8 Most Common Reasons To Take Your Cat To The Vet

Cat Check-upWhen something goes wrong with your kitty, a veterinarian can help your cat get back to good health and living a happy daily life. New cat owners and veteran cat owners alike sometimes have a hard time knowing when the appropriate response is to take your cat to the veterinarian, or if the problem can be remedied at home. If your cat is exhibiting any of the following behaviors for more than a day or two, you should see your veterinarian. Although some of the symptoms may be subtle, they could each point to a much larger medical issue.

Note: If your cat is bleeding, choking, having a hard time breathing or standing, or exhibiting any other extreme or life-threatening symptoms, you should take them to your veterinarian or an emergency veterinary hospital immediately.

1. Acting Differently: If your cat’s behavior has abruptly changed, there may be something serious going on. If they seem irritable, fatigued, itchy, crabby, or anything out of the ordinary, you should consult your veterinarian. If your cat is falling ill, the first symptom will most likely be a change in temperament.

2. Not Eating: If your cat has had a change in their food and/or water consumption, they may be getting sick. Some cats are finicky which is normal, but if you’ve noticed that your cat suddenly doesn’t like their favorite food, there might be something more serious going on. Whether it’s a stomach bug or a kitty cold, their appetite will most likely be affected.

3. Weight Change: If your cat’s weight has abruptly changed, you should consult your veterinarian. Even if your cat’s appetite hasn’t changed, but their weight has fluctuated, they may be suffering from a thyroid problem, or something else. It is normal for an adult cat’s weight to be maintained, so you should consult your veterinarian if you’ve noticed any distinct changes in weight.

4. Limping: If your pet is limping and you aren’t sure of the cause, you’ll want to consult a veterinarian as soon as possible. Whether your cat has simply sprained their joint or they have an actual broken bone, you’ll want to attend to the issue as quickly as possible so that it won’t inflict any more pain for your furbaby.

5. Obsessive behavior: If you notice your cat falling into a pattern of obsessive behavior, a trip to the veterinarian may be in order. One common obsessive behavior pattern that cats fall into is obsessive grooming that sometimes results in an abundance of hairballs or hair loss. Scratching, gnawing, and pacing can all be obsessive behaviors that point to a larger medical issue. These could all be symptoms of fleas as well, so you’ll want to perform an at-home spot check if you suspect that your cat may have fleas.

6. Fatigued: One of the key indicators of a sick cat is one that sleeps non-stop. Cats are certainly particularly sleepy creatures, so you’ll have to watch closely to see if your cat is over-sleeping. Most cats laze around all day, but if your cat isn’t running to their food bowl like they used to or can’t seem to get up when they usually would, they may have a more serious health problem going on.

7. Regular Checkups: Taking your cat for regular checkups is a part of owning a cat and being a good cat-owner. Cats require certain shots throughout the year, and should have their blood work done regularly. Regular checkups will also help you figure out if your cat needs to see a specialist for any particular reason, most commonly for oral care. Your veterinarian will either offer specialized services, or have recommendations for you.

8. Potty Accidents: When your cat is going to the bathroom outside of their litter box, you may want to consult with your veterinarian. If your cat has made it a habit of not using their litter box to “go”, it could be a symptom of a more serious situation. Make sure that your litter box is clean, in a good location, non-threatening, and contains litter that your cat can work with. If you’ve fulfilled all of these qualifications and your cat is still making a mess, it’s possible that they have a more serious condition going on. Going outside of the box is one of the first indicators of a urinary tract infection as well as many other medical issues.

Taking your cat to the veterinarian is certainly an option for emergencies, but is also a great tool for preventative health care. The sooner you attend to your cat’s medical issues, the less pain they’ll have to go through. With most illnesses, infections, etc., it will help if you catch the problem sooner rather than later.