Common emergencies in cats

It can be quite scary to watch your kitty suffer , especially if you’re not sure if the situation should be considered an emergency. In case of doubt, you have to contact your vet as soon as possible, or take him to the nearest animal hospital.

To be better prepared , in the face of a situation that we hope will not come, here are some of the most common cat emergencies .


Shortness of breath

If your kitten is having difficulty breathing, you should seek veterinary attention immediately . This usually means that the lungs or airways are compromised.

Many things can cause your kitty to have trouble breathing. Infection is a possibility. Some of these diseases can cause pneumonia. Foreign objects caught in the throat or windpipe are also a possibility.

Damage to the lungs caused by trauma is another potential cause. Allergic reactions, congenital heart failure, and toxins are additional potential causes of respiratory distress.

Any shortness of breath should be considered a serious problem, requiring immediate evaluation.

Coughing and choking

Choking can be a serious problem, even if symptoms resolve within seconds. Lack of adequate oxygenation or the accumulation of fluid within the lungs can be dangerous consequences of suffocation.

Coughing is a vague symptom of several possibilities, including viruses, bacteria, fungal pneumonia, allergic bronchitis, or even congenital heart disease. Upper respiratory infections are one of the most common causes of coughs in kittens . A kitten with this condition often also exhibits signs such as sneezing, watery eyes, and a runny nose.


Vomiting and diarrhea

Vomiting and / or diarrhea can be caused by many different things, including a sudden change in diet habits, infectious diseases, toxins …

Some cases of vomiting or diarrhea can be mild and self-limited. But persistent or severe ones can cause problems . With these symptoms, your kitten can become dehydrated quickly, you have to watch him.

If he drastically worsens within hours, take him to the vet.


Traumas can be the result of being attacked by other animals, hit by a car, falling from high heights, or any other type of accident.

Trauma can lead to shock, broken bones, lacerations and other external injuries , internal bleeding, internal injuries, and pain . It can endanger your kitty’s life. If you experience any type of trauma, it should be examined by a veterinarian, even if it seems fine .

Complications from trauma are many and frequent, and early intervention will give your little one the best chance for a successful recovery.



If your kitten is bleeding, seek veterinary attention. Loss of blood can cause shock and can be life-threatening.

Of course, if the bleeding is minor and explainable, there is little danger and you can heal the wounds yourself.


There are many substances that can be toxic to felines . Among the most dangerous are the true lilies. Antifreeze is another toxin that can be deadly.

Chemical cleaning products, medications, garden products (fertilizers), are other possible toxins. If you are in doubt as to whether a substance is toxic or not, seek professional advice.


Ingestion of foreign bodies

Kittens are naturally curious and playful. Any foreign body that is swallowed can become harmful, either causing gastrointestinal problems such as blockages or perforations, or getting trapped in the windpipe causing suffocation.

Cats hide their pain and discomfort very well, if you know that they have swallowed something that could cause problems, take them to the vet .

Linear foreign bodies are a particularly common problem in cats. These can include ropes , ribbons, cables, and the like. If it is the case, look to remove it carefully.

Allergic reactions

Cats can develop allergic reactions. The causes of these reactions vary, from sensitivity to a vaccine , to insect bites.

An anaphylactic reaction is the most serious form of allergic reaction . Symptoms of anaphylaxis include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, shortness of breath, and collapse.

Cats can also suffer from allergic reactions including facial swelling, hives, and itching. You need to be careful if you suspect an allergic reaction from your pet.



Your kitty’s body temperature can rise for a number of reasons, such as infection or heat stroke. Temperatures above 40º are dangerous for your kitten and require veterinary attention.


Pets can be in pain for a number of reasons, and it can show in a number of ways. Agitation, restlessness, panting, rapid heart rate, or even aggression are all possible symptoms of pain .

Injury caused by trauma is probably the most common cause of pain in kittens, in most cases it is not a medical emergency.

If your kitty’s pain is severe, or doesn’t go away over time, seek veterinary help


As I said at the beginning of the post, they are all unlikely events, and I hope none of you have to live. But before the possibility of something like this happening, it is better to be prepared, to be able to react better and help our kittens.



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