Cat Emergency Prevention

8 Common Cat Emergencies

The Greater Buffalo Veterinary Emergency Clinic is WNY’s most dedicated emergency vet. We are open 24 hours, 365 days a year to ensure that your animal has care when your regular vet isn’t available. This business isn’t always pretty, and we unfortunately must be a part of scary and intimidating situations on a day-in and day-out basis, but that is why we are here. To be there for the scary and intimidating situations for your pet, and for you. This blog is dedicated to providing information for pet owners of WNY, so that you DON’T need to come in. We hope we never need to treat an emergency but know that we are here if you need us. 


Today on the blog we wanted to touch on the kitties. Cats are an amazing bonding creature and even if you’re a dog person, you can be a big help for a cat owner if you know these 8 common cat emergencies!

Urethral Obstruction

Oftentimes found in male cats, this is a condition in which a cat is unable to urinate due to a blockage in the urethra. This is the tube carrying urine from the bladder outside of the body. 

Early signs of a urethral obstruction could include restlessness and frequent trips in and out of the litter box. The cat may also attempt to urinate in unusual places such as a plastic bag or a bathtub. You may notice blood in the urine, but there may not be any urine coming out, or very little. You may also hear a cat crying very loudly, vomiting, or becoming lethargic. 

In the event you observe any of the following signals, you may want to reach out to your vet, or call our emergency line. 


Cats are curious creatures and unfortunately, this is a common cat emergency. The way cats break down chemicals can make them vulnerable to toxins, and many pet owners are unaware of the many risks that are found both inside and outside of the house. A few common cat toxins are antifreeze, human medications, rat poison, or even seasonal plants like poinsettias.

If you have noticed that your pet has ingested something it hasn’t, it’s not a bad idea to reach out to your vet or call our emergency line. 

Read More: Kitten Season Approaching | Dystocia In Cats and What You Need to Know

Breathing Problems

These emergencies could happen slowly, whereas the cat isn’t showing too many signs of an underlying problem. The cat may hide the problems by decreasing their physical activity. By the time an owner notices any changes, it could be late into a progression of lung disease. Feline asthma, lung disease, or heart disease are all causes of concern. 

Foriegn Object Ingestion

Cats being curious and playful, there are quite a bit of cases where a kitty ingests something that could be very dangerous. Things like holiday tinsel, ribbon, dental floss, or other string-like objects can become lodged in the cat’s digestive system. 

You may notice signs of weakness, vomiting, lack of appetite, and diarrhea. There could be signs of a string coming from the mouth or rear area. In the event you notice something like this, you should call a veterinarian immediately, and do not try to remove the object on your own. 

Bite Wound

Catfights or run-ins with other animals can cause tiny punctures in the cat’s skin that may not be noticeable initially. In the event that an infection occurs, it could be a few days before noticing something is wrong with your cat. They may develop a fever and/or become lethargic 48/72 hours after experiencing a penetrating bite wound. The wound may heal itself, but if you notice any bite wound you should seek emergency care. Having a vet clean the wound properly and provide antibiotics will help avoid infection or abscesses. 

Hit by vehicle

It’s easy to think that your adventurous kitty will be ok outside, but cat owners must understand that letting your cat outside puts them at extreme risk. Even if you live in a rural area, many times roads in country areas have higher speed limits, so the vehicles have less time to swerve or move around a crossing cat. Suburban and city areas can seem quiet as well, but the more confident your cat gets the further he or she will go, and the more risk of getting hit occurs. 

Always seek emergency care as soon as possible if your cat has been hit by a vehicle. Even if the cat appears ok, there could be underlying injuries or internal injuries that develop over time.

Changes in Drinking/Urinating

This is another one that isn’t as noticeable initially, but changes to your cat’s thirst and urine volume are important clues to noticing an underlying disease. Kidney disease or diabetes could be a reason for sudden changes in drinking or urine volume. 

By taking samples of the cat’s blood and/or urine, your veterinarian will be able to determine the cause of the change. If you notice something is wrong, don’t be afraid to call our emergency line if your ve isn’t available, as time is always important in the intervention treatment of these types of diseases. 

Sudden Loss of Mobility in Hind Legs

Any sign that your cat is having trouble with mobility is a reason to call an emergency vet. Sometimes forms of heart disease can cause a risk for blood clotting, which can sometimes become lodged in a large blood vessel and prevent normal blood flow to the hind legs. This clotting is also known as a saddle thrombus. Sudden loss of mobility or use of hind legs, crying, and breathing changes are all signs of an emergency that should be brought to your vet’s attention. 

These emergencies are some of the most common cat emergencies, but not all. This blog is meant to help pet owners better understand what could or could not require emergency care, but in no way is this veterinary advice. If you notice something is wrong with your pet, you know them best, and having a good routine relationship with a regular vet is always healthy. In the event that you feel something is wrong and your traditional vet isn’t available, we are always here to help answer your questions. Feel free to give our emergency phone number a call to talk to someone about your cat. Remember to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up on all tips for pet owners!



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