Q: Should I keep a health care diary for my cat?
A: I think that is an excellent idea. I have one for my kitties and I sometimes keep a daily record of the cats I care for on my house calls, particularly if they are seniors or have medical issues. I remember doing monthlong, twice-daily house call for Sophie, who was 15 and had a thyroid condition. Because she was thin and a fussy eater, her owners had left me a huge amount of canned food in a variety of flavors. I had no idea which would appeal to her finicky appetite. (I’m not sure her owners did, either.)
However, as I tried each can of food, I kept a daily diary of what flavor Sophie liked or didn’t like, and much she would eat. This worked for both of us, as I determined what her favorites were. I also noted how alert she was when she greeted me at the door, and her litter habits. You can imagine how many pages this produced! When her owners returned, they were so delighted with the diary and how well Sophie was doing that they decided to continue it themselves.
An extensive diary is not always necessary if your kitty is hale and hearty, but for an ailing cat, it is important. I record vet visits, vaccinations, all medication and their usage, plus anything unusual in behavior. If you change your cat’s diet, keep note of any vomiting or diarrhea. Be very watchful if he urinates more or less frequently. I once had a client call and say that her cat hadn’t urinated in two days and should she take him to the vet?. I said “Yes, immediately!” In fact, any prolonged unusual behavior should be checked by your vet.
Bring your cat’s diary along on vet visits for background information — my vet always appreciates it when I do. It will help give you the peace of mind that your kitty is being well-looked after.