If you are a new cat owner or are currently pet sitting your neighbor’s cat, there may be an uneasy feeling occurring to you whenever you think there is a possibility of the cat you are caring right now become suddenly sick. Yet, you bearing little knowledge of cat treatment may likely end up in panic when the actual incident happens. For this reason, as a beginner, you should always be calm and prepared for the worst case. Learn some of the following tips below for caring a sick cat safely at home.
1. Recognize a healthy cat
Finding a single symptom may be hard for you since the sickness in cats is often subtle. Added to that, there are a huge number of illnesses out there, making the symptom to become varied. Instead of being puzzled while frantically looking for any obscure sign of illness, you can simply change your mindset and examine how healthy your cat is. Follow the list below and match them to your cat’s condition. If the result is different, search for any possible cause and underlying disease that may happen to your cat.
- Eyes: bright, clear, free from any discharge and able to open widely.
- Ears: clean and free from both odor and discharge.
- Nose: clean without discharge, no sign of a runny nose or sneezing.
- Mouth: pink gums, free from lumps and sores; teeth have neither plaque nor tartar.
- Skin and coat: the skin has no scabs, redness and either parasites or white eggs; the fur should be shiny and silky without mats and excessive hair losses.
- Weight: is not overweight or has bones shown. A fine proportion can be measured from the existing ‘waist’ around the ribs.
- Body temperature and heart rate: the normal heat stays from 100 to 102 F; the rate should be from 110 to 240 beats a minute.
- Appetite: once you know the exact amount of meal for your cat’s diet, the slight change in her appetite may signal an illness.
- Excreting routine: change in cats’ urinary and fecal matter or habit may signify an illness, especially in their digestive system.
- Behavior: be wary of the sudden deviation. Healthy cats (particularly kitten) tend to be energetic and responsive. Lethargy and even aggressive behavior are the likely signs of disease in cats.
2. Isolate the cat
It is best for you to provide a room exclusively given for the sick cat. Cats have a sensitive mind as well. They may feel threatened if located in or near a crowded area; whereby your guests, other pets or children have the access to. As the result, the weak, sick cats would stress out and the illness may worsen. However, it would be the exact opposite if they were accompanied by the (caring) owner or familiar people. It is necessary for you to limit the contact of children to your sick cat. Your son/daughter may lift or embrace the cat in an improper manner and the cat would become upset. Interaction with other animals, especially your pets, is also restricted. Your cat may possibly spread her illness. In addition, other pets that play with the concerned cat could accidentally scratch or bite around her injured area.
3. Keep the cat warm
Besides taking your cat away from the traffic at your home, you should provide a suitable resting spot to your beloved cat. The main function of this spot is to keep her warm. You are advised to maintain the room’s temperature relatively around 71 F. Make sure it has enough air circulation and not too bright. Moreover, the room should not be overly damp and cold.
Even that, bringing your cat to the aforementioned room is still not sufficient. The sick cat may hide inside your closet, sit on her litter box or any place that she considers warm enough if you fail to place her on the right place. Therefore, it is necessary to supply a blanket or thick clothe as the resting place. Remove the carpet first if there is one in the room.
During the sickness, the cat might litter on her blanket. Therefore, it is better to put several old newspapers and a cardboard box beneath before placing the main item. If you have a confinement cage for your cat, you should also give her a blanket. Hence, it has to be washed at least twice a week; along with retaining the clean litter box.
4. Feeding the cat
No matter how the condition is, felines must preserve their diet. Normally, cats who suffer illness have a difficulty in eating. Try giving different food that can raise the furry pet’s appetite. A cooked skinned chicken makes a good choice as it stores enough protein and easily digestible. A wet cat food can also be fed to sick cats because of the high moisture it contains. A warmed food may be more inviting to cat’s natural instinct.
If your cat still refuses or become too weak to eat, you should resort to feeding her by force. Soft or liquid food is suggested so your cat can swallow it right away. Moreover, you may need a syringe to simplify the process. Serve the food in small portion but should be frequently provided. Slowly change to the usual diet once your cat shows a willingness to eat again. If it occurs to you that she cannot keep down her food, added with experiencing diarrhea, a further professional examination is necessary. In addition, make sure that fresh water always available. Use syringe or bottle if your cat appears reluctant to drink.
5. Clean the sick cat
In general, cats are hygienic animals. They always groom themselves using their spiky tongue and paw. Yet, this activity may decrease when they develop an illness. It is your duty then to keep the cat clean. Start with brushing the cat’s coat. As a beginner caring for the sick cat, you should know how to clean that fur properly, since the different length of hair determines diverse manner. Gently rub the eye, nose or mouth using a cotton damped with warm water if your cat produces any discharge around those areas.
6. Administer medication when needed
Apply the medicine only if you receive a prescription from your veterinarian. Once obtaining it, you can safely accommodate it at home. Medicine comes in different shapes: liquid and the solid ones. Your vet will give you instructions to serve the medicine. Added to that, it often comes along with the medicine itself. If they don’t, you can follow these methods.
- Administering liquid medicine can be easily done instead of the solid ones. You can use a syringe, bottle or simply a spoon. After preparing the medicine, pose the cat’s head on its steady, usual level. Tilting the head back may possibly make her inhale the medicine. Place the medium on the cat’s pouch—the corner area of mouth between the cheek and teeth—and slowly spill the liquid.
- The solid shape medication can take the form of capsules, pills and tablets. You may prefer the liquid one rather than risking your patience against your pet’s strong rejection. However, there are several safe alternatives to this bothering method. You can simply crash the capsule and mix it with water. Afterward, follow the same ways as giving the liquid medicine. You can also put it in your cat’s meal, but make sure the food conceal both its taste and smell. Cats really have a keen nose when it comes to their food.
7. Keep an eye on the sick cat
You should monitor your cat’s condition while conducting the tips above. Check for any sign of change. Your report would become helpful when the condition worsens and you have to bring your pet to the vet. As a beginner caring for the sick cat at home, watch for the alteration in the bodily and behavioral aspect.