Even with all of the above, your pet may still get sick. While it can be difficult to know when to call the vet, here are a few guidelines in recognizing a sick pet:
- Unexplained or sudden weight loss.
- Significant loss of appetite or increased appetite.
- Pawing at ears or shaking head.
- Lumps on body.
- Significant fur loss (not just shedding, which is normal); dull, patchy coat.
- Persistent sneezing or coughing.
- Abnormal discharge from the eyes or nose.
- Stiffness or weakness in any joints; pet moves with difficulty.
- Straining to urinate or defecate. Inability to urinate is an emergency - get your cat to the vet immediately.
Note: Keep the name and number of the closest emergency vet clinic (for after-hours pet care), as well as those of your regular vet, close by the telephone.