Cat dressed as a nurse near a bed toy.

Checking Your Cat’s Health at Home

Do you worry about your pet’s health even when it appears healthy? Your veterinarian can ensure that your cat is thriving by performing a thorough checkup, but what can you do between visits?

Pets cannot verbalize their discomforts, and people often worry that they’ll miss the early signs of illness. If you learn to examine your pet at home, you can have that all-important peace of mind between visits to the vet.

During your next visit to pet clinic, the veterinarian will probably begin with an examination of your pet. Watch how your veterinarian performs the exam and ask to participate in the process.

Discuss your desire to supplement the vet’s exams with at-home checks that you will make. The veterinarian should be pleased with your desire to provide such attention to your pet’s health and should be happy to help develop your skills. Your teamwork will provide the consistent attention to details that could prevent a tragedy.

At-home examinations are no substitute for a veterinary checkup, but doing them might one day give you a jump on treating a minor or serious condition. For convenience, these exams can be combined with regular grooming sessions.

Finally, get into the habit of weighing your pet every 3 months and recording your readings. Unexplained weight loss or weight gain or a pattern of continual loss or gain should prompt you to contact your veterinarian. Also check for other signs of illness, such as a visible “third eyelid”.