When your cat is sick – when you’re complaining my cat has diarrhoea, worried because it’s been injured in a fight or concerned because it’s become listless and withdrawn – you need to know how to make it comfortable. Sometimes an upset stomach will clear up by itself in a day or two because your cat has simply eaten something that disagreed with it. Sometimes you need to keep your cat calm and comfortable while you’re waiting for a vet appointment, or for some medication to kick in and begin the recovery process.

Today, we’re looking at how you can keep your sick cat comfortable and safe until it’s back to its usual independent self.

Quiet

When cats are sick or injured, they want peace and quiet – if they’re constantly at risk of being disturbed (especially by other pets or by children), they’ll shift around, causing more pain and discomfort and adding to their stress. When cats get stressed they can lose fur, vomit, and suffer diarrhea, exacerbating their existing health problem. Try to make sure your sick cat has a room or at least a corner of a room where they can rest without interruption.

Temperature

It’s quite a lot of work for a cat to stay cool – they cool down by grooming their fur. As the saliva evaporates, their temperature drops. If your cat is ill or in pain and the weather is hot, you can make this easier on them. Provide shade, cool water, and even cold packs to make sure their environment is comfortable. There’s even less a cat can do to keep warm when it’s cold – they need to seek out warm environments, so make sure their sickbed has blankets or even hot water bottles if needed!

Food and Drink

Water is the most important thing you can provide. Many pet health problems can lead to dehydration, if only because they don’t have the energy to get up and look for water. Dehydration, in turn, can make those health problems worse, so make sure you provide a bowl of regularly topped up water. It may even be worth investing in a cat drinking fountain, which might tempt your cat to drink a little more.

If your cat’s suffering an upset stomach, they might not have much appetite. You could try to tempt them to eat by offering small amounts of tinned fish or chicken. Be aware that these don’t provide all the nutrients that a purpose-made cat food offers, so it’s not a long term solution – but it might just keep your cat going until it recovers.