When To Visit The Veterinarian

Going to the veterinarian for regularly scheduled check-ups is the #1 way to keep your cat healthy! Here are eight reasons you need to bring your cat to the veterinarian:

1. It’s Been Over 12 Months Since You Brought Your Cat to the Veterinarian

  • In the United States, there are millions more cats than dogs, yet cats visit veterinarians less frequently than dogs.
  • Preventive care examinations, or check-ups, for all cats should occur a minimum of once yearly, and more frequently for senior cats and those with chronic conditions.
  • During the physical examination, your veterinarian will assess your cat’s current health, and also can often detect conditions that may affect your cat’s health long before they become significant so they can be managed or cured before they become painful or more costly.
  • Cats need routine veterinary check-ups to promote longer, happier, and healthier lives.

2. You Are Using Google instead of a

  • Don’t rely on Google for answers – contact your veterinarian.
  • Whenever there is a change with your cat, you cannot assume the problem is behavioral – there may be a medical cause.

3. You’ve Noticed Weight Gain or Weight Loss

  • Almost 60% of indoor cats are overweight or obese, which can impact your cat’s quality of life.
  • The addition of just a few pounds can be difficult for shutterstock_208896685you to detect, yet can have significant health effects and risks for your cat.
  • If you notice that your cat has lost weight or is eating less, you need to call your veterinarian.
  • It can be difficult to monitor your cat’s weight. Your veterinarian will weigh your cat, compare the weight to your cat’s last visit, and determine if your cat’s current weight is appropriate for your individual cat.

4. You Have Questions Regarding Behavior or Environmental Issues

  • Addressing your cat’s physical, emotional, and environmental needs enhances their health and quality of life.
  • Your cat needs to have specific resources to perform natural behaviors and have control over social interactions.
  • As your cat’s caregiver, you can enhance your cat’s health and well-being by ensuring all her needs are met in your home environment.

5. Litter Box Changes or Questions

  • When you scoop your cat’s litter box, take a moment to observe: amount, consistency, and color.
  • If there have been any behavioral or physical changes to your cat’s elimination, be sure to see your veterinarian.
  • If your cat is vocalizing, missing the box, jumping in/out fast, or not digging at the litter, these may all be signs of a medical issue or aversion to the litter.
  • Be sure to set your cat up for litter box success and ask your veterinarian for advice.

6. Changes in Eating

  • There are a number of reasons that may cause a change in your cat’s eating habits. As a responsible caregiver, you need to discuss these changes with your veterinarian to keep your cat healthy.
  • Some cats are particular, but many times there may be a medical explanation for any new erratic eating behaviors (unless your cat has always been this way).
  • Your cat may be having a gastrointestinal problem, diabetes, or any number of other problems – don’t wait, contact your veterinarian.
  • If your cat has gone without food for 24 hours or more, contact your veterinarian IMMEDIATELY (a fatty liver disease could result, and hepatic lepadosis can be fatal).

7. Bad Breath

  • Did you know that periodontal disease is considered the most prevalent disease in cats 3 years of age and older?
  • If your cat has painful teeth or gums, tartar, gingivitis, or if you’ve noticed a foul odor coming from her mouth, teeth should be professionally cleaned before you begin a home-care routine.
  • Discuss tooth brushing or a home-care routine with your veterinarian.

8. Changes in Sleeping Habits

  • If you notice that you cat is “talking” or vocalizing, and/or sleeping when your cat typically wouldn’t could indicate a medical issue.
  • If you notice changes such as pacing and “talking” overnight, or sleeping more during the day, call your veterinarian.
  • If you notice a general confusion and/or personality changes (previously outgoing cat becomes a “wallflower”), call your veterinarian as this could be signs of a medical issue such as feline cognitive dysfunction syndrome (“Kitty Alzheimer’s”) in an older cat.
  • Whenever you notice something different, even small or subtle changes, about your cat’s behavior or habits, or when something is just not right, call your veterinarian.