While dogs are often heralded as the nation's favorite animal, the humble cat is actually America's most common pet, with almost 86 million households boasting a feline friend or two. When it comes to healthcare, your cat relies on you to be there for them. The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that almost 45% of cats are being failed in terms of veterinary visits. Cats are far better at hiding symptoms than other animals, and it often falls to pet parents to notice when something's not right.
What should you be looking out for?
1. A healthy diet
A healthy diet is essential for cats, and you should endeavor to feed your pet a brand that is suitable for their breed, age, and weight, as well as monitoring the amount that they're eating and drinking. If you notice that your cat is losing or gaining weight, or has begun to eat less or drink more, it may be time to get them checked over. Overweight pets can face all manner of health complications later in life, while those losing weight could be suffering from a thyroid issue, cancer, or diabetes. Have you noticed that your cat is vomiting more often than usual? A change in diet, overindulgence, and hairballs can all cause vomiting, but it's worth taking your pet to see a veterinarian if you're concerned.
It is essential that you keep up to date with your kitty's vaccinations, particularly if they spend a lot of the time outdoors; vaccinating your pet is simple common sense, and yet some pet parents fail their animals at the first hurdle. During a visit to get their shots, your cat will be checked over by the veterinarian to ensure that they're at optimum health.
3. Scoop the poop
Keeping your cat's litter box clean is basic hygiene, but monitoring toilet habits can serve another purpose; if you notice that your cat is urinating with more or less frequency, making noises whenever they use the litter box, straining to pee or poop, or experiencing diarrhea, it could be time to seek a professional opinion.
It's essential that you take the time to familiarize yourself with your cat's appearance and gait, including the condition of their coat, the way they move, and the appearance of their teeth and gums. Any changes could be an indication that something's not right, and it's your duty to ensure that your pet receives the proper care and treatment.