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Is My Cat Suffering an Injury or Illness After Vanishing for a Day?


Dear VetBabble: Is My Cat Injured or Unwell After Disappearing For a Whole Day?

Dear VetBabble, my indoor-outdoor cat recently disappeared for a whole day and when she came home, we found her laying in a corner, seemingly unable to walk. She appeared to be in pain, and I’m unsure of her current condition. Is she walking now, eating properly, and could there be any visible injuries?

Understanding Your Cat’s Sudden Changes

It can be distressing when your beloved cat goes missing, even for a short time, and returns in a seemingly unwell state. There are a few possible reasons why your cat may be behaving differently after a day away from home, including injury, illness, or even stress. Firstly, it’s essential to monitor her closely to determine any visible signs of injury or discomfort and note if she’s walking, eating, and behaving normally now. Let’s discuss some potential causes for her change in behavior and ways to help your cat recover.

Addressing Potential Injuries

When cats venture outside, they are exposed to various potential hazards, such as getting into fights with other animals, accidentally ingesting poisonous substances, or suffering an injury. Therefore, it’s crucial to carefully examine your cat for any signs of injuries or discomfort. Check for cuts, abrasions, swelling, or any other irregularities that could indicate an injury. Depending on the severity of any wounds found, your cat may require professional care from a veterinarian. If no visible injuries are present, it’s still a good idea to consult your veterinarian since internal injuries can be challenging to detect at home.

Recognizing Illness or Psychological Issues

If no injuries are detected, there may be another underlying reason for your cat’s lethargic or unusual behavior, such as an illness or psychological issue. For instance, arthritis is a common ailment in cats that can cause discomfort and mobility issues—learn more about Arthritis in Cats to understand its symptoms better and know how to manage the condition effectively. Additionally, anxiety and depression can significantly impact cats and manifest through changes in their behavior. Check out Cat Anxiety: Spot the Signs and Know How to Help for insights on recognizing and addressing feline anxiety.

Helping Your Cat Recover and Prevent Future Issues

Seeking professional advice from a veterinarian is essential to address any injuries or health concerns you cannot identify independently. Your vet can provide a tailored treatment plan based on your cat’s specific needs and circumstances to promote optimal recovery. In the meantime, monitor her behavior, movements, and appetite closely to provide your vet with as much information as possible.

Once your cat has recovered, it’s essential to focus on keeping her healthy, happy, and safe. You might consider turning your indoor-outdoor cat into a solely indoor cat to protect her from potential harm. If you do so, it’s important to provide her with ample exercise and mental stimulation to compensate for the loss of her outdoor adventures. Incorporate Playtime With Your Cat and even explore Walking Your Cat (Yes, it can be done!) to enrich her indoor environment and maintain her physical and mental wellbeing.

Remember, if your cat displays any signs of distress, pain, or unusual behavior, it’s always best to consult your veterinarian. They can help identify any underlying issues and provide you with the support and guidance needed to nurture your cat back to health and happiness.

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