When’s the time to seek a vet?

As a pet parent, we should learn to observe in detail and know when to take the cat to the vet. How do you decide?
  • Know how much your cat eats. If this amount changes significantly (except in a growing kitten), know what the reason is. See the veterinarian in the absence of a good reason.
  • Cats should have good habits, including keeping their fur and anus clean. If you still find your cat does not look as clean as she should be or if she stops grooming herself, seek a vet as chances are that she might not be physically fit to groom herself.
  • New problems deserve an answer. Fleas could signal their presence by black flecks and scabs. Excessive matting may indicate a need for better quality fatty acid balance in the diet. If you notice any such abnormalities, seek your vet immediately.
  • Lift the cat’s tail and look at the anus. If there are rice like objects, light tan in colour hanging on the anus,
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    they are probably tapeworm eggs. Take your kitty to the vet who will set a proper deworming schedule for your cat. Beginning four months of age, your cat should be dewormed every three months. But, if you have a kitten, she would need to be dewormed every three weeks.

  • If the cat (particularly a long haired cat) has faeces clinging to the perianal area, ask your vet to trim the fur in that area. This can prevent infection from having the faeces trapped next to the skin.
  • Although you provide an excellent diet, and the cat appears to be in the best health, a yearly veterinary visit is recommended much like a yearly doctor’s visit for humans.

(Kit Humphrey, featured columnist of Cats & Kittens, is a retired physician from Siberian Gatos Cattery in the US)