During your cat’s adult years, she will see her veterinarian annually for her routine checkup. There will be occasions in between those examinations when additional trips to the veterinarian are warranted. Cats are stoic, preferring to hide their pain and illness. Knowing the signs and symptoms of illness will enable you to seek prompt medical attention when necessary.
Know the Symptoms When Your Cat is Sick
If you ever see your cat hiding in seclusion, behaving restlessly, crying or exhibiting any of the following symptoms of a sick cat, bring her to a veterinarian for evaluation:
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Discharge from the eyes or nose
- Changes in water intake
- Changes in urinary output
- Excessive scratching due to itchiness
- Appearance of new lumps or bumps
Any male cat who strains repeatedly in the litter box, cries and fails to urinate more than a drop must be taken to the hospital immediately. Urinary blockage is a life-threatening emergency. If you notice any of these things in your animal, there are a few diagnostic tests that you can perform at home to help you determine if your pet may be ill.
Temperature and Hydration
A pet’s temperature is taken rectally. The normal temperature for cats and dogs is 100 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
Checking the hydration level of your pet is an easy thing to do. Pull up on the skin between your pet’s shoulders. If your pet is hydrated, the skin will fall quickly back into place. If your pet is dehydrated, the skin will tent and fall very slowly back into place. You can also put your finger on your pet’s upper gums to check hydration. A dehydrated pet has sticky or tacky gums. A pet that is properly hydrated has gums that are moist to the touch.
Discoloration of Your Cat´s Gums
Lift your pet’s lip and check its color. A healthy pet has nice, pink gums. If your pet’s gums are pale pink, white, purple or gray, it is likely that there is something wrong. Performing these simple diagnostic tests on your cat can help your veterinarian pinpoint what may be wrong. Remember to only perform these tests if it is safe to do so. An ill or injured pet may lash out at its owner.
Cat Health Conditions and Illnesses
It is crucial to be mindful of your cat’s weight. Prevent obesity by coaxing her into play mode and by feeding her according to the feeding guide on her food. Be sure to feed the proper amount for her ideal weight. By preventing obesity in your cat, you reduce her risk for a number of conditions that can compromise her health and her quality of life:
Brush Your Cat´s Teeth
Brushing your cat’s teeth every other day with a small finger brush and a toothpaste that is specifically formulated for use in pets will go a long way to keeping her healthy. Brushing removes plaque, preventing tartar buildup that leads to several health problems:
Your cat will probably require occasional dental cleaning procedures over the course of her lifetime. By brushing her teeth regularly at home, you can delay the progression of tartar buildup so that she will require fewer of these anesthetic procedures.
Golden Feline Years
Cats enter their senior life stage at seven. Her metabolism slows down and her nutritional requirements change. Begin weaning her to a food that is formulated for senior cats, and continue to monitor her weight.
At this time, your veterinarian will likely recommend performing routine blood panels and diagnostic tests as part of her annual checkup. These screenings enable your veterinarian to detect subtle changes in her body’s functions. Early detection is the key to implementing effective treatment. There are several health conditions and illnesses that afflict older cats, some of which can be managed for several months or years:
By recognizing the symptoms mentioned above and by performing the simple diagnostic tests on your pet you can determine quickly if your cat is suffering some form of illness. Visit your veterinarian for more diagnostic tests and to set up a treatments plan. Make sure your cat is covered, don´t wait until it´s too late when your cat is sick! Get a quote now.