Every pet owner – regardless of whether it is a cat, dog, or goldfish – will quickly notice when their pet is ill. Anyone who interacts with the animal on a daily basis and maintains a loving relationship will quickly notice the smallest deviations in behavior. If there are other changes, such as a dull coat or refusal to eat, the disease is very likely to develop. Unfortunately, many animals are adept at hiding ailments for long periods of time—a relic from before they were domesticated, intended to provide protection from predators or rivals. Watch your cat closely so that you don’t miss even small signals.
How do I know that the cat is sick?
You can already recognize many signs that the animal is unwell by observing and superficially inspecting the body. In day-to-day dealings, you also have the opportunity to check the cat’s health and get a first indication of which cat disease is present. While stroking and cuddling, you can unobtrusively check the animal’s skin and body for swelling, abscesses, scales, ectoparasites, and whether the body is swollen or tender. Conjunctiva, gums, and lips should be pink. Very obvious signs of illness continue to be a dull, shaggy coat, nasal discharge, and sticky eyes. You should also be suspicious of balance disorders or personality changes such as sudden aggressiveness or excessive attachment. Significant changes in food and water consumption are just as suspicious: If the cat drinks an unusually large amount, refuses food, or, on the contrary, shows an increased appetite and is still visibly losing weight, these are alarm signals. Also, keep an eye out for changing and potentially unpleasant smells coming from the cat. If you are losing weight despite having an appetite, you should also consult a veterinarian.
The cat at the vet
Cats are willful patients. Getting them to visit the vet or cooperate with treatment or medication is not easy. In addition, any form of coercion in an animal that is already sick or in pain degenerates into stress. In order to spare your cat this fear and tension, our veterinary team from Dr. Fressnapf is available quickly and easily during the online consultation hours. During the opening hours, you have the opportunity to introduce your cat to experienced veterinarians via video chat. You are welcome to describe your case to us first in the chat so that our veterinarians can give you a free assessment of whether an online consultation or a trip to the local veterinarian is recommended. You should take precautions as early as possible when visiting the veterinary practice: If possible, get your house cat used to being touched on all parts of its body while it is still a kitten or while playing. The cat should not necessarily associate the transport box with a doctor’s appointment either. Involve the box in the game or occasionally hide an attractive treat in it. Regular preventive check-ups at the veterinarian help to maintain the cat’s health and to keep consequential damage from diseases within limits, even without an acute illness: After the basic immunization, an annual check-up should be on the agenda. For older cats from the age of eight, six-monthly appointments are recommended.
Parasite protection and vaccinations for cats: prevention is key!
In the event of diseases such as diabetes or allergies, you as the owner can take immediate precautions with controlled feeding.
This is where medical care protects:
- The parasite prophylaxis includes so-called wormers in tablet or paste form, which are applied to the cats. The frequency of use depends on the preparation in question; Regular deworming is recommended, especially for outdoor cats. But even indoor cats are not immune to worm infestation: Eggs can be brought into the apartment, for example on the owner’s shoes.
- Ectoparasites such as fleas and lice can be kept out of the cat’s fur with repellents, and outdoor cats should be checked regularly for ticks.
- Vaccination serums are available against most of the infectious diseases common to cats. It is important that basic immunization takes place as early as kitten age. This consists of vaccinations with a combined preparation and optionally against rabies in the eighth, twelfth, and sixteenth week of life and at the age of fifteen months.
- The vaccinations are then refreshed according to a precise vaccination plan. With these vaccinations, you protect your house cat very reliably against otherwise fatal diseases such as cat epidemic or FIV. It is important that vaccination should always be preceded by successful deworming in order not to impair the effectiveness of the vaccination. As a cat owner, you should always keep in mind that an infectious disease can bring with it numerous comorbidities that can add up to significant veterinary costs.