When to take cat to vet?

kitty89

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Apr 27, 2011
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I am currently looking after my parents' two cats while they're on holiday. They just left this morning - and basically as soon as they did, the younger of the two (she's seven) was quite violently sick. This happened about three hours ago; since then, she's been very quiet and not quite herself.

She managed to get her hands on some "human food" last night - she ate quite a bit of salmon fillet while my mother's back was turned, and I think that is probably what has upset her stomach. She seems a little lethargic but is not tooooo bad - she's asked to go out, took a stroll around the garden and lay out in the sun for around 15 minutes before asking to come inside again, sniffed at the choice of wet and dry food I've put out in case she wants to eat, but has just gone back to bed and seems super sleepy. I've put some water in a dish beside her in case she wants it, but she doesn't seem interested. She has let me pick her up and stroke her without making a fuss, but has a bit of a "leave me alone" vibe about her.

I particularly don't want to overreact with this because she absolutely HATES going to the vet - really, truly despises it. Even on a good day, the stress of being in her basket and driving in the car will invariably make her throw up. Furthermore, as my parents are away and I have a broken foot in a cast, I would have to ask a neighbour to take us to the vet's....and of course, this particular kitty DESPISES strangers.

I don't want to put her through all that additional stress just because I'm freaking out a little too much, but I am worried. Any advice would be much appreciated. Usually I'd just call the vet, but they don't work on Sundays. They have a number "for emergencies" but while I am very worried, I am not sure that, given that she's only thrown up once, it is really an emergency. I just don't like how quiet and sad she seems. :sad:

Thanks in advance for any help you might be able to offer.
 

Cindi

My baby, Bellis
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It does sound like the sickness is due to the food she got into. Just keep a close eye on her and if she is not feeling better in 48 hours that is when I would at least call the vet to see what she thinks. If her tummy is off it can take a day or 2 for her to feel better. As long as she is drinking and using the box I wouldn't freak out just yet. If she continues to vomit or shows signs of weakness or rapid breathing then you can worry. Sounds like just a tummy upset but you are a good cat sitter to take such good care of your Mom's cats.
 

clevercat

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Sep 29, 2008
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Oh dear, why do things like this ALWAYS happen on a Sunday? Given she ate something and then threw up, it could just be an upset stomach. I think it would be a good idea to withhold all food until tomorrow, just keep water on hand and let her try to sleep it off. Try not to fuss over her (I know how hard this will be!) - if she won't eat breakfast tomorrow, or she seems to worsen today, then call the vet. Having been through this more times than I can count, I know how worried you must be - I hope she improves soon.
 

kitty89

Member
Apr 27, 2011
169
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It does sound like the sickness is due to the food she got into. Just keep a close eye on her and if she is not feeling better in 48 hours that is when I would at least call the vet to see what she thinks. If her tummy is off it can take a day or 2 for her to feel better. As long as she is drinking and using the box I wouldn't freak out just yet. If she continues to vomit or shows signs of weakness or rapid breathing then you can worry. Sounds like just a tummy upset but you are a good cat sitter to take such good care of your Mom's cats.
Oh dear, why do things like this ALWAYS happen on a Sunday? Given she ate something and then threw up, it could just be an upset stomach. I think it would be a good idea to withhold all food until tomorrow, just keep water on hand and let her try to sleep it off. Try not to fuss over her (I know how hard this will be!) - if she won't eat breakfast tomorrow, or she seems to worsen today, then call the vet. Having been through this more times than I can count, I know how worried you must be - I hope she improves soon.
Thanks guys :smile: really appreciate your help. She seems to be just trying to sleep at the moment - and the last time I checked on her, she did start purring when I stroked her, which has reassured me a little. She doesn't seem interested in drinking anything, which isn't ideal, but it's there if she changes her mind. She's also been grooming herself, which makes me think she's probably feeling a bit better.

Of course, the other cat is doing his best to make things worse! He was actually my grandmother's cat, and was only introduced to my parents' house a year ago, when she became too frail to take care of him. The two cats really don't get along - my parents tried every trick under the sun, but have resigned themselves to the present state, in which they simply tolerate each other and only casually hiss at each other in passing occasionally. He's such a crafty cat, he KNOWS she's sick and appears to be genuinely revelling in it. So I am trying to keep them completely separated.

I guess I'll just be patient, keep an eye on both of them and re-evaluate in the morning. I just don't think she's ever been ill like this before, and it's so unlike her to be so gloomy....

Thanks again though, to both of you, clevercat and Cindi :flowers:.
 

bagnshoofetish

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Thanks guys :smile: really appreciate your help. She seems to be just trying to sleep at the moment - and the last time I checked on her, she did start purring when I stroked her, which has reassured me a little. She doesn't seem interested in drinking anything, which isn't ideal, but it's there if she changes her mind. She's also been grooming herself, which makes me think she's probably feeling a bit better..
I am from the school of erring on the side of caution especially with young animals. If you can I would take her to the vet without much delay. Purring and grooming is not always a signal of contentment. The fact that she isn't drinking water is not good. An animal can go without food for a period of time but not water. Please take her as soon as you can. Its better for the vet to tell you theres nothing wrong then to find out later something more serious could have been avoided. Just my 2 cents.
 

kitty89

Member
Apr 27, 2011
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I am from the school of erring on the side of caution especially with young animals. If you can I would take her to the vet without much delay. Purring and grooming is not always a signal of contentment. The fact that she isn't drinking water is not good. An animal can go without food for a period of time but not water. Please take her as soon as you can. Its better for the vet to tell you theres nothing wrong then to find out later something more serious could have been avoided. Just my 2 cents.
Thanks for the advice :smile: I admit, I would usually take the same approach, as it's better to be safe than sorry - if it had been the other cat, I wouldn't even have hesitated. But with this one....I was worried that if I were overreacting, it would make her feel much worse rather than better, given the extent that she freaks out when she has to get in a car.

Thankfully, she seems to be back to normal now. She started drinking water about three hours ago, and was fussing for food about twenty minutes later. I gave her a small amount, then some more a little while later when that seemed to go okay. She's currently pouncing around the kitchen chasing her own shadow :biggrin:. Although she will be staying in here with me for a couple of hours, just in case....I want to make sure she carries on doing okay and am somewhat traumatised by her performance on the bedroom rug this morning.

Thanks again for everyone who offered advice. I really appreciate it so much!
 

bagnshoofetish

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Feb 12, 2006
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Glad she's doing better.

Do you have a crate to take her to the vet? If so draping a towel over it so she can't see out can be a bit calming but shes gonna meow and be a little stressed no matter what. Never let that keep you from taking her or any animal to the vet. They get over it especially if you are calm throughout.
What I've always done for my animals is keep their crates out and available to nap in all the time. That turns the crate into a place of comfort and security and vet visits less stressful. :smile:
 

poopsie

How Sentimental
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Stress will cause a cat to purr and groom. I have a few stress purrers that makes it hard for the vet to hear their heart beat. And when mine stress groom i notice that it is done in a more agitated manner than their usual contented mosey all day liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiicks.