Keeping Track of Your Cat’s Vital Information

Keeping Track of Your Cat’s Vital Information

Would someone else know how to care for your cat if something happened to you? Would you be able to pass along information to your pet sitter if your cat needed emergency veterinary service while you were away? Could you keep track of your sick cat's symptoms to help your veterinarian determine the proper course of treatment?

Keeping track of your cat's vital information will help you care for your cat properly, may help future caregivers and even save your cat's life.

Things to Do

  • Purchase a pocket folder and put your cat's name on it. Inside, record the physical description of your cat, his color, markings, whether he has long or short hair, his breed, sex and ongoing weight. Place a photo of your cat in the folder.
  • Record your cat's birth date or adoption date and estimated age at the time of adoption. Your veterinarian will estimate your cat's age by checking his teeth during an examination. Include in the folder the dates your cat was vaccinated, spayed or neutered and tested for contagious diseases and the results of the tests.
  • Keep all veterinary information and veterinarian-provided health checklists in the folder. This should include whether your cat has been declawed and whether he harbors any contagious diseases such as feline leukemia. Does he have any recurring conditions or ongoing illnesses? What was the treatment for any health problems and when did they occur?
  • Record any symptoms your cat exhibits such as vomiting, diarrhea or more severe problems such as weight loss or seizures.
  • Record all medications your cat is taking and how often they are administered. If your cat is diabetic, for example, providing information about how much insulin and how often you give it is vital.
  • Provide information about your cat's food, specific brands and flavor varieties, whether it's dry or canned, how much and how often you provide it. Indicate where you keep your cat's food.
  • Because cats often like to drink water at locations away from their food, indicate where your cat's water bowl is located. If your cat has allergies to certain foods that might cause diarrhea or vomiting, record that information.
  • Indicate where your cat's litter box is and what type of litter your cat prefers. If your cat has any elimination anomalies, record those. For example, your cat may not have a bowel movement every day, or he may prefer to urinate in one box and defecate in another.
  • Record any behavior problems or personality quirks. For example, does he enjoy being picked up? Does he like being groomed? Does your cat like to chew electrical cords or does he scratch upholstery? If your cat hides from strangers, record his favorite hiding places so a temporary caregiver can find your cat if necessary.
  • Record other vital information like whether your cat stays indoors or is allowed outside, how your cat reacts to travel or visiting the veterinarian, if you must tranquilize your cat when you take him in the car, how he gets along with other animals and which kinds. If your cat needs to be placed in another home, knowing that he has never met a dog may be vital to his well being if the prospective adopter has a canine companion. Record if the cat gets along with children, men or women. Some cats, because of their history, may have difficulty getting close to people based on the person's sex or age.
  • Record your cat's exercise pattern and what kinds of toys he enjoys. Are there any toys that are off-limits to your cat unless you are at the other end of them? Many cats enjoy playing with interactive feline flying toys but some may consume the string on them if left to their own devices. Record this information, too, if it applies to your cat.

    As you provide continued care for your cat, keep the information current as it changes. And be sure someone else knows where information is kept in case of an emergency.

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