Do you own a cat that spends at least some of his or her time outside? Do you ever think about your cat getting into fights with other cats? While cat fights are often over in just a few seconds, they can still result in potentially serious injuries. Since cats instinctively try to hide their injuries, you have to be on the lookout for signs that your cat may not be feeling like his or herself. Here are some of the things that you should be watching for:
Swelling: If your cat has been in a fight, he or she may have been bitten by the other cat. Bacteria from the other cat's mouth can lead to an infection that results in an abscess. If you see a swelling on your cat that wasn't there before, it's important to get him or her to the pet hospital as soon as possible to get checked out. Depending on the severity of the abscess, the vet may need to install drains so that the pus inside can be released. Your cat will also need antibiotics, or else the abscess could become a serious infection. If the abscess is already starting to open up and drain on its own, your cat has probably had the abscess for a while and needs to see a vet as soon as possible.
Fever: Cats have a body temperature that is higher than humans: approximately 99.5-102.5F normally. As a result, it can be difficult to tell when your cat has a fever and when he or she has a normal temperature. But if your cat does have a noticeably higher temperature, it's time to take your cat to the pet hospital. A high temperature, even without visible swelling yet, can be a sign that an abscess is starting to form. If caught early by the vet, your cat may need only a round of antibiotics to feel better. The sooner you can get your cat to the vet after you notice something may be amiss, the lower your final vet bill is likely to be.
Weight loss: A cat that is feeling ill may exhibit no other obvious signs besides being unable or unwilling to eat. If you have multiple cats eating the same food, it can be difficult to tell if just one of those cats has stopped eating. But if you notice one of them starting to look or feel significantly skinnier than usual, it may be time to take him or her to the pet hospital. The vet there will search for other signs of illness, checking for fever and potentially even running blood tests. Even if your cat has gotten into no fights, he or she may have picked up an illness from any other cat that he or she has come across during his or her daily sojourns.
For more information, contact a pet hospital, like All Care Pet Hospital of Harbour Point.