Tempting A Sick Cat To Eat
Not eating may indicate emotional upset or disturbance but if it lasts more than 24 hours you are advised to see a vet. Invalids often do not wish to eat. To tempt them, warm their food to release aroma, and try strong smelling items such as pilchards . Do not leave uneaten food down it may cause your cat to feel nauseous. Many cats enjoy chicken, cat biscuits, tuna, or invalid diets from the vet. Liquidise food if there is any difficulty swallowing. Offer bits of food by hand, or dab a tiny bit onto the lips or front paws. Stroking or grooming a cat may encourage eating.
Making Your Cat’s Environment Comfortable
First Aid In Case Of Illness
Your cat might feel a bit under the weather at some point and not all symptoms are a reason to worry too much. For example, throwing up doesn’t have to be a symptom of a serious condition at all: it can just be a hairball or indigestion. In order to recognize the more serious symptoms, observe your cat when he or she is in a healthy cat state so that you can spot a change in behaviour or appearance. Are you a cat sitter with a reservation coming up? Make sure you arrange a thorough meet & greet beforehand so that you know how the cat behaves normally. Ask the owner to tell you everything there is to know about the cat so you’re already in the loop.
Very common symptoms in case of illness are:
- Difficulty breathing
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Is My Cat Sick Enough To Go To The Veterinarian
Knowing what is normal for your cat is the first step to recognizing when something is not quite right.
Not being able to pee, vomiting that wont stop, being unresponsive, seizures, and labored breathing are all emergencies, and you should seek veterinary care immediately.
If you notice any other change in your cats usual behavior or any of the signs discussed, call your veterinarian to schedule an appointment. They can give you guidance as to how soon to be seen based on how severe the change is and how long its lasted.
Here are a few simple things you can check at home:
Has your cats urine changed color?
Is your cat urinating more or less than usual?
Is your cats stool a normal color ?
Is your cats stool firm?
Do your cats eyes look sunken?
Does your cat have tacky or sticky gums?
Does your cats skin fall back down quickly after being gently lifted?
Cats can be experts at hiding signs of illness, but if you know what is normal for your cat, you can recognize changes early on so you can take action sooner to help your feline family member.
Treatment For Cat Colds
Mild cases typically do not require any medical treatment, but there are some things that you can do at home to help your cat feel better while she is recovering:
Keep your cat with you in the bathroom while you take a hot shower. The humidity can help relieve nasal congestion.
If the air in your home is dry , use a humidifier to help relieve airway irritation.
Reduce your cats stress during recovery. This may mean keeping her confined to a smaller, quiet room with all of her essentials close by and using pheromone products.
Severe cases, or cases where a secondary bacterial infection is also present, often require antibiotics. Typically, this will be in the form of oral medication that is administered at home. If your cat is sick enough that she is having difficulties breathing or refusing to eat, she may require hospitalization for 1-2 days until she is stable enough to continue treatment at home.
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Cats Notice Behavioral Cues
How a person behaves when theyre sick is potentially the most obvious way a cat clues into human feelings and well-being. When youre sick, your routine and mood changes. You dont get up with your alarm, you dont go to work, you stay in bed, you might forget to feed the catall of these behaviors send your cat a message.
Because cats love routine, they are hyper-aware when something in their environment is different.
Its unclear whether a cat will link these deviating behaviors to your actual illness. It is likely, however, that theyll recognize patterns and act accordingly.
If youre sick often, your cat might notice the pile of tissues by the couch and learn to anticipate a change in the routine. Your routine change might even inspire your cat to also switch it up.
If you stay in bed all day, that might encourage your cat to also stay close and cuddle instead of doing whatever they usually do. Their change in behavior makes you think theyre doing it to make you feel better. This might not be the case, but does that matter?
Whether or not cats know when youre sick is still unclear. They can smell hormonal changes and notice physical symptoms. Its also clear they recognize sickness-related behaviors. Its hard to say, however, whether they have the cognitive ability to combine that sensory information and link it to how they themselves feel when theyre sick.
Because cats love routine, they are hyper-aware when something in their environment is different.
Common Causes Of Illness In Cats
Now that you know some signs that your cat may be sick, here are a few common illnesses that can develop in cats:
- Is your cat drinking far more water than is typical? This could be a sign of kidney disease, diabetes or thyroid issues.
- Bad breath can indicate your cat is suffering from tooth pain or periodontal disease. Left untreated, dental disease in cats can lead to more serious problems such as heart, kidney and liver conditions.
- A sudden increased appetite can be a sign of inflammatory bowel disease, intestinal cancer, hyperthyroidism or diabetes.
- Have you noticed your cat is suddenly experiencing litter box issues? This could be a sign of anything from a urinary tract infection to kidney disease or bladder stones.
- Breathing problems and reduced enthusiasm for play or activities can indicate an upper respiratory infection.
- Arthritis or injuries can lead to a drop-off in your cat’s acrobatic activities.
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What To Do If Your Cat Is Lethargic
If your cat is lethargic, take them to a veterinarian who can identify the underlying cause of their lethargy.
If you notice that your cat is laying around more than normal, not playing when they normally do, seems depressed or tired, or is otherwise showing signs of illness, you should contact your veterinarian right away for an appointment to have your cat examined.
After a thorough history discussing your cats health and habits and a full physical exam, the vet might recommend diagnostic tests such as bloodwork or X-rays to determine the cause of lethargy.
If the lethargy comes on suddenly, continues to get worse, or doesnt resolve on its own, then you should visit a veterinarian immediately.
It is very important to know what is normal for your cat so you can compare that to any changes you observe in their behavior.
Knowing your cats normal behavior will also help you can answer questions when your veterinarian asks you for history during your cats checkup.
Once you notice that your cat is lethargic, ensure that there is a quiet dark place for it to rest away from the hustle and bustle of the household.
Offer fresh food and water to encourage appetite. Try canned food if the cat doesnt want the dry kibble.
Home Treatments For Non
There are many treatments you can do at home that some cat owners are completely comfortable with. Steam can help a cough. If you’re noticing urinary problems, increase the amount of wet food and encourage an increase in water in whatever way possible. If you’re on a purely kibble diet, you can try adding water to the kibble and introducing a bit of wet food. You can also try putting water in a dropper bottle and giving it to your cat.
If your cat is fairly sick already and you want to try home care, designate a clean area away from other animals and household noise and activity. You might need to feed your cat by hand, by placing wet food on his tongue. Avoid putting your finger near the cat’s mouth. Put the food on a favorite toy or a spoon or pop-sickle stick.
If you feel comfortable and have seen a demonstration, you can provide the following care at home.
- You should take your cat’s temperature and check his pulse if he is sick.
- A cat’s temperature should be between 101 and 102 degrees.
- His pulse should be between 110 and 130 beats per minute.
- You can also change your cat’s bandages or wound dressings. It’s helpful to have an Elizabethan collar to do this.
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Is His Temperature Abnormal
To take your cats temperature, lubricate a rectal thermometer and insert it 1 to 1.5 inches into the cats rectum. Depending on the thermometer, leave it there from 10 seconds to a minute. The normal temperature for a cat is 100 to 103 degrees, averaging 101 degrees. If the temperature is 104 degrees or above, or 99 degrees or below, call your veterinarian for advice if its 105 degrees or above, or 96 degrees or below, go to your veterinarian.
When in doubt, call your veterinarian. A false alarm is better than ignoring the symptoms of a sick cat.
Zoonotic Diseases From Cats
Illnesses that can transfer between cats to humans are called zoonotic diseases and there are a number of zoonotic illnesses you can catch from your cat.
Intestinal parasites, like roundworms and hookworms, can be transmitted to other pets and to people, Dr. Irish told The Dodo. Toxoplasma gondii is a protozoan parasite that can be transmitted via the litter box. Rabies virus, which is a lethal illness, is transmitted from the bite of an unvaccinated animal . Leptospirosis, a bacterial disease, can be passed through exposure to urine.
You can also catch something called cat-scratch fever from a healthy cat. It can happen if a cat bites or scratches you enough to break the skin , which allows bacteria to jump from the cat to you, causing an infection. Symptoms can include signs of infection around the wound, fever and swollen lymph nodes.
While there are a number of diseases that can be transferred from cats to people, heres a list of common illnesses that you can catch from your cat:
Many of these illnesses can act the same way in cats and humans, so symptoms will be similar in both people and cats.
Intestinal parasites can cause gastrointestinal signs in both cats and humans, Dr. Irish said. Other illnesses can cause general malaise, which can make cats and their people seem off or feel unwell.
Similarly, toxoplasmosis is super common in cats and rarely causes health problems, but it can cause serious health issues in pregnant women.
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Starting With A Classic
While cats and dogs differ with most things, when it comes to a traditional dish for sick pets they most certainly dont. Chicken and rice has been known as a savior for sick cats and if you are looking to balance out their tummy somewhat, this can be the perfect meal.
Lets point out that the big advantage that chicken and rice has is that its bland, yet still contains sufficient nutrients and calories to ease your feline friend back to strength.
On the subject of the blandness, dont give in to those eyes demanding a little more flavor in their meal. Again, bland is the key here and you just have to leave out all forms of seasoning if youre serious about your cats stomach being built back up to its former glory.
What To Feed Your Sick Cat And Get It To Eat
Caring for a sick cat that just wouldnt eat is quite frustrating. But guess what, we have found a few tricks that have proven quite helpful.
Yes, there are many reasons why your cat may suddenly stop eating, and if you want to boost your sick cats appetite, you have to go the extra mile to make the food attractive and delicious. And while doing this, make sure you dont leave out old food.
To make your cats food look extra delicious and inviting, you can try an excellent stinky wet food this normally entices a sick cat. You can also try parmesan cheese or add some tuna juice to your cats food.
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What Should I Do If I See Any Of These Signs
If you see any of these subtle signs 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.
What Changes Would I See In Coat Appearance And Amount Of Shedding
Cats that are not feeling well do not tend to groom themselves very well. Therefore, you will usually see a messy or greasy coat, mats of fur, or clumps of loose hair. In some cases, you will see a difference in the coats shine or an increased amount of dandruff.
Cats that are grooming themselves excessively may also have a problem. Excessive grooming may be a reaction to a skin problem such as allergies, a parasite such as fleas, mites or ringworm, pain such as that from arthritis or a bladder problem, or a response to stress. These cats might over-groom on all parts of their body, or they may lick themselves in one area so much that they develop bald spots and the skin beneath may be red and raw or may have a rash.
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Hes More Vocal Than Usual
OK, so this isnt one of the silent signs your cat is sick, but its noteworthy when your cat is more vocal than his usual quiet self. In fact, if it goes on for more than 24 to 36 hours, his meowing is a sign he could be sick. Vocalization is a very broad clinical sign in catsit can convey pain, but it can also convey many different underlying diseases, says Dr. Rossman. Despite popular opinion, purring doesnt always mean hes healthy and content. Find out the things you do that your cat secretly hates.
/ Increased Access To Water
You may own a lazy cat or one with a severely limited thirst drive.
The feline may not want to take the time to wander to a specific place to find water. By making water readily available and thus easy to find, youre encouraging the cat to drink more often.
Place multiple water bowls in various spots throughout your home so that your cat will have constant access to water. This simple trick can encourage them to drink more throughout the day.
You can even set the dry food in a timed feeder and keep a dish of water nearby. Because the water is readily available while the cat is waiting for food, the cat may drink more of it while waiting.
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Emergency Situations And Your Cat
Certain situations may be considered urgent. You shouldn’t wait for an appointment at your vet when your cat is experiencing an emergency. Keep information about after-hours veterinarians handy in case you need to rush to one. If you see the signs of an emergency, do not delay. Go to the closest open veterinarian immediately:
- Difficulty breathing
- Gums that are blue, white, or very pale
- Collapse, unconsciousness, or unresponsiveness
- Exposure to a poisonous substance
- Severe pain
- Body temperature over 104 or under 99 degrees Fahrenheit
- Hasn’t eaten properly in 24 hours
If you notice anything else your cat does that worries you, it’s better to be safe than sorry. You can call your vet or the emergency vet if you need help deciding if something is an emergency.