Did you know that your cat could be sick and you might not know it until it too late? The Great Cat Watch, for Wellness Sake! is a campaign sponsored by the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) and Fort Dodge Animal Health to help cat owners recognize the subtle signs of sickness and to know when its time to call a veterinarian.
Cats are masters at hiding illness, so it may not always be obvious if they are sick, says Ilona Rodan, DVM, a diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners with certification in feline practice who co-chairs the AAFP Feline Behavior Guidelines Committee.
According to the new AAFP guidelines, which were developed by compiling research findings from several books and nearly 300 professional journal articles, changes in behavior or normal routine can be the first signs of a potential disease or illness.
In addition to watching for signs of illness, twice-a-year wellness exams are also important for cat health and preventing illness, explains James R. Richards, DVM, the director of Cornell Universitys Feline Health Center and a past president of the AAFP.