Even with all of the above, your pet may still get sick. While it can be difficult to know when to call the vet, here are a few guidelines in recognizing a sick pet:

  - Diarrhea.
  - Unexplained or sudden weight loss.
  - Significant loss of appetite or increased appetite.
  - Vomiting. 
  - Pawing at ears or shaking head.
  - Lumps on body. 
  - Significant fur loss (not just shedding, which is normal); dull, patchy coat.
  - Persistent sneezing or coughing.
  - Abnormal discharge from the eyes or nose.
  - Stiffness or weakness in any joints; pet moves with difficulty.
  - Straining to urinate or defecate. Inability to urinate is an emergency - get your cat to the vet immediately. 
  - Injury.
Note: Keep the name and number of the closest emergency vet clinic (for after-hours pet care), as well as those of your regular vet, close by the telephone.

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