The most important thing you can do when caring for a pet is make sure that he or she is healthy. When you have a cat, this is very important. Because a cat cannot tell you what is wrong, you must be alert to changes in your cat. Knowing when to call your vet is very important, but it can be hard to know if there’s really something wrong or not.
Knowing your cat’s normal behavior is important. First of all, what are his eating and elimination habits? Some cats eat their meals in one sitting, while others eat bites all day. If your cat has had a chance in appetite, this could indicate a problem. Your cat should also be using the litter box regularly, and diarrhea, constipation, and straining to urinate are all causes for concern. Ever cat is different, so make sure to notice how your cat normally eats and eliminates in order to notice when something is wrong.
Your cat’s daily activities should also be somewhat regular. If your cat is always playing and then suddenly seems less active, you may have cause for concern. However, slowly becoming less active is a natural part of aging, and some cats are naturally just not as energetic as others. Make sure you note sudden chances and call your vet if you are concerned. Watch for problems with gait as well, as this could indicate arthritis or injury, among other things. Along with activity, watch grooming habits. Cats are very neat and tidy creatures by nature, so your cat should be grooming him- or herself regularly. Over-grooming may also be dangerous to your cat’s health.
It is also important to know when there is an emergency situation. In general, if there is any doubt in your mind, call your vet or even take your cat straight to the vet’s office. For example, if your cat gets hit by a car, but is not bleeding, you should still have him or her examined, as internal problems could be of concern. You should also consider it an emergency if your cat suddenly has an extreme change in health. For example, if your cat suddenly begins vomiting frequently, he or she may have been poisoned, which can be fatal.
The important thing is to never take matters into your own hands if you are unsure. A vet can make sure that your cat is healthy and happy. As a guardian for your pet, it is your responsibility to provide this care whenever necessary, and it's always best to be safe.