Notoriously independent, cats may hide or mask symptoms of injury or illness, but these clues can help detect a health problem with your kitty.
Clue #1: Weight change
Unexplained weight loss or weight gain can be an indicator that something isn't right with your cat.
Clue #2: Messy coat
Cats may stop taking care of their fur if they're unwell. Over-grooming can also be a cause for concern.
Clue #3: Eye and ear issues
Check ears for inflammation or discoloration, and peek at the eyes. Pupils should be the same size with no cloudy film.
Clue #4: Mouth trouble
Cat breath may not be sweet, but it shouldn't smell terrible. Discolored gums can also be a sign of sickness.
Clue #5: Behavioral problems
Changes in behavior, like sudden irritability or litter box problems, can mean an illness is bothering your furry friend.
Of course, if you have any suspicion your cat isn't feeling right, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.
Accidents can happen to our feline friends in the blink of an eye. When emergencies do occur, pet parents may find it difficult to make rational decisions. That’s why it’s so important to have a plan in place before emergencies occur.
To get started, ask your veterinarian’s advice on creating a plan. Be sure to find the closest animal hospital that provides emergency care and make sure you have your veterinarian’s phone number handy.
Another number to keep close is ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center at (888)426-4435. They are available24/7 if you suspect your pet has ingested something hazardous.
Check out this article from our friends at the ASPCA® to learn more about emergency care for your feline friend, such as first aid tips and signs that your cat needs emergency help.
Remember, ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plans cover visits to any licensed veterinarian in the U.S. and Canada, including emergency clinics.
“My dog began bleeding from the nose during the night and I had to rush her to the emergency clinic to save her life. The cost of the emergency treatment was high, but Gizmo's ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan paid a large chunk of the cost. It is very reassuring to know that no matter what time of day my pet needs emergency care, my ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan can help defray the costs.”
- Jodi P., Dallas, TX
Photo Friday is a weekly column that showcases photos we receive from loving ASPCA Pet Health Insurance customers of their pets. If you want to see your pet featured, please email me!
Lose weight. Eat more broccoli. Clean the basement. Every year, we make resolutions that we often don’t keep. This year, why not try something different and make a resolution to keep your pet happy and healthy with these tips from Pet 360? Some of the tips include:
• Schedule Regular Veterinary Visits – Annual checkups are important to keep on top of your pet’s health needs as they grow and age. Make sure you get your pet the wellness care your veterinarian recommends.
• Watch Your Pet’s Weight – When kept at their ideal body weight, pets live longer, healthier lives. They are also at a lower risk for various conditions associated with being overweight.
• Keep An Eye Out For Potential Hazards – It is important to pet-proof your home, as pets can get into all types of accidents indoors. Keep poisons, medications and other unsafe items out of your pet’s reach.
We brought you information on feeding a senior cat, now this blog is going to the dogs! Dogs can begin to experience age-related changes such as obesity and arthritis as young as 7 years old. Bone up on feeding tips with this article from our friends at the ASPCA® and learn more about feeding an aging dog!
Did you know that cats should start on a senior diet at 7 years old? Or that older cats have been known to progressively gain weight in spite of eating fewer calories? Cats begin to display age-related changes at between 7 to 12 years old and some of these changes can be controlled with diet.
Check out this article from our friends at the ASPCA© to learn more about feeding an older cat!
One of the best ways to help an allergy-prone pet is to try to prevent exposure to allergens. Here are some pointers to make your pet’s environment a little healthier:
• If the pollen count is high, keep your pet inside or limit time outside.
• Wipe off your pet’s paws after going outdoors to remove pollen.
• Put plush toys in the freezer occasionally to help kill off dust mites.
• Wash your pet’s bedding regularly with a gentle fragrance-free detergent.
• Dust and vacuum frequently, especially in your pet’s favorite spots.
Be sure to visit your veterinarian to identify the source of your pet’s allergies and get specific treatment advice. Visit our blog for more tips on what to do if your pet has allergies.
Just like in people, allergies in pets happen when their immune systems identify substances as harmful and try to fight them off. This month, we've got some tips for pets with allergies – and managing your allergies to pets. Over 20% of pets may suffer from some sort of allergy, according to the ASPCA®. Allergies typically develop when pets are young, but adult onset allergies can also occur.
What are pets allergic to?
Pets can be allergic to environmental substances like pollen, mold, or dust mites. They can also be allergic to flea bites or ingredients in their diets.
What are the symptoms?
If your pet has recurring ear or skin infections, allergies could be an issue. Other common signs can include increased scratching, licking, chewing, or face-wiping.
What should you do?
Visit your veterinarian who can help identify the source and recommend treatment. You can also help by reducing your pet's exposure to allergens in your home.
Our illness coverage can help cover treatment costs related to allergies that aren't pre-existing to your plan. Sign into the Member Center to see your plan details.
If you resolved to quit smoking this year, you’re also doing something great for your pet’s health! Second hand smoke can irritate your pet’s nose and sinuses, and has been linked to cancer in pets. Learn more at the ASPCA’s blog.
October is National Pet Wellness month, so what better time to make sure your pet’s health is on track? Proper wellness care is so important for pets, especially since they can’t verbalize how they’re feeling. Learn more about wellness care with our quick quiz!.
1. How often should your pet have a check-up?
a) Once a year
b) Every two years
c) Only at birth
a) The ASPCA® recommends a routine exam at least once a year. If your pet has medical issues, your veterinarian may recommend more frequent check-ups.
2. Why is a regular check-up important?
a) Identify issues early
b) Keep vaccines up-to-date
c) Both a and b
c) Regular exams can help catch illnesses when they’re more treatable, and make sure your pet gets important vaccines.
3. A check-up usually includes:
b) Physical exam
c) Nail clipping
b) The veterinarian should examine your pet from head to tail. You can ask for grooming or nail trimming advice, but these aren’t typically part of a regular exam.
You can also print out the ASPCA’s Vet Visit questionnaire to help make sure you’re prepared at your pet’s next wellness visit. Look for another pet wellness quiz coming soon!