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Do we worry too much about our cats?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Yes, a nice semi-light topic for IMO.... (can ya tell I don't do politics )
I would like to hear your thoughts, do YOU worry too much about your cat?

I got thinking about this when I was trying to figure out the best food for Kizzy a while back.

Dealing with his URI, ringworm, and diet changes left me frustrated beyond belief. I was so worried about every little thing, and did NOT enjoy my pet.

Everyone has a relative who has had a cat live at least 13yrs on a diet of the cheapest grocery store food out there.... a food filled with crap if we analyze the ingreds. But the cat is healthy, happy and living a long life.

My aunt, her cats are indoor and she's got a couple outdoor (strays) cats too. Most of them are 12yrs +.....the only shot they get regularly is rabies... they don't see the vet annually, and they are fed a cheap diet. They all look pretty good, shiny coats, and they act like kitties. Does she worry about everything she thinks of feeding them, no. She ENJOYS her kitties.

My "first" indoor cat.... no idea what food I fed him (as far as brands go) but it was cheap and it (OMG) varied from box to box.....with no tummy issues. He ate things he shouldn't have, drank things he shouldn't have (he knew how to party), and I didn't worry if he puked from time to time, coughed, sneezed, etc. I had FUN with my kitty.

I do think had I fed him better, he "might" (big empasis on MIGHT) have lived longer.... but we had a great life together..... he was around 10 when I had to put him down. (honestly, medicine/vet care probally could have saved him had I been able to afford it...but a single mom on welfare does not have a lot of cash floating around)

I really did not enjoy Kizzy when I first got him.... I spent a month worrying way too much. He spent the first month locked in a room because of his ringworm. It finally got to the point that I realised this is not why I got a cat, I just wanted to enjoy my cat.... and yep, I let my RW infected kitty run the house. I figured if we were gonna catch RW ourselves, it didn't matter where the cat was....because the spores would be on my clothes anyways, which I didn't change after feeding/playing with him.

I can't count how many hours I researched, read, posted, etc. about feeding. Which I'm happy to say that I've come to my own conclusions as to what issues I deal with as far as nutrition goes, I go by Kizzy and if he likes a food and does well on it, it's his.

I've started enjoying my cat, without worrying about every little sneeze, cough, loose BM, etc.

and I think by doing so, he's alot happier too.

Knowledge is power, but it also leads alot of people to be too uptight, too anal, too concerned that everything they are doing is right to enjoy their pets.

(don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you shouldn't seek medical advice if you think your cat may be ill. I'm saying don't sweat the small stuff..... )

Enjoy your pets, be responsible and worry when something needs to be worried about (yes, that is open to personal beliefs) , but above all enjoy them....they will thank you, and you will thank yourself (I know my stress level has gone down since I quit worrying so much).
post #2 of 16
I think there is a time, the first month or so in the forum, that we do worry a lot. Learning about care, nutrition, behavior, etc. takes a lot of time, and makes our head spin... Looking back, I agree that I spent a lot of time in the forum that I could have spent with Lucky... Things get easier as the time goes by, and I think all the information I got here will be priceless in offering the kitties the best chances possible to have happy, long lives.
I can today go to any pet store, look at the ingredients of the food and make a good judgment on what is good or bad... I am also much more informed to know if what the course of treatment that the vet is offering is good or not for my cats. For example, if it was not for this site, I would never intervene if my vet wanted to prescribe Metacam for the kitties - this piece of knowledge alone (to NOT use), can save my kitties lives...
I think in the beginning I would agree with you, but today I say I am glad I worried that much, so I found out what is the best for them...
post #3 of 16
My DH has told me that I'm a hypochondriac when it comes to the cats. He doesn't realize that when you are caring for 10 cats, watching their interactive dynamics and their individual behaviors is totally important when it comes to maintaining their health. He loves them, but he's a dog guy. Mine get great vet care.

I don't over worry about food, unless I know there is an ingredient that they shouldn't have for health reasons. I think because I've cared for a feral colony, I see what they can eat to survive on. And with 10 cats, all born feral and some still on the wild side, it's not practical to keep all of them on the healthiest possible diet. They all have their likes and dislikes, and separating 10 cats to feed them their own diet won't work. They get the best quality food that appeals to all of them without hurting any of them.

I think people on the cat site worry more than the normal cat owners. We wouldn't be here if we didn't worry about our kids.
post #4 of 16
my cats are my children, so yes i worry about them alot
post #5 of 16
Hey, my cats eat Indoor Cat chow and are fine. I have gotten a bit of flack about that but Monster won't eat anything else (Monster is our seizure kitty and HATES change) so that is what the other 6 get to eat too. And, they get 1 can of Friskies shared among them at night as a treat.

My cats go in for their rabies and boosters. Luckily, if someone has the sniffles our vet knows the family (farm family) and will prescribe antibiotics without actually seeing him/her.

Sniffles, sneezing, runny poop happens to all of us. Normally I've discovered most runny poop in our house is because the cats get into the dog food. The way I look at it, as long as they are still eating, drinking, cleaning and using the litter box they are fine. Of course, that is pretty much the same philosophy my parents had with me (except the cleaning part of course) while I was growing up.
post #6 of 16
i don't worry much about mine unless something strange is going on. i worry more about Pixel, but she's a senior & has herpes - she has a more likely chance of having something go wrong than the younger ones do.

if you did a search [i did] for threads where i posted looking for assistance/advice/vibes for mine, you'd find 10; one about Mouse when she got sick, one about Firefox when i found her, & various ones about the others when they came down w/something. not that many considering how many years i've been active here.
mine are a pretty healthy bunch, for the most part.
post #7 of 16
I'm sure NON-cat-people would say I worry about them too much, but I don't think so. Actually, I'm pretty laid back now compared to how I was the first couple years, to the point where I think some people on cat boards think I'm a little TOO laid back. But different strokes, I guess. I don't have any kids, so while I don't WORRY about them, they certainly do get close scrutiny if any little thing is out of the ordinary. Each cat gets a good look-over at least once a day, and of course any time we're around each other, which is pretty much all the time, I'm observant of them. So while now I might be inclined to let some little things go longer than I would have at one time, because now I know they're just little things, that doesn't mean that I'm not aware of them. Just paying attention, in my view, is NOT "worry." It's just paying attention.
post #8 of 16
I'm a hypo-chondriac. Yet - had I really thought about it, when Damita's paw was injured, I would've hauled her bum to a specialist....would she have still died 3 months later? I don't know - but had I truly realized that there was NO WAY she injured her paw - I would've fought harder.

The shelter kitty who was just euthanized (See Crossing the Bridge forum) - those people didn't bother to take her to the vet - they just figured it was "over-grooming". A $25 exam could've saved her life.

So I guess, yeah, I pay a lot in vet bills over stupid things - but my deepest regret is not taking Damita to the vet more those last few months - not getting her to the vet she needed. Ultimately - she died because I didn't.
post #9 of 16
I am very attentive... WHY .. Well , I have dealt with multiple chronic illnesses in my world in the last decade ( cat, dog and human) ... the key to dealing with chronic issues / illnesses is catching them early and managing them before they cause death or start to control you ...

Do I worry ... YES!!! 4 out 5 having herpes, a very manageable condition ... 5 out of 5 had hard beginnings and 2 of the 5 likely are around only because someone was diligent and worried to much ( Thank you Natalie ) ...
post #10 of 16
Originally Posted by Snake_Lady View Post
Knowledge is power, but it also leads alot of people to be too uptight, too anal, too concerned that everything they are doing is right to enjoy their pets.
It is, but I think it allows some of us to prevent problems. An easy example is knowing what plants are toxic to your pets.

Yes, I worry about my cats a lot and regularly check them for problems. Take care of their teeth, clean ears, etc. But that's nothing compared to how paranoid I am about my turtles - or more specifically my juvi turtles. I realize how much I can mess them up if care is even slightly off. I'll spend hours in their pen inspecting it for bad insects, plants, or fungi. They love this, by the way, and usually follow me around and chase my fingers and rings. Sometimes I think I'm so caught up in their care that I simply don't get as much time to enjoy them.
I am proud to say that so far I've not had any of the problems that many people run into with baby turtles - their shells are perfect and look exactly how young turtles should look. I also tend to take turtle and reptile care even more seriously than cat care...

I can also say that I've never had serious issues with my cats - though so far my oldest is only 6 and a half. No UTIs, no URIs, ringworm wasn't as bad as some have dealt with. The only problems I've had is Tomas's sensitive GI and their vaccination reactions. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure after all.

I do enjoy my cats... though at the moment it sounds like Sherman has gotten into something....

As for real worry. I let all of my turtle hibernate as it natural for them. Every spring I worry that one of them won't make it even though they were of healthy weight when they went down. This sort of waiting is horrible. It's different than one of your pets being sick simply because with this I do not know.
post #11 of 16
Oh, do you mean like when I took Tripod to the vet for having dry skin on his nose? Or when a wasp landed on Oliver when he was a kitten and he meowed - so I assumed he was stung and didn't know if he was allergic or not, so I threw him in a beer box (before I had a carrier) and rushed him to the vet?
Nah, not me.
post #12 of 16
I don't think I worry too much. But if something is "off" and I know it, they're off to the vet. My instincts have been right up to this point.
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
It is, but I think it allows some of us to prevent problems. An easy example is knowing what plants are toxic to your pets.
To me, that is not worrying.... that is responsible pet ownership.

Worrying to me, is what I did in the beginning.... obsess over every little thing... a sneeze, if he was itching himself, etc etc.

Originally Posted by littleraven7726 View Post
I don't think I worry too much. But if something is "off" and I know it, they're off to the vet. My instincts have been right up to this point.

In no way did I mean not paying attention.... hopefully most people know their cats well enough to know if something is wrong.

Originally Posted by coaster View Post
Just paying attention, in my view, is NOT "worry." It's just paying attention.
well said.
post #14 of 16
Well, our first kitties were rescued by us almost 7 years ago. Flowerbelle is going to be 6 this year. Hairballs weren't an issue for the first few years - that was an "emergency" at first. So now I've known the sound of her "hairball hack" for years. But to this day, Gary hears that hack and says, "is she OK?"

So... I've become WAY more laid back because I know ALL about them them, their sounds and their behaviors now. But for that first year or so... I can't count how many times we called the service at night and interrupted our vet for an "emergency" that wasn't, poor guy!

Gary, on the other hand, is totally obsessive about everything in life, and the cats are no exception. But I must give him credit - twice when I wasn't overly concerned about something (one was only the third day Flowerbelle was home with us), he insisted - and he was right. And it literally saved the life of two of our cats.

So I guess we balance each other out.

post #15 of 16
I'll be the first to admit that I'm still paranoid about the cats. But at least I can safely say that I know the first instant something isn't right. But most of the time it's gas
post #16 of 16
It can be a fine line between being overprotective and not seeking veterinary care soon enough. Yes, a cat's appetite can be off for a couple of days and it's no big deal. Or, they can be dead in a matter of days. My hardest decisions are with the ferals. I can occasionally pet them, which is the best time to check for weight loss along the back, etc., but if I grab one for a vet visit and am wrong, it will be months, maybe years, before I get a hand on them again. And since they won't be treatable if an ailment requires daily medications, I take that into account too.

I've had a few cats that may have survived their illness if I'd caught it sooner. I caught SCC too late, let a dental infection cause kidney failure, and had one of my very best friends die of PLE possibly because I wasn't aggressive enough with treatment. If I only had one or two cats that were easy to handle I would probably do a better job of catching everything in time. A lot depends on if they can be handled and whether the symptoms are obvious.

I worry way too much about them, and truthfully, the time when everyone is healthy is probably less than when someone is sick or dying. The difference between enjoying your cats and having your head in the clouds can come back to bite you in the butt though. Tough question really. I could give you a far more positive answer about politics.
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