Angel Ridge Veterinary Service PLLC

Quality compassionate veterinary care for your animals.

First Aid for Your Cat

Remain Calm

Whatever the circumstances, it is important that you keep a level head so that you can properly assess the situation and communicate clearly with your veterinarian.

For after hours help, call 405-969-2521, if I do not answer, leave a message and if possible I will contact you within 30 minutes.

If I am unavailable you can call O.S.U. Veterinary Hospital in Stillwater at 405-744-7000

or

Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Hospital, 1800 W. Memorial Road, Oklahoma City, 405-749-6989

Poisoning

If your cat has swallowed something potentially harmful or poisonous, call:

POISON HELPLINE

1-800-213-6680

www.petpoisonhelpline.com

or

ANIMAL POISON HOTLINE

1-888-232-8870

Emergencies

Call us at Angel Ridge Veterinary Service for veterinary attention if you see any of the following signs:

  • Abnormal heart rate (See how to take your cats pulse below)
  • Collapse
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dilated pupils
  • Lethargy/weakness
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Pain
  • Pale Gums
  • Restlessness and Panting
  • Unproductive Retching
  • Vomiting
  • Any sudden change in behavior

How to Take Your Cat’s Pulse

  1. Find a watch with a second hand.
  2. Find the pulse or heartbeat in one of two ways: Place 2 fingers inside your cat’s thigh, near where the leg and body meet, or place your hands on both sides of the chest cavity (just behind your cat’s elbows).
  3. Count the beats for 15 seconds, then multiply by 4. This gives you the number of beats per minute.  Normal cats heart rate is 160 – 240 beats per minute.

How to Handle an Injured Cat

You can gently restrain an injured cat using a homemade muzzle:

  • Be careful. Even the friendliest cats can bite or scratch when in pain.
  • Never muzzle a cat if he is unconscious, has difficulty breathing, is vomiting, or has a mouth injury.

Homemade Muzzle

  1. Use a bandage, neck tie, length of rag, or other piece of long, narrow fabric.
  2. Loop the fabric once around your cat’s muzzle and tie it under the chin.
  3. Loop the fabric around the muzzle two or three more times.
  4. Pull the ends of the fabric from under the chin and tie securely behind the ears.

Basic First Aid Procedures

 Severe Bleeding

Apply pressure with cloth, bandage, or your hand. Call your veterinarian immediately.

 Choking

Try to remove the object from your cat’s throat, especially if the animal is unconscious. You may use a Heimlich maneuver, but be gentle, as too forceful squeezing may cause internal injuries.

Vomiting

Do not give food for 12 to 24 hours.  Give ice chips for 2 hours after vomiting stops.  Then slowly increase the amount of food and water given over a 24-hour period.

Call your veterinarian, especially if your cat does not respond to treatment or if vomiting is accompanied by diarrhea, fever (normal temp for a cat is 100 F – 102.5 F), listlessness, pain,or any other signs of illness. If vomiting is continuous (3 to 6 times) call immediately.

Diarrhea

Do not give food for 12 to 24 hours.  Save sample of stool in refrigerator for testing.  Call your veterinarian.

Fractures

Signs of a bone fracture include inability to stand on the leg, limping, intense pain, and the bone appearing to bend where it should not.

1.   Muzzle your cat and control any bleeding.

2.   Check for any signs of shock:

  • weak pulse
  • pale gums
  • irregular breathing
  • dilated pupils
  • unconsciousness

If shock does occur, keep your cat gently restrained, quiet, and warm with the head elevated.

3.   Do not try to set the bone yourself! Transport the animal to a veterinarian immediately using a stretcher (a door board, blanket, or floor mat).

Heat Stroke

Signs of heat stroke include:

  • Loud panting
  • Bright red gums
  • Dizziness or coma
  • Depression
  • Weakness
  • Frightened or staring expression

Bring your cat’s temperature down by soaking her with cold water and covering her with cold wet towels, if possible, before rushing to the hospital.

Cat Diseases

There are many different kinds of diseases that can affect cats, many of which have similar symptoms. If you think your cat might have an illness please contact us at Angel Ridge Veterinary Service to make an appointment.

Signs to look out for:

  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Weight loss/gain
  • Hair loss
  • Grooming difficulties/hair matting
  • Increased anxiety
  • Lack of eating or drinking
  • Lethargic behavior
  • Vomiting
  • Not urinating or having bowel movements
  • Temperament changes
  • Abnormal breathing
  • Lumps/bumps

Give us a call at Angel Ridge Veterinary Service if you see anything unusual about the look, actions, smell, or anything about your cat that concerns you.