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do you take them to the vet at 1st sign of possible illness?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I really hope this post doesn't make it seem that I don't care about Starlight and her health! I certainly do!

But - Do you all take your cats to the vet at the first sign that they might be sick?

I see a lot of posts when people ask about health stuff and the most common response is to take them to the vet.

I ask because I don't do this with the humans in my family. We don't go to the doctor at the first sign of any illness.

For instance, if my two year old was coughing, sneezing, had a runny nose, even a little fever - I wouldn't take him to the pediatrician. I'd wait, keeping an eye on him. I believe that things like stuffy noses, coughs, fevers, etc serve a good purpose for our bodies. We also are not big fans of medicines.

Of course, if things got worse or didn't seem to clear up, I'd take him in and use a prescription if appropriate. But in the beginning, we are a big fan of letting the body treat itself and letting the illness run its course.

Does anyone do this with cats? Do you ever take the "wait and see" approach?
post #2 of 20
The main reason you will see the advice "take your cat to the vet" is because when people post about an ill cat, there is no way for us to tell what is wrong by reading it over the internet. The way I see it is that you can't go wrong by taking your cat to the vet.

Now if one of my kitties throws up a hairball do I take him or her to the vet immediatley of course not...but if it happens more than once, I probably would. The thing I always keep in mind is that they can't tell me they aren't feeling well and by the time they are showing signs of being sick...they are probably very sick.
post #3 of 20
If I see something that raises concern - I'll keep an eye on him for a day, and if the problem doesn't seem to get better, but gets worse instead, or stays the same, I'll consult TCS of course, and if its nothing 'common' - I'll defiantely make an appointment. I always think its better to be safe than sorry
post #4 of 20
The one thing you can't wait too long on is if a cat isn't eating. A cat's liver isn't very good at metabolizing fat and they can develop a serious liver problem if they go too long without eating and an overweight cat is actually more susceptable to this problem. The rule of thumb I have seen here is no more than 48 hours without eating and that is provided they are drinking water and there are no other signs of serious illness.
post #5 of 20
I agree about not running to the vet for every little thing and, as you say, I don't run to the doctor for every little ache or pain (especially at my age - I'd be in his office all the time ). Having said that, what I have found, (at least IMO) is because cats are so good at hiding pain and discomfort that by the time we silly humans actually start to notice something wrong, it's been wrong for longer than just "today".

Also, as the above poster said, we humans can probably go without food a few days if we aren't feeling well but kitties cannot. If a cat isn't eating after 48 hours they can, (and do) go into liver failure. I lost a beloved pet to this because I didn't notice or recognize the signs and by the time I did it was much too late. It's a Catch-22, once they go into liver failure from not eating, they don't feel like eating and won't. In order to get the liver functioning again they need to eat so then they have to be force-fed and that's not easy for either you or the cat, and it's not pretty.

So, children will cry and complain to alert us of not feeling well - kitties will usually be quiet and often hide out/keep a low profile and by the time we notice, they are really sick.

And, as another poster above said, the minor cost of a vet visit could save a major cost of a very sick cat and treatment thereof.
post #6 of 20
I always check how much mine is eating, and if he were off his food for more than a day that for me would mean a vet visit. I don't run him to the vet at every sneeze.

I watch him closely for any sign that he isn't well at the moment as he has an umbilical hernia - it will be operated on when he is neutered and there's a low risk of any problems due to its size, but I am a bit of a worrier.
post #7 of 20
I also dont run to the vet for every little thing. Saki was throwing up a few times a week a couple months ago and I was worried, but because he had absolutely no other symptoms, I tried waiting it out and some home remedies first before I took him in. You just have to weigh all the facts. If he stopped eating or looked less energetic, or had diarrhea along with the vomiting etc.. he would definately have gone to the vet ASAP.
post #8 of 20
No - unless you have a lot of money to spend

If the cat/dog remains sick more then a day or 2, then I will make a vet appointment. Spooky is 15 yrs old and past few years he sneezes a lot in winter - but I don't take him to the vet - he's fine - its just change in temps - not really a cold.
post #9 of 20
After losing a cat who just stopped eating, I will take them in if their appetite slacks off. Excessive vomiting.

After dealing with one cat who has had at least one UTI a year and another who is now waiting for surgery to remove a bladder stone, any urinary problems.

And eye problems if it is gunky yellow or green, then yes.

An occasional sneeze or upchuck, then no. I would be in monthly for those.
post #10 of 20
Personally, I'll ask questions on here, posting the symptoms on here to see if anyone has any suggestions. Then I will wait and see if the illness clears up. A few weeks ago, Tyran had watery eyes and kept squinting one. I waited a few days and just when I was going to call the vet to schedule an appointment, it cleared up without any medication. I say as long as its not serious, let it run its course. If it looks serious, then a trip to the vet is in order.

My family is also like yours. We don't go to the doctor unless we NEED to. Colds, fevers, minor injuries, and the like are treated at home. I remember going to highschool for two days with a 102 degree temperature. My family is also not one for medication. I'd rather let any illness run its course and let it pass by with sleep, hot tea (iced gingerale or water for fevers), and plenty of t.v.
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by babyharley View Post
If I see something that raises concern - I'll keep an eye on him for a day, and if the problem doesn't seem to get better, but gets worse instead, or stays the same, I'll consult TCS of course, and if its nothing 'common' - I'll defiantely make an appointment. I always think its better to be safe than sorry
Yes, I completely agree.
post #12 of 20
If one of my cats throw up, I dissect the contents to see if it was plant fibers. If one of them have diarrhea, I check for warm segments.....If one of them sneeze, I check to see the litter is getting too powdery.

Basically I feel a lot better if I try to figure out what is wrong first. Then if nothing improves I take them to the vet, but sometimes I feel that as a scientist, I could actually potentially be more update about new info than my vet.....so I always do research before anything.

Same with real human doctors. Sometimes I get really irritated because they always try to give me antibiotics and steroids for everything. I prefer a more natural approach, but there is no good doctor in College Station that is an expert on both conventional medicine and holistic medicine. The same goes to the vet. I feel quite frustrated by the lack of choices.

So far I am very lucky.....all of my cats' symptoms so far could be alleviated by diet changes, fresh water, and stuff like that. None of my five cats had been seriously sick in two years, but if they do I would definitely take them to the vet.
post #13 of 20
Everyone at my vet's office is super nice, so if I'm wondering if they should be seen, I just give them a call, describe what is happening, and they'll tell me if the kitties need to be seen or not.
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurrPaws View Post
Everyone at my vet's office is super nice, so if I'm wondering if they should be seen, I just give them a call, describe what is happening, and they'll tell me if the kitties need to be seen or not.
That's what I do too. I don't whisk Jaffa down there unless I think it's necessary as he gets very stressed by going there. I'd take him if I was in doubt, but if he just seems a bit off colour I'll wait and see how it pans out.
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by katachtig View Post
After losing a cat who just stopped eating, I will take them in if their appetite slacks off. Excessive vomiting.

After dealing with one cat who has had at least one UTI a year and another who is now waiting for surgery to remove a bladder stone, any urinary problems.

And eye problems if it is gunky yellow or green, then yes.

An occasional sneeze or upchuck, then no. I would be in monthly for those.
also, if diarrhea persists for more than a single movement, i tend to go in. altho i've done that twice & had nothing perceivably wrong with the cat [2 different cats]. if it's Cable, i definitely wait because she's got a tendency towards that if her food is too rich.
post #16 of 20
I hate going to the doctor's, and will only do so if I feel really cruddy, and my husband is worse. However, the cat(s) get taken to the vets' at the least sign of any indisposition, i.e., vomiting (unless it's an obvious hairball), diarrhea, etc.. My husband and my sister are both R.N.s, so they're consulted first if there's a human health problem, but I'm paranoid about pets, and cart them off to the vets' at the first sign of trouble.
post #17 of 20
I love reading all of these. I was a fanatic and worry when my cats meowed.
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by OnTheBrink View Post
I really hope this post doesn't make it seem that I don't care about Starlight and her health! I certainly do!

But - Do you all take your cats to the vet at the first sign that they might be sick?
As many have already said, it depends on what's really going on with my cats as to how fast I will take them to the vet, (if at all).


Quote:
Originally Posted by OnTheBrink
I see a lot of posts when people ask about health stuff and the most common response is to take them to the vet.
More times than not, when someone posts for help on this board, whatever the problem is has been ongoing for more than a few minutes and also as others have said and must often remind. We re not vets. Advice or words of support can certainly be given, but this is not the place to get your injured or extremely ill cat treated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OnTheBrink
I ask because I don't do this with the humans in my family. We don't go to the doctor at the first sign of any illness.

For instance, if my two year old was coughing, sneezing, had a runny nose, even a little fever - I wouldn't take him to the pediatrician. I'd wait, keeping an eye on him. I believe that things like stuffy noses, coughs, fevers, etc serve a good purpose for our bodies. We also are not big fans of medicines.

Of course, if things got worse or didn't seem to clear up, I'd take him in and use a prescription if appropriate. But in the beginning, we are a big fan of letting the body treat itself and letting the illness run its course.

Does anyone do this with cats? Do you ever take the "wait and see" approach?
Of course, being human it's easier to know what's going on with our and our kids bodies. We do seem to be a bit more resiliant than our wonderful cats when we decide not to eat for a while. Our kids don't go hide under the bed or other places we can't find till they are so sick they can barely walk or hold their head up. And... if our kids have a belly ache they will say they do.

I agree, Take your cat to the vet is said a lot on here, but it really isn't a bad bit of advice on what to do when you have an ailing little furbabe.
post #19 of 20
i am very paranoid with my cats - but I only take on oldies, and I did have a spate in the beginning of having sickly cats, so i think it stems from that. And now with Ginger being 15 - none of my cats have lived to that age. But I know that some of the things are nothing, so I do try and post first just to check that I am being silly - all mine are weighed monthly, so at least they can be quickly seen by the vet when there for that. That said, martha is going to the vets tonight cos she seems to eat a lot and not put the weight on you would expect, despite the fact her fur is shiny etc, and Pebbles is going as she turned psycho on me the other day, and she hasn't done that since she was in pain with her leg - could be nothing as I was trying to check her nose out, but I am going anyway, so she might as well join us. Eating wise, mine aren't allowed to go more than 24 hours without food, it has only happened once where we couldnt get them to a vet, so he was 'encouraged' to eat until we could - the rescue didn't know about HL though, they thought that as long as he was drinking, he would be fine.
post #20 of 20
I ususally post here and then call the Vet for advice.I've been VERY lucky so far and pray I keep doing so well that my babies are well and healthy.
Also a once a year well check Vet visit is a good idea.
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