Recommendations for Cat Owners
Pet ownership carries with it the responsibility of being proactive in health care. There are certain steps that you should take to prevent health problems. We recommend the following:
- Keep vaccinations current
- Brush frequently to keep hair coat from matting. Many cats do not groom themselves well.
- Clip toenails as needed to prevent overgrowth. (Most cats less than 10 years need no nail care.)
- Keep plenty of fresh water available and monitor its consumption.
- Monitor urine output by measuring the amount of wet litter in the litter box.
- Keep other pets from preventing this one from free access to food and water.
- Keep indoors all the time if possible but at least at night.
- Weigh your cat on the same scale and record results at least every 60 days.
Early Signs of Disease
The following are early signs of disease. Some of these are so minor that they may not seem significant. However, our goal is to diagnose and treat diseases in their early stages when the success rate is much higher. Present your cat for an examination for any of the following:
- Sustained, significant increase in water consumption. (Abnormal is intake greater than 50 ml/#/day or approximately 1.5 cups (8 oz cups)/day or 12 oz total for 9 pound cat.)
- Sustained, significant increase in urination or amount of wet litter.
- Weight loss.
- Significant decrease in appetite or failure to eat for more than two consecutive days.
- Significant increase in appetite.
- Repeated vomiting.
- Diarrhea that lasts over 3 days.
- Difficulty in passing stool or urine or prolonged sitting or laying in the litter box.
- Change in litter box habits, especially if urination or defecation occurs out of the litter box.
- Lameness that lasts more than 5 days, or lameness in more than one leg.
- Noticeable decrease in vision, especially if sudden in onset or pupils that do not constrict in bright light.
- Masses, ulcerations (open sores), or multiple scabs on the skin that persist more than 1 week.
- Foul mouth odor or drooling that lasts over 2 days.
- Increasing size of the abdomen.
- Increasing inactivity or amount of time spent sleeping.
- Hair loss, especially if accompanied by scratching or if in specific areas (as opposed to generalized).
- Breathing heavily or rapid at rest.
- Inability to chew or eat dry food.