HomeCat HealthWhy Cat Owners Should Not Try and Diagnose Cat Illnesses


Why Cat Owners Should Not Try and Diagnose Cat Illnesses — 8 Comments

  1. Well, it’s a no brainer for me that any of my indoor and indoor/outdoor cats go to the vet if I feel they need to. I really don’t like guesswork unless I have no choice.

    But, it’s a little different with ferals. There’s a lot of guesswork and decision making that has to be done. If there’s an apparent injury (someone is limping), I have to decide whether it is bad enough to put the cat through the trauma of trapping, chasing, tackling to take them in or if the injury is so slight that it will resolve on it’s own. It’s a very hard call, because getting close enough to really see can be a problem.

    It’s never about me, because I’ll roll on the ground with the meanest of them. It’s about them.

    There’s a difference between what needs to be done about a young, usually healthy and robust feral that starts looking “sour” and an old one that’s looking frail, slow, and eating poorly. There have been a few times that I’ve had to decide to just let nature take its course.

    It’s always been helpful to have a vet to “consult” with when really unsure.

    • Yes it’s different with ferals Dee, sometimes it’s kinder to let Nature take its course than put them through the trauma of trapping and a visit to the vet.
      It’s amazing how wild animals can mostly heal themselves with time and I think ferals come into that category, they know themselves what’s best to do.

  2. I totally agree with you Michael.What gets me upset are people who log onto the internet and ask “what’s wrong with my cat?” They know something is wrong and trust people to “diagnose” their kitty.

    I do understand financial constraints, but there are several resources for folks to be able to afford proper veterinary care- such as Care Credit http://www.carecredit.com/vetmed/ at least here in the USA, which are interest free and payment schedules can be arranged that are affordable to most people.

    Excellent article!

    • Thank you, Jo. The article was prompted by the fact that people come to this website and ask the sort of questions that you mention in your comment and all I can do is present the information that I have from a book without actually doing any diagnostic work. Perhaps I’m doing the wrong thing but their question suggests to me that there are a number of people, cat owners, who are not, regrettably, prepared to fork out for a veterinarian to diagnose their cat’s illness probably. This goes to the heart, really, of cat guardianship. There is a need, I think, for a bit of a rethink, to reset the adoption process because good cat caretaking does depend upon having sufficient funds. Not enough emphasis is placed upon that basic requirement.

  3. Sounds like good advice to me. To be honest though when Gigi and Molly had their operations I never took them back to the vet and I did the stitches myself because Molly especially was so traumatized by the vets.

  4. Yes good advice Michael, vets study for years to be able to diagnose and treat animals and the days of home remedies should have long gone.
    It is traumatic going to the vets with a cat and even though I worked for vets I hate taking ours, but it’s part of being a responsible cat caretaker so it’s something we just have to be prepared to do.

  5. Yea as we got to think of our own cats well being and seek professional help esp if its an illness we dont know about. Very wise advise.

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