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Dr. Zeltzman: 10 Things I Wish Every Cat Parent Would Do

Reviewed by Dr. Celeste Clements, DVM, DACVIM on Thursday, September 3, 2015
Posted September 04, 2015 in A Vet's Life

AJ Debiasse, a technician in Stroudsburg, PA, contributed to this article.

Most cat parents are prepared to do whatever it takes to help their cat. Sadly, too many also rely on misconceptions and erroneous advice that can be misleading at best, and dangerous at worst. This worries me as a veterinarian and AJ as my wonderful technician. Speaking candidly, here are 10 things we do our best to tell every client, but many clients still may not understand.

1. Recognize pain and suffering

Most cats are extraordinarily stoic. It can be extremely difficult, but is very important to recognize when cats are suffering. If they are limping, they hurt. If they are vomiting, something is wrong. If they skip several meals, there is a reason. If they have difficulty breathing, they may be, in fact, suffocating, and it's terrifying for them. Seek help immediately. Procrastination is heartbreaking for us.

[Also see how to tell if your cat's secretly sick]

Persian cat laying down

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Dr. Phil Zeltzman is a board-certified veterinary surgeon and author. His traveling practice takes him all over Eastern Pennsylvania and Western New Jersey. You can visit his website at, and follow him at

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