The Top Five Reasons Cats Are Rushed To The Emergency Room

The Top Five Reasons Cats Are Rushed To The Emergency Room

As a pet owner, it’s very important to know the common medical reasons that could result in a trip to the emergency room so that you can recognize the signs and seek care when appropriate.

The following are all life-threatening conditions that need to be treated as quickly as possible.

Urethral Blockage

A urethral blockage can appear to happen suddenly but the reality is that the crystals that cause a urethral plug or urolith have likely been building up for quite some time. When the urethra is blocked, the cat is unable to pass urine. Not only is this painful but it can result in a ruptured bladder.

Cats with a urethral obstruction will cry in pain and attempt to posture repeatedly in their litter-box. They need to be rushed to the hospital immediately so that the urethra can be unblocked and emergency surgery performed if necessary.

The Ingestion Of A Foreign Object

There is no denying that cats are curious creatures! This curiosity can cause them to ingest things that they shouldn’t, such as:

  1. String;
  2. Paper;
  3. Rubber Bands;
  4. Needles;
  5. Earrings.

Cat owners don’t always catch their felines in the act and so it’s important to know the signs that your pet might be suffering from a GI foreign body. Symptoms might include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and abdominal pain.

If you notice a string hanging out of your cat’s rear end it’s important that you NEVER attempt to pull it out. The string could be wrapped throughout the intestines and pulling could literally cause internal trauma.


Cats love to chew on plants but certain plants, like lilies, can be deadly. In addition to this, some cats will raid medications - especially if those medications are flavored.

Signs of poisoning include:

  1. Extreme Lethargy;
  2. Vomiting;
  3. Seizures;
  4. Abnormally Rapid Breathing/Panting;
  5. Drooling.

If you know what your pet has ingested, contact Poison Control so that they can supply your veterinarian with the correct countermeasures to treat your cat.

Heart Failure

Cats are masters of disguise and will frequently fail to show symptoms until they are in serious pain or distress. As cats age, their cardiac muscle can weaken, failing to pump blood appropriately and allowing fluid to build up around the heart and lungs.

When this fluid builds up, it can become difficult for your cat to breathe. It is typically at this point that cat owners notice their cat is panting or breathing very rapidly.


Bone fractures are quite common in cats. These fractures are typically caused by car accidents, fights with other animals, and falls from a height. Yes, cats do land on their feet but that doesn’t mean they can’t get hurt!

Depending on the location and type of fracture, surgery might be required to repair the bone. Fractures can take weeks to heal so be prepared to keep your cat quiet and isolated during their recovery.

By knowing the top reasons that cats visit the emergency room you can be better prepared if they begin to show symptoms. As cat owners, we can’t prevent every emergency but we can learn more about how to spot the signs that our beloved furry friends are in distress!

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