Online Diagnosis—Can You Diagnose Your Cat's Illness?

By Janice Biniok

You don't need to be a veterinarian to be educated about your cat's health. You are, after all, your cat's "first responder." You are the feline triage. And, ultimately, you are the FTD (Feline Treatment Decision-maker). These duties carry great responsibilities and should not be done from behind a veil of ignorance.
Fortunately, online sources can make your job a little easier by answering some of your feline health questions and, hopefully, helping you come up with intelligent questions to ask your veterinarian. But which sites provide the best facts on feline afflictions? We've found that some sites are fun, some are interesting, and some are indispensible references!

For a Quick Reference Guide…
The most advanced computing features are found in sites like peteducation.com, which allows you to plug in your cat's symptoms to get a list of possible maladies. But, as technologically thrilling as it is to use such a system, don't expect to get Encyclopedia-quality info. We couldn't find information on ear mites or Feline Leukemia, but we had an awful lot of fun clicking for common kitty conditions. You need to check out this site for its entertainment value alone!

Topics with a Personal Touch
One of our favorite diagnosis web sites features the personable Dr. Mike, who answers pet owners' questions at vetinfo.com. After running for over a decade, the site has amassed a huge library of interesting feline health (and behavior!) topics, all organized neatly in a comprehensive index that would make Felix Unger proud. You can find a little bit on just about any subject here, and that's all you need to get pointed in the right diagnosis, uh, direction.

A Source with Substance
If you really want to get down to the nitty gritty of pussy cat pathology, there is no better resource than animalhealthchannel.com. Here you will find impressively thorough descriptions of symptoms and treatments for all kinds of kitty ailments, from fleas to feline distemper. Don't forget, though, that no matter how good of a cat disease detective you become, leave the formal diagnosis to a professional feline physician—your vet.

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