Cats are tough, independent animals, so they may not show any signs of being ill until it's too late. They also don't have overt signals of mood change like dogs do. It makes it difficult to know when the time has come for a veterinarian visit. However, cats will get ill from time to time, sometimes with life-threatening conditions. What signs can tell you it is time to rush your favorite feline to the vet?

Abnormal Walk or Limping 

If left untreated, some conditions may not allow a cat to walk normally. For example, arthritis can cause cats to limp or develop odd gaits as they grow older. Cats also suffer injuries in fights with other cats, especially when mating. They can also incur human-induced injuries. A veterinarian can treat the injury and prescribe pain medication if necessary.

If a cat has a spinal issue, then it may arch its back in discomfort. It is a good idea to have a veterinarian look at the cat if you notice this behavior, as it could be another sign of an underlying condition. 

Straining to Poop or Urinate 

Cats can develop obstructions when they can't pass their waste normally. Straining is a sure sign it's time to take your cat to the veterinarian for an examination if there's something stuck in the digestive tract.

Cats may have blood in their stool or urine that is visible to the naked eye. This can be a sign of many different conditions, from severe intestinal bleeding to kidney problems and urinary tract infections. A veterinarian will determine what is wrong by taking a history and performing tests on samples of blood and feces.

Vomiting Frequently 

Vomiting once in a while isn't unusual for cats, but if it becomes a frequent occurrence, your cat may be pregnant or suffering from a disease like intestinal parasites. If the latter, your veterinarian will prescribe medication to cure the infection and prevent further vomiting.

You should also worry if the cat is coughing up too many hairballs. This could indicate a gastrointestinal tumor or even serious inflammatory bowel disease. Again, your veterinarian will be able to help.

Seizures and Sudden Collapse

Seizures can be life-threatening, particularly if you have a young kitten. A brain tumor or injury may bring them on, so call your veterinarian right away if the cat collapses suddenly and has a seizure. A sudden collapse can signal the ingestion of a toxin, for example, the chemical plumb oxide.  If this happens, it is time to visit the veterinarian immediately because it is a life-threatening emergency. 

Do you suspect something is wrong with your cat? Then, call your veterinarian to book an emergency consultation that could save your pet's life.