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Pictures_Cat_first_aid.jpgWhen cats are injured or sick, sometimes people think cats can get better on their own. And cats are very stoic, they rarely show that they are in pain or suffering, which makes it even more difficult to know when to take your cat to the vet. Here are some circumstances that are warning signs of major health issues that only a vet can diagnose properly. So always take your cat to see a vet, even if it has to be an emergency clinic in the middle of the night, if he has any of these symptoms:

1. If your cat has been hit by a car, even if there are no outward signs of injury. My cousin had a kitten who was hit by a car at night, his leg and spine were broken but he walked home! My cousin saw that he was very close to the car that hit him but didn't know the cat was hurt until the next morning, when he was showing signs of shock. When he took him to the vet, he had to put him down.

2. If your cat has been in a cat fight, again, even if there is no sign of injury. There could be subtle injuries that if left untreated could cost you your cat's life. I had a cat, her name was Chloe, she got into a fight, and her tail was bitten. I didn't know to take her in to the vet right away and the bite got infected. She almost lost her tail because of my negligence.

3. If your cat has suffered from trauma of any sort like a fall from someplace high, as a passenger in a car, hit by something, kicked, or abused in anyway. (see my post Driving Miss Kitty for tips on how to keep your cat safe in the car) Internal injuries and shock can have a devastating effect on your cat.stray_cats.jpg

4. If your cat is in shock, even if you don't think anything happened to him, take him to the vet if he shows signs of shock. Watch for weak or rapid pulse, gums start out red or pink then turn grey, dazed or lethargic, shallow breathing, nervousness, difficulty standing, pupils dilating at different rates, or your cat being cold or shivering.

5. If your cat is dehydrated. How can you tell if your cat is dehydrated? pull on the skin on his back, if it kind of stays up in the shape when you pulled it, your cat is dehydrated and needs an immediate IV of fluids. Your cats skin should be elastic and return to its normal shape after it's pulled.

6. If your cat might have ingested something toxic like antifreeze, human medications, or anything that cats aren't supposed to eat, things that may be find for you could be deadly to your cat.

7. If your cat loses consciousness, even for a second or two, is a sign of some sort of brain trauma.

8. If your cat is bleeding and you can't stop it, even when you apply pressure and bandage it.

9. If your cat has bloody urine or diarrhea with blood. Not good, internal injuries, get him to the vet now.

Pictures_of_cats_grooming.jpg10. Obviously, if your cat is having trouble breathing take him in, or if he isn't breathing, start breathing for him by administering CPR and get him to the vet immediately.

If your cat has any of these signs, stay calm and talk to him in a calm voice, wrap him gently in a large towel or blanket and place him in his carrier and get him to the vet immediately.

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Cancer, digestive problems like chronic diarrhea, kidney failure or disease, urinary tract disease, diabetes and obesity are the main diseases that could be eliminated by feeding your cat moist, canned or homemade cat food.

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Dry cat food may be convenient and inexpensive, but the time and money you save may end up costing you more to keep your cat healthy. Recently, more and more studies show that dry cat food is too full of grains and fillers to be considered healthy for your cat. A common mistake that vets and common people make is to treat your cat like a little dog. A cat's physiology is completely different from a dogs. What works for dogs, kibble with a bowl of water, does not work for cats. Cats are carnivores, unlike dogs, cats can't be healthy with a lot of grains and fillers in their food.

Here are six diseases that have been directly linked to dry cat food:

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Any amount of milk is too much milk. It is just a myth that cats need milk. In the wild, cats don't normally take down a cow so their bodies weren't designed to ingest milk. As a matter of fact, milk will cause obesity, diabetes, urinary tract disorders, diarrhea, gas and other illnesses. The only exception is orphaned kittens who are younger than three months. Even then, you aren't supposed to use cow's milk because it is too hard on their bodies.

I know, I know, it goes completely against what everyone believes about cats. You always see pictures of cats, especially kittens drinking milk. But just because it tastes good, doesn't mean it's good for them - think antifreeze - lots of cats are attracted to the taste of antifreeze, but antifreeze kills cats.

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I know people who feed their cats milk everyday and the cats seem to be doing fine, but I am sure that the cats would be doing much better if they weren't addicted to milk. Yeah I said addicted, they gotta have their fix of milk everyday. Milk is too high in carbs. For cats, milk is not about nutrition, milk is about the carbs and the taste. It's a treat, but everyone knows that if you eat treats everyday, you will eventually develop some side effect - obesity, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, etc. If you want to give your cat a treat, give them cat treats, not cow's milk.

If you see the symptoms bloody stool in cats, you need to collect a sample of the stool and get to the vet for a complete exam. Your vet is going to ask you a few questions so be prepared by taking stock of what could cause the blood.

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Twelve questions your vet will ask you about symptoms bloody stool in cats:

1. Did your cat eat any bones or chew on other non-food items such as wood?

2. Did your cat eat any spoiled food? (did you leave the soft food out too long in his food dish?)

3. Have you changed his diet recently? (this includes treats, hard and soft food, and water or other liquids)

4. Has your cat eaten any people food? If so, what did he eat?

5. Has your cat been bitten by or playing with another animal?

6. Has your cat experienced any injuries to the anal area? (like a pelvic fracture, or a fall, or an anal temperature probe?)

7. Has your cat been rubbing his anus on the floor or carpets?

8. When did you first notice the blood in his stool?

9. Has your cat been straining or constipated? (your cat could have hemorrhoids)

10. How many times has your cat defecated in the past 24 hours?

11. Are there other symptoms your cat has? (such as vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, drinking a lot of water, and lethargic?)

12. Have there been any changes in the cats environment? (are you renovating? did you move the litter box? a new kitten in the house?)

Basically the bottom line is this, if you see the symptoms bloody stool in cats, put the stool in a plastic bag and get your cat and the stool to your vet as soon as possible.

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What can be causing the symptoms bloody stool in cats? There are several possible causes so it is really important that you take a sample of the bloody stool and your cat to the vet right away.

Symptoms bloody stool in cats could be caused by:

1. Parasites - yep, worms, round worms, tapeworms, get your cat treated right away, parasites kill your cat slowly and painfully.

2. Allergy to food - if you've recently changed your cat's diet or if your cat has been on the same diet for a really long time, allergies can develop and cause intestinal bleeding.

3. Polyps

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4. Cancer - cats can get cancer.

5. Colitis - a very painful condition caused by poor diet.

6. Damage to the bowel - could be caused by your cat eating something or a bite from another animal.. or lots of stuff..

7. Blood clots - a dark tar-like blood indicates a problem higher up in the intestines of your cat.

8. Constipation - what are you feeding your cat?

9. Diarrhea - again, what are you feeding your cat?

10. Treating your cat like a little dog. Cats have a completely different physiology from dogs so if a product says it's safe for cats and dogs, then you need to stop giving it to your cat. There is a lot of misinformation about cat health out there and it is leading to many loved family cats suffering needlessly.

If you see the symptoms bloody stool in cats, it isn't good. Take a sample of the stool and your cat to the vet right away.

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