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Animal Friends Blog


How do I know if my cat needs the vet?

a cat outside

You should take your cat to the vet if you see any of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Vomiting and Diarrhoea
  • Abnormal urination
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Stopped eating
  • Wounds received when fighting
  • Lethargy

The unfortunate and frightening time may come when your new cat is presenting signs of distress or injury, and urgent vet attention is needed. Never ignore these early signs – this is your cat’s way of signalling that something is not right.

So, how do you know if your cat needs the vet?

Difficulty breathing

Breathing issues can be hard to recognise at first. Cats don’t normally pant like dogs, and while in rare cases they may pant if they have been playing heavily and got over excited, this should only last a few minutes while they are cooling down.

If it’s persistent panting, alongside heaving sides, wheezing and flared nostrils, he needs to see a vet immediately.

Vomiting and diarrhoea

It’s normal for cats to vomit once, especially after they have eaten grass or something that doesn’t quite sit well. However, if the vomiting is persistent and they are displaying unusual behaviour, and if you notice any blood in the vomit, it is a sign that your cat requires immediate attention. He or she may have ingested a toxin or something which is obstructing her intestine, therefore time is critical in this case, so ring your vet straight away.

Abnormal urination

If your cat is usually good with his toilet habits – either always using the litter box or outside – and starts to soil around the house, this could be a sign of infection – punishment is NEVER the answer.

If combined with hiding, vomiting and howling, your cat may have developed a urinary tract infection, or a blockage may have occurred which can be life threatening, and an immediate trip to the vet is necessary.

a cat at the toiler

Trembling or shaking

Seeing your cat trembling for the first time can be a scary experience. Cats may involuntarily tremble or shake for several possible reasons; anxiety, stress pain, lack of food causing low blood sugar, or hypothermia. However, it’s also possible that your cat is simply shaking from purring vibrations.

There is no easy way to tell, therefore the best advice is to speak to your vet as soon as possible to arrange a full physical exam and diagnose any underlying causes.

Stopped eating

A cat who refuses to eat anything is a potential major concern. Cats are masters at hiding their pain, and if a cat suddenly stops eating it could be a sign they have been poorly for a while.

However, it also could be down to stress; if you’ve recently moved to a new house or got another new pet, he or she may respond by ignoring their dinner. They could also simply be sticking their nose up at a new diet, or new brand of cat food.


Your cat may have got in a scrap and received bite wounds. These are one of the most common cat injuries. However, even if the wounds look superficial and non-bothersome to your feline friend, see a vet sooner rather than later as any wounds are easy to treat with antibiotics and prevent infection.

You must keep an eye on them for any signs of infection in the meantime – look out for worsening redness, heat, swelling, hair loss and fever.


There are several health conditions that could cause sudden and unusual lethargy in your feline friend. If your cat starts to hide away and does not reacting to beckoning noises such as the tin opener, he could be suffering from stress or developed an underlying condition. You should ALWAYS talk to your vet when you notice this symptom.

If these symptoms occur before purchasing an insurance policy with us or within our 14 day waiting period
, they will be excluded from your policy, as they will be classed as pre-existing conditions.


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Hello, lovely readers, I'm Catrin George. I'm a treat dispenser and walk giver to Marvel, the border collie. I'm here to give you the latest updates and low downs on anything and everything pet related, whether they miaow, woof, or neigh. The blogs will be filled with news, reviews, and charity visits with some discounts and giveaways squeezed in-between. So, keep your eyes peeled here!

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