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Cat With Blue Eyes


When should I bring my cat to an emergency clinic vs urgent care? 

The difference between urgent care and emergency care for cats lies in the severity and immediacy of the medical attention required. Understanding this distinction can be crucial for cat owners in deciding the right course of action when their pet is unwell or injured. 

  1. Emergency Care for Cats:

    • Severity: Emergency care is required for life-threatening conditions or severe injuries that need immediate attention.

    • Examples: Severe trauma (e.g., being hit by a car, falling from a height), difficulty breathing, prolonged seizures, major bleeding, suspected poisoning, unconsciousness, sudden paralysis, or severe pain.

    • Response: Emergency situations demand immediate veterinary intervention to prevent death or serious long-term health issues. These are situations where every second counts.

    • Facilities: Typically handled in specialized emergency veterinary clinics or hospitals that are equipped to deal with severe and critical conditions. These facilities usually offer 24/7 service.

  2. Urgent Care for Cats:

    • Severity: Urgent care is for conditions that, while not immediately life-threatening, still require prompt medical attention. These issues could potentially escalate to emergencies if not addressed soon.

    • Examples: Moderate vomiting or diarrhea, minor injuries, urinary difficulties (especially in male cats), sudden changes in behavior or appetite, or mild to moderate respiratory distress.

    • Response: Urgent care situations call for veterinary care within a short time frame, usually within 24 hours. Delaying treatment could result in the condition worsening.

    • Facilities: These conditions can often be handled by regular veterinary clinics during normal business hours. Some urgent care facilities might offer extended hours but aren't typically open 24/7 like emergency hospitals.


Role of Vet At Your Door:

Vet At Your Door, as a house call veterinary practice, can be particularly useful in urgent care scenarios that don't appear surgical.  Our veterinarians can assess your cat in its familiar environment, reducing stress and providing a clearer picture of its typical behavior and health. We can advise on whether the situation can be managed at home or if it necessitates a visit to an urgent care clinic or emergency hospital. However, for true emergencies, immediate transportation to an emergency veterinary facility is always recommended.


In summary, the key difference between urgent and emergency care is the immediacy and severity of the medical situation. Understanding this can help cat owners make timely and appropriate decisions for the care of their pets.

Where are local veterinary urgent care hospitals? 

  1. PetMedic Urgent Care Vet Clinic in Portland and Freeport:

    • Portland Location: 191 Marginal Way, Portland, ME 04101. Open Monday to Friday from 10 am to 9 pm, and Saturday to Sunday from 10 am to 7 pm. Contact number: 207-813-4777​​​​​​.

    • Freeport Location: Located in the Shaw’s plaza on Lower Main Street, Freeport, ME 04032. Open Monday to Friday from 12 pm to 8 pm, and Saturday to Sunday from 10 am to 7 pm. Contact number: 207-805-5398​​​​​​​​.

  2. Angelus Urgent Veterinary Care in Kennebunk:

    • Address: 31 York Street (Rte 1), Kennebunk, ME 04043. Contact number: 207-569-0064​​​​.

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