Hey Guys! Sorry I’ve been AWOL for a while. I promise I’ll be back with regular posts again soon. In the meantime, I wanted to share this with you. They’re not just looking for problem cats this time. It says, “We are also looking for uplifting stories of cats and their brave cat guardians.”
When emailing a friend this evening I noted that while Gorgeous has a worrisome spot on his nose he is in great overall health, and I started listing the ways in which he is doing well. As I went through the mental checklist I realized I should post a basic health checklist here.
This is the stuff you should be keeping in the back of your mind at all times, just general awareness of your cat’s health, and some of it is stuff you should be prepared to be asked about if you call to make a vet appointment. And if the receptionist fails to ask, you should volunteer anything unusual on the list.
- Weight – up or down
- Coat – glossy vs dull, matted, thinning, etc
- Eyes – “look in the eye”, discharge, dilated pupils
- Nasal discharge, if any – consistency and color
- Appetite & any change in eating habits
- Drinking water – any change
- Poop – consistency, color, frequency, volume
- Urination – frequency, volume, color
- Activity level – playing, jumping, sleeping, hiding
- Normal interaction vs. withdrawal, shyness, fear or skittishness, unusual aggression or irritability
- Body movement & posture
- Grooming – less or more in general, focusing on spots, pulling hair out
- Unusual lip smacking, drooling, or foaming at the mouth
- Maintaining normal routine
March 26, 2015, Calabash, N.C.—The majority of the nation’s dogs and cats continue to be overweight, and most pet owners aren’t aware of the problem, according to new research from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP). The eighth annual National Pet Obesity Prevalence Survey conducted by APOP found 58% of U.S. cats and 53% of dogs were overweight in 2014.<!–more–> The study also found a significant “fat pet gap,” in which 90% of owners of overweight cats and 95% of owners of overweight dogs incorrectly identified their pet as a normal weight.
I listened to an interview about this on Doctor Radio today. It is overwhelming. The main point that the doctor kept coming back to was quality of life. Being overweight causes a plethora of health problems, including pain and depression. Here’s a list from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention:
Insulin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes
High Blood Pressure
Heart and Respiratory Disease
Cranial Cruciate Ligament Injury
Many Forms of Cancer
Decreased life expectancy (up to 2.5 years)
The problem is, most of us don’t even know what healthy weight looks like in our cats and dogs. Here is a page to help you figure it out.
For me, I know that some of my cats are overweight and I don’t know where to begin in dealing with it. Gorgeous went from 9 pounds to 14 pounds in maybe 8 months! We’re talking post-nosectomey, too. At his skinniest, he didn’t look too thin.
So please, take a look at their site and consider rethinking your cat or dog’s weight, diet and treats!