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Troubleshooting your cat

Few things are more frightening than not knowing how to help your cat. Whether it’s the slow changes that come with ageing or the acute problems of an unexpected illness, there is little we want more than to be able to understand and to help.

It’s important that you talk to your veterinarian in any situation where you think your cat’s health might be at risk. They will be able to give you advice and treatment options and are in the best position to let you know what can be done to help. Even when a problem seems more annoying than alarming, it is often the first indication that something is wrong.

However, if you’ve gotten a clean bill of health and the problem still persists, sometimes just a simple change of habit can help. I’ve tried to compile a collection of common problems, as well as some explanations and solutions to them. There is, unfortunately, no guarantee that any of this will help, and sometimes we just have to learn to live with things, just as our cats have to learn to live with all of our annoying idiosyncrasies.

While all the information in this guide is based on my years of experience with cats, it does not in any way constitute a professional medical opinion. When this information conflicts with that of your veterinarian’s, you should always listen to your veterinarian, and you should never use this information in lieu of proper care.

  • Introducing a new food

  • Vomiting after eating

  • Vomiting in general

  • Hairballs

  • Food sensitivities

  • Bald patches, scabs, and sores

  • Matted or greasy fur

  • Flaky or itchy skin

  • Rough or knobbly chin

  • Fleas and ringworm

  • Going over the edge

  • Missing entirely

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