close up of cat's eyes

There’s nothing like the bright eyes of a cat to catch your attention. But what if your cat’s eyes become crusty or cloudy? Our friends at the ASPCA® have some great tips to keep your cat’s eyes healthy.

These symptoms may indicate something is amiss:

• Discharge
• Watering
• Red or white eyelid linings
• Crusty gunk in the corners of the eye
• Tear-stained fur
• Closed eye(s)
• Cloudiness or change in eye color
• Visible third eyelid

As always, check in with your veterinarian for any questions about your feline’s eye health.

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pet parents

cat dressed as a doctor

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.

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pet parents

kitten with a pink cast on front leg

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.

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Pet Health Insurance Headlines

Gizmo the Welsh Collie sits on a bale of hay

“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!

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Customer Stories

black cat with happy new year hat

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.

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pet parents

healthy senior dog

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! 

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Pet Health Insurance Headlines


cat on white background with red tag

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!

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Pet Health Insurance Headlines

Sneezing Basset Hound

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.

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Pet Health Insurance Headlines

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.

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Pet Health Insurance Headlines

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:
a) Grooming
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!

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As we’re dedicated to making a difference for pets, we want to keep you informed about pet health topics and your ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan. Our blog will provide you with fresh, interesting and informative topics—from pet health tips and customer stories, to the latest industry news and a Pet Parent Q&A column. Most of all, we encourage you to share comments and join the discussion!

Meet the Author

Julia H.

Social Media Coordinator

Pet Parent to:

Lucy, an 8-year-old rescued Golden Retriever/Chow Chow mix

Blog Guidelines

While we’ll strive to present all viewpoints on this blog, comments will be reviewed before posting. Offensive or inappropriate language, off-topic remarks and comments containing personal policy information will not be featured.

Also, conditions discussed in this blog aren’t necessarily covered by every ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan. For full coverage terms, conditions and exclusions, please refer to your plan.

As always, if you have a question about your plan, call us at 1-866-204-6764.

*Note: While these testimonials may include examples of recent claims payouts, reimbursement is subject to the terms and conditions of your plan. Identifying information has been changed.