Cat illnesses are no fun and can be a very worrisome ordeal. A little while back our normally happy energetic cat was very sick and I think we found the culprit so I thought I would share our story.
Our older cat Miss Kitty is about 10 years old and scours for food constantly. She has a voracious appetite and she is never full. It’s quite the battle keeping her off countertops and we have to keep the kitchen free of food. That includes dirty dishes, pots, pans, and the screen in the sink that catches food. she is like a food ninja and knows right when to look and where. I’ve never seen a cat lick a pan of grease so clean I thought I had washed it earlier. I tend to look for prints on the stovetop. At dinner time she cries loudly and gets very protective over her eating space. Separating our two cats when they eat is a must as she will steal food from her sister’s bowl. We are very careful not to leave anything toxic in the kitchen like anything that has onions or garlic.
Miss Kitty is a healthy cat for the most part other than aging teeth and a very sensitive stomach. She gets hairballs and is sensitive to drier foods so we usually give her wet canned food like a fancy feast can. One day a while back I went into the kitchen and she was wabbling while sitting there and when she got up her balance was way off. I looked closer to see her eyes dancing all around. Nonetheless, she was still hungry as always. My wife and I sprung into action searching google for any answers and calling a weekend emergency vet. The cat symptoms were drunk or very high off of something which was extremely scary.
After getting her to the vet they checked her out and couldn’t really give us an answer other than she more than likely got into something. I was spraying weeds and I keep my shoes by her food bowl so I thought maybe she ingested some that way. I also used a cleaner in the sink but other than those we had no clue. With the vets blessing, we brought her back home to observe and make sure her symptoms didn’t get any worse. On the way home I started to think of the cleaner in the sink.
When I feed the cats canned food I clean out the cans in the sink and some of the food lands on the screen over the drain. The cleaner was acetone-based so I did a quick search and found that her symptoms were similar to other animals that have ingested the same. I think the cleaner dripped on the food bits and she then ate the food. It was an incredibly anxious event so I really wanted to share our experience. After a few hours, she was more stable and seemed to have her bearings again. Within a day she was %100 ok which trilled us like nothing else.
Not knowing is the worst. Here is a family cat that we adore with major health problems. Here is a small list of things to do if you think your kitty has ingested something toxic.
Is my cat sick?
- Watch for gastrointestinal distress: Watch for excessive vomiting, diarrhea, and frequent urination may all be symptoms of poisoning in cats.
- Look around the mouth: Drooling and discolored gums may indicate that your cat has consumed a toxic substance.
- Evaluate neurological symptoms: Some toxic substances can impact the functionality of your cat’s brain and may cause seizures, incoordination, or a coma.
- Monitor the cat’s breathing: Heavy breathing, difficulty inhaling, coughing, and sneezing could all be indicators that your cat has ingested something bad for its health.
- Check the pantry: While one person calls for help, have another person check the area for potentially toxic substances, if possible. Many common human foods are toxic to cats.
- Inspect medications and chemicals: Medications and household chemicals are some of the most common offenders when it comes to accidental poisoning for household pets.
- Contact your vet: If your cat has any symptoms of poisoning contact a vet or animal hospital immediately.
In our case, everything worked out in the end but the stress and anxiety were high. Knowing what to do when your cat is sick or distressed is very important and every second count. Being a methodical detective is a benefit and can answer questions but the vet is probably the best bet. Make sure to cat-proof your house and always keep any medications or toxins in cat-proof closets or cupboards. It also doesn’t hurt to have the poison control number on the fridge in case someone is watching your pets.
Cats can be mischievous and get into all kinds of things but the joy they bring their owners is all worth it. With a little hard work and a keen eye, you can keep your cat healthy and happy. Thank for reading!
Poison Control Center: 1-(800) 222-1222
By: Andrew Harms
Owner of Bow Chicka Meow Meow