Caring For A Sick Cat
Monitor eating & drinking. If not eating, force feed meatballs of canned cat food (or baby meat food if vomiting) 4 to 8 times daily (small kittens may need to be fed every hour or two 24 hours per day until eating well or they may get worse each time they go 3 to 8 hours without food) Discharge in the nose and eyes can be wiped clean with a moistened cotton ball or facial tissue, then apply a thin coat of white petroleum jelly to skin where the discharges accumulate. Monitor urination & defecation. We have a canned food (a/d) that is very rich in calories and vitamins that is easy to syringe-feed. Any canned cat food can be dropped as a small ball into a cat’s mouth to encourage it to eat.
We worry that any sick male cat could have a urinary obstruction. If you do not know if your cat is urinating, then it should be seen sooner rather than later (if obstructed for 48 hours the kidneys can shut down, the bladder can rupture).
Any vomiting cat can easily become dehydrated (either sex) and if the vomiting is from swallowing a string, the cat needs surgery before the string gets caught somewhere and starts cutting through the intestines.
Administration of Subcutaneous Fluids
Hydration is very important for animals that are ill. Dehydration often causes animals to be depressed even if their original illness (like vomiting or diarrhea) has resolved. We often recommend that fluids containing electrolytes (NOT SUGAR) be administered to sick pets. This can be practically accomplished by injecting sterile electrolyte fluids by needle into the subcutaneous space. Often owners/caretakers are able, with instruction, to perform this very useful and beneficial therapy. The following link details instructions on how to perform the administration of subcutaneous fluids in general terms: subcutaneous fluids handout. This should only be done after having been instructed by our staff and discussing the benefits and risks with one of our veterinarians. The linked instructions are only intended as a helpful reminder for clients of FVVC who have been instructed and fully consent to taking on the responsibility of performing the task.