the veterinarian than cats are. Here are some reasons why.
Cats are clever, particularly at masking disease. Theres an etiological explanation for this skill. In the wild, the ancestors of todays domestic cats are both predators and prey. If a wild cat shows weakness, its not long before that individual becomes dinner for a predator. The same holds true for community cats who reside outdoors, and though predators arent an issue for our pet cats they inherit the same intrinsic need to hide weakness.
So, is my cat sick? How can you tell? What can cat parents do? Familiarize cats early and regularly with cat carriers, take cats to the vet for routine care, and learn how to tell if your cat is sick.
Here are subtle signs your cat is sick and what to look out for :
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Cat Throwing Up Undigested Food
There is a difference between vomiting and regurgitation. Regurgitation is when cats throw up undigested food, often with little or no effort.
This undigested food may be covered in mucus and shaped like a tube. Regurgitation is often brought on by coughing, difficulty breathing, oesophageal problems or foreign bodies.
If your cat is vomiting foam, its likely to be bile. This is usually yellow or greenish in colour. Blie is an acidic liquid created in the liver and stored in the gallbladder until food has been ingested, when its released into the intestine. Bile helps cats break down food. It can, however, leak into the stomach and cause vomiting. If your cat vomits bile persistently or their sickness is accompanied by other health issues such as diarrhoea, loss of appetite or lethargy, seek urgent advice from your vet.
Shes Got Runny Eyes And Nose
If your cat is experiencing sneezing, nasal discharge, coughing, fever, or the sniffles, it can be due to a variety of things, including feline upper respiratory disease which is similar to the common cold in humans, says veterinarian Heidi Cooley, senior manager client experience and advocacy at Banfield Pet Hospital. However, if the tearing is excessive or comes with a clear discharge, Dr. Cooley says it could indicate a clogged tear duct or other irritation to the eye. Green or yellow discharge likely means she has an infection that would require meds from your vet. If your cat is ill, learn how to give it a pill.
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When Should I Worry About My Cat Vomiting
We start to worry about cats being sick when theyve vomited frequently in a single day or a couple of times over a few days. Its also a cause for concern when they stop eating altogether or will try and eat but bring the food and water back up. This can be considered an emergency because your cat isnt able to keep anything down and can quickly become dehydrated and lead to an issue with sugar. If your cats vomiting is accompanied by any other symptoms such as lethargy, diarrhoea or pale gums, if theres blood in their vomit or theyre showing signs of pain, dont delay in contacting your vet.
- Allergic reaction to a food
How To Tell If Your Kitten Isnt Feeling Well
Caring for pets can be tricky, especially cats they are usually more independent animals to begin with, so it can be tough to be able to tell when our cats arent feeling wellif only they had the ability to talk! The best way to notice if our kitten isnt feeling their best is to monitor their behavioral patterns and look for signs or symptoms of compromised health. Kittens are especially vulnerable to illnesses and diseases before vaccination, so its particularly important to know what signs to look for that they might not be feeling well. Here are some of the most common tell-tale signs that your kitten isnt feeling their best and they need veterinary attention.
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How Can You Tell If Your Cat Is Not Feeling Well
How to Tell if Your Cat is Sick: Signs & SymptomsSudden change in mood.No inclination to play or appearing lethargic.Constricted or dilated pupils.Much less or much more vocal than usual.Rapid breathing or shortness of breath.Noticeable weight loss or gain.Sudden changes in appetite, drinking, or eating habits.More items18 July 2021
What Do Cats Do When You Are Sick
Anecdotal evidence shows cats save lives by picking up on illnesses their human owners were oblivious to. Often, cats respond to a sick individual by becoming more clingy and attentive. If you notice any unusual behavioral changes in your cat, it may be picking up on a health problem that youre not aware of yet.
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Kitten Home Care Tips
Caring for a sick kitten can be a real challenge. They may need your attention and love for many things if the kitten is very young, they may or may not be able to regulate their temperature or even simulate their own bowel movements. Here are some tips for caring for a sick kitten depending on their age:
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What To Do If Your Cat Is Sick
If your cat is displaying any unusual behaviors it’s worth a trip to the vet for diagnosis and treatment. Early detection and treatment of illnesses can help to prevent conditions from becoming more severe or potentially life-threatening.
Cat injuries or illnesses often require urgent medical attention, surgery or even emergency care. It is essential to seek professional veterinary advice as soon as possible. The sooner treatment begins, the sooner your furry friend will be acting more like themselves again.
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What Changes Would I See In Overall Appearance
Cats that are not feeling well may just look a little off. The cat might sit in a hunched position, might not move as gracefully as before, might not lift its head properly, might have a head tilt, or might carry its tail in a different way than normal. Sometimes there is not any one thing that stands out, but instead a variety of subtle changes.
Dehydration is a common problem in cats that are not well. To see if your cat is dehydrated, gently grasp her skin near her shoulder blades, pull it up and away from her body, then let go. The skin should snap back into place right away skin that does not snap back into place, but stays tented up usually indicates dehydration, a condition that needs to be treated right away.
Cats that have some sort of chronic illness may develop slow and subtle weight loss that is only obvious when you actually run your hands along the ribs and spine. Cats that suddenly lose weight, particularly if they were previously overweight, are usually suffering from some sort of metabolic disease such as diabetes or hyperthyroidism.
Is His Gum Color Off
If you suspect a problem, check the gums. They should be a deep pink, and if you press with your thumb, they should return to pink within two seconds after you lift your thumb. Very pale gums or slow repinking may indicate anemia, shock or poor circulation. Bluish gums or tongue can mean a life-threatening lack of oxygen. Bright red gums may indicate overheating or carbon monoxide poisoning, and yellow gums are a symptom of jaundice. Tiny red splotches may indicate a blood-clotting problem. Tooth and gum problems often cause bad breath and pain, with redness around the gumline.
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Tips For Feeding A Sick Kitten
When kittens feel sick and lethargic, convincing them to eat can be a challenge. If your kitten is very young , you can attempt to bottle feed them using a milk replacement product. Older cats may be tempted by canned or dry food.
Here is common, age-based protocol used by many vets when a kitten wont eat:
Birth to 4 weeks: At this young age, many cats cant eat regular food, so you may need to offer milk replacement formula in a bottle or a small amount of milk on a plate for the kitten to lap up. The best milk replacement is called âKMR,â which stands for Kitten Milk Replacement. To feed your kitten, heat the milk until it is warm to the touch. Place the milk in a kitten nursing bottle and turn the bottle upside down. The milk should gently dribble out when you squeeze. If it does not, you may need to enlarge the opening on the nipple with a needle. Gently offer the bottle of warmed milk for your kitten to suckle every 2â4 hours. The younger the kitten, the more frequently you should offer the food. Dont squeeze the bottle in the kittens mouth this can cause aspiration and pneumonia. An alternative to bottle feeding is tube feeding your kitten. This involves placing a tube in your kittens mouth, which goes into the stomach and delivers the food directly into their body. To learn more about this method, go to: How to Tube Feed Sick Kittens.
What Are The Main Causes Of A Cat Being Sick
While cats dont have the same reputation as dogs for scavenging, some do habitually eat things they shouldnt.
Common causes of cats being sick include swallowing foreign objects such as pieces of string, rubber bands and ribbons, dangerous human foods such as onions and chocolate, and poisonous substances such as antifreeze, plants and human medications.
Internal parasites and serious diseases such as cancer or diabetes are also reasons for cats throwing up. If your cat is being sick regularly, there may be an underlying problem that will need to be diagnosed by your veterinarian.
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