Cats are very good at hiding illnesses. We often think of them as mighty predators, but they are in fact a prey animal. This means that they often instinctively hide signs of illness until they are in fact quite ill.
Signs that your cat may be sick include: a change in appetite (increased or decreased), a change in water consumption (especially increased), a change in litterbox habits (small spots of urine, much larger clumps of urine, crying when in the box, urinating or defecating outside the box, constipation, diarrhea, blood in the urine/stool), a change in weight (loss or gain), vomiting, diarrhea, vocalizing (especially at night), a change in eye appearance, coughing, lumps and bumps.
As cats age, they are more likely to develop endocrine disorders (like diabetes and hyperthyroidism), kidney disease, intestinal disease, and cancer. Routine testing of blood, urine, and blood pressure helps set a baseline so that when a cat is sick, we can compare normal to abnormal. Many diseases of older cats are treatable, and some are even curable (hyperthyroidism, for example).
When routine blood tests don't provide the answer, we may need to perform further testing. This may include a different blood panel, x-rays, ultrasound, and sometimes biopsies.
Feline Wellness Center understands that your cat is part of the family, and we have made the investment to provide as much in house diagnostics as possible. We can run most blood and urine tests here in the clinic when answers are needed quickly, can culture urine, perform digital x-rays/ultrasounds/endoscopy, and biopsies. We know that you and your cat don't want to be running back and forth between vet clinics. However, sometimes it is in your cat's best interest to be referred to a specialist, and we will assist in choosing the right one for your cat. We are NOT a 24 hour clinic, and sometimes patients need to be transferred for overnight care.