Many of the cat health problems I see in my feline practice have been going on for a long time although the pet owner reports it just started yesterday. There are two reasons for that. (1) Cats are in a sense rather stoic. If they have a feline health problem, it is often in an advanced stage before they show really obvious distress. However, (2) most cat owners have not been taught to watch for the many early feline illness symptoms a kitty may display when a cat health problem exists.
Feline health care has advanced rapidly over the last decades. We can solve cat health problems faster, easier, and often at less cost than we could in the past. Cat medicines parallel the sophistication of medications used by people. In fact, most often, the medications we use for cats are identical to the human ones. If we, as vets, are given the opportunity to use this advanced knowledge and technology on cats early in their disease process, there is a much greater chance a cat's life can be saved.
Therefore ...we can't teach our cats to complain earlier, but you can learn how to recognize a cat health problem in its early stages.
That is my goal in this section of the website. We are going to look at feline health care and some of the more common problems we face with cats, but first I want to show you how easy it can be to recognize that your cat has a problem while it is still early.
We are responsible for our own health and well-being, but our cats depend on us to solve their problems. Naturally, you need to be able to recognize problems. Many of my well-meaning, very loving cat owners do not recognize the early signs of feline medical problems.
What is cat health? We sometimes use the term health just to refer to a state of physical well-being. In reality, health can be good or health can be bad. The reason I make this distinction is to stress the idea that it's important to practice preventative medicine when your cat is in good health, not just seek help when your kitty develops symptoms of bad health.
We learned long ago how important preventative medicine and early diagnosis is to people. Many pet owners are, unfortunately, still behind in the knowledge and practice of preventative care for cats.
There are as many parts in a cat's body that must be kept healthy as there are in our own. Only in the past several years have cat owners been made aware of this. For example, during my first few years in private practice, when I mentioned cleaning a cat's teeth to the owner, I was most often met with a look of disbelief. "Cats need their teeth cleaned?"
I heard that over and over, day after day, month after month for a few years. Now, most of my clients actually come in and "remind me" to check their kitty's teeth, forgetting that I'm the one that first made them aware. I don't mind. In fact, I'm very happy that there is more awareness of cat dentistry and other health issues these days.
Dentistry is only one of many cat health topics a knowledgeable cat owner needs to be aware of. Viruses, bacterial infections, organ dysfunction or failure, cancer, traumatic injuries, and many other conditions can affect your cat. If it can happen to a person, it can probably happen to your cat.
For that reason, you are going to find endless articles, questions and answers, pictures, diagrams, and preventative product recommendations on this website. It really is endless. There are hundreds, thousands probably, of cat health topics to cover and new research findings, new medications, new treatments every day. For that reason, this website will continually be updated with new information.