What to Do if Your Cat Becomes Sick While on Vacation

You are on vacation and having a great time. Suddenly, your cat becomes ill. What do you do? First, you need to decide if the illness is minor and can be treated without veterinary care. Or is it a serious problem that requires medical assistance?

Before leaving on vacation, it is a good idea to talk to your veterinarian. Ask about which medications are safe if unexpected minor illnesses occur. Once you have approval from your vet, include these medications in your pet's travel first aid kit. Also, make sure you have your veterinarian's telephone number and emergency number in case of more serious illness.

Minor Illness

With the excitement of vacation, possible diet change and various activities, it is possible that your pet's gastrointestinal tract may suffer and vomiting and diarrhea may occur. If your pet has just a couple of episodes of vomiting, try withholding food and water for about 6-8 hours to help ease nausea. If diarrhea occurs, use medications recommended by your veterinarian. If your pet continues to display signs of illness, or there is blood in the vomit or diarrhea, or your pet is lethargic, do not attempt to treat yourself. Contact a veterinarian.

During vacation activities, injury can occur. If your cat is limping, keep your pet quiet and limit activity. If your veterinarian has recommended specific medication for soreness or mild pain, use this medication. If the limping continues or if your pet is in pain, seek medical attention.

Major Illness

Anytime your pet is lethargic, weak, having trouble breathing, vomiting or having diarrhea, or is in pain, seek medical assistance. If you are able to contact your veterinarian, he/she may be able to help you over the telephone but, more likely, you will be instructed to find a veterinarian in your vacation area.

If possible, contact the lodge or hotel manager or concierge and ask for a recommendation for a local veterinarian. You can also check the telephone book and start calling. Local emergency facilities are usually available in most large communities. In smaller cities, local veterinarians typically have emergency numbers.

Even though a veterinarian in your vacation town is unfamiliar with your pet, don't let that keep you from seeking medical care. The veterinarian may not know your pet's idiosyncrasies or quirks but he/she is fully capable to diagnose, treat and alleviate illness and pain.