Your cat cannot explain his symptoms, so it’s the responsibility of you and your veterinarian to keep him healthy. Cats are very good at hiding their illness so it is up to you to observe your cat for abnormalities.
Common indications of a “sick cat” include: lethargy, disorientation, weakness, weight loss, seizure, lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, unproductive retching, straining to urinate, bloody urine, difficulty or inability to walk, bleeding, pale mucous membranes, difficulty breathing and persistent cough. You know your pet best and can often notice subtle early warning signs that someone else may not detect. If you observe any of the mentioned symptoms or other signs that concern you, call your veterinary hospital. The safest approach would be to have your pet examined.
Once your cat is at the hospital, your veterinarian may ask additional questions to help localize or diagnose the problem. It may help to be prepared to answer some of the following questions:
How long have you owned your cat?
What is the age of your cat?
Has your cat experienced any previous illnesses?
Is your cat currently under treatment for an illness or disease?
When is the last time he/she had a bowel movement?
Have you noticed any recent weight loss or weight gain?
After answering some general questions, more specific questions need to be answered. A brief cursory exam of your pet at home can help you determine the answers. These questions are also commonly asked when pet owners are seeking help over the phone. Be prepared to answer the following questions, depending on the problem with your pet:
Regarding the eyes
Have you noticed an increase or decrease in tear production?
Has your cat been excessively licking at one area of his/her legs?
Does your pet show signs of pain when walking?
Is your cat able to walk normally?
Does your cat walk on his/her knuckles?
Does your cat drag any legs when walking?
Have you noticed signs of pain when petting your pet?
By supplying the answers to these questions, your veterinarian will be in a much better position to help your pet. Additional tests may be necessary to find out what the problem is but the answers to the above questions can greatly narrow the area of concern.