Dogs get a lot of attention in Hampton Roads, but we love our cats, too! One of the most common questions I hear from cat owners is how to know when they should take their feline friend to the veterinarian.
Are dogs and cats really that different with health… and illness? They are actually as different as night and day! When your dog is sick, it is usually pretty obvious that something is wrong, but your cat? Cats — still genetically wild animals — are different. They’re still hard wired to conceal their problems, illnesses and injuries.
Because of this, it can be tough for cat owners to figure out when their beloved kitty is in need of a trip to the pet doctor, making their “regular health check ups” even more important.
In general, cat experts suggest your cat be seen by the veterinarian twice a year, especially after age 10. This is because aging changes start at about age 8 in domesticated cats. It is also a good idea to have yearly blood work performed to detect any underlying issues in their earliest stages.
In addition to seeing your vet twice a year, here’s the most important warning that your cat needs to be seen right away:
Your cat changes his or her behavior in ANY way.
This can mean:
- Laying in a different space;
- Appetite changes, either decreased or increased;
- Drinking behavior changes, decreased or increased;
- Changes in the litter box habits; or
- Using a chair to jump onto the table, instead of jumping straight up.
Your cat is a creature of habit, so anytime you see something out of the ordinary happening, pay attention… and call your veterinarian.