Collapse

For a cat to collapse it must be seriously ill. It should be taken to your vet as soon as possible.

If you find a young cat collapsed, or unable to move, one of the first things to consider is that it has been hit by a car. Check the claws as they will be scuffed if this is the case. Any serious disease can cause collapse if the cat becomes weak.

In older cats the most important cause of a sudden collapse is heart disease, although young cats can also get heart problems. Heart disease is often without symptoms in cats as a reduced ability to exercise is often not noticed – cats sleep much of the time anyway. With heart disease in cats to is common for the left atrium (one of the heart chambers) to swell and form a pocket of still blood. This blood can clot. If a bit of this clot breaks off it can block a blood vessel somewhere in the body (known as an ‘embolism’). The commonest site for this to block is the arteries into the legs, causing the hindlimbs to stop working with cold feet. Other sites include the lungs or brain, but if these are affected the result is often fatal either immediately or soon afterwards.

These blood clots are serious. If the cat lives, they may be left paralysed. There is some hope for a return to function as the clot will eventually be cleared by the body, but this takes a long time and is not certain.

Heart disease can also cause temporary collapse should the heart stop pumping properly for a brief time, but this is rare.

Disclaimer

This pet health article is for reference only.

If your pet is showing any symptoms or distress, and you suspect your pet is ill CONTACT YOUR VET IMMEDIATELY.