VCA Animal Hospitals

Four signs it's time to bring your cat to the vet

Published: Nov 29, 2012

Back to News

Cats have a way of hiding pain from their owners, leading many to think they don't get sick as often as dogs, or don't need as much veterinary care - one of the most common cat myths there is, according to VCA Animal Hospitals. Although sometimes you will know when your cat needs to see the vet, she might also be hiding a serious medical problem. Here are some surefire signs she needs some help.

She's caught a cold
Humans commonly catch colds and cats can too, but a runny nose, sneezes and crusty eyes could also be a sign of something more serious. Cat vaccinations protect feline companions from most viruses, but they are not perfect. Feline herpes and feline calicivirus both have symptoms similar to the common cold. If your cat's symptoms do not go away after seven to 10 days, bring her to the vet.

She's talking a lot
Some cats are more vocal than others, but if you have noticed a change in your cat's meows - especially if she has become more vocal than usual - she could be in pain or suffering from another medical problem. First see that she has food, water, access to her litter box and attention from you. If all of her needs are met, you might want to call the veterinarian for an exam to get to the root of the problem.

Avoiding the litter box
If your cat has been perfectly potty trained her whole life and is suddenly urinating everywhere but the litter box, she is probably avoiding it (or missing it) for a reason. Some cats won't use a box that is soiled, but if you keep yours in tip top condition and she still stays away, it might be because she has a medical issue that is causing her pain when she urinates. She may associate this pain with the litterbox, or not be able to hold her urine until she gets there. Bring her to the vet to determine the cause of this behavior.

She's skipping dinner
Cats usually perk up at the sound of their food, so if yours seems more interested in sleeping than in eating, drinking or playing, she may be sick. Cats sleep about 16 hours a day, and if yours is sleeping more than that and skipping meals, her body is likely responding to illness. Bring her to the vet to determine what's wrong, because going more than two days without eating can cause a deadly metabolic disease called fatty liver disease. 


General Practice

We have over 540 animal hospitals in 41 states that are staffed by more than 2,000 fully qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, with more than 200 being board-certified specialists. The nationwide VCA family of general practice hospitals give your pet the very best in medical care, providing a full range of general medical and surgical services as well as specialized treatments*: Wellness, Spay/neuter, Advanced diagnostic services (MRI/CT Scan), Internal medicine, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Cardiology, Neurology, Boarding, Grooming

*services may vary by location.

Our family of pet hospitals stands out by delivering the greatest resources in order provide the highest quality care available for your pets. By maintaining the highest standards of pet health care available anywhere, we emphasize prevention as well as healing. We provide continuing education programs to our doctors and staff and promote the open exchange of professional knowledge and expertise. And finally, we have established a consistent program of procedures and techniques, proven to be the most effective in keeping pets healthy.

Find a VCA General Care Animal Hospital near you:


See all VCA Animal Hospitals >


Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

We have twenty-eight specialty hospitals across the US so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology and surgery.

Find a VCA Specialty Care Animal Hospital near you:


See all VCA Animal Hospitals >


Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately. If it is after hours, check with a local animal hospital emergency clinic.