Signs of illness in cats can be very subtle, so even the slightest change can turn out to be significant. Here are some of the most common signs of illness in our fabulous felines.
1. Changes in Interaction
A normally clingy kitty acting uncharacteristically aloof, or a more independent cat that suddenly transforms into a “Velcro pet” are examples of pets who may not be feeling well.
2. Changes in Activity
A decrease or increase in activity and/or a change in the cat’s daily routine can be a sign of a medical condition. For example, arthritis is far more common in cats than previously thought.
3. Changes in Chewing or Eating Habits
Contrary to popular belief, cats are not naturally finicky eaters. Look for changes such as an increase or decrease in your cat’s appetite. Cats that suddenly refuse to eat any dry, crunchy foods or beg for soft foods may be experiencing dental problems that can lead to life threatening health problems. Increased eating can be a sign of diabetes, hyperthyroidism, or other health problems.
4. Changes in water intake
Drinking more or less water can be an indicator of a health problem such as diabetes or kidney disease.
5. Sudden Weight Loss or Weight Gain
Weight doesn’t always go up or down with a change in appetite. Cats with diabetes or hyperthyroidism may lose weight even if they eat more.
6. Bad Breath
If those pearly whites are not so white, and Kitty’s breath is not so fresh, there may be a dental and/or gum issue. These can lead to serious health problems down the road. Bad breath may also be related to a digestive disorder, infection, or kidney disease.
7. Changes in Grooming Habits
Fastidious felines who let themselves go - even just a little bit - may be ill. Similarly, over-grooming may be related to stress, pain, or skin conditions. Hair loss, bald patches, scaliness, scabs, bumps or excessive scratching, all require medical attention. Some skin conditions, such as ringworm, can even be transmitted to humans.
8. Changes in Sleeping Habits
From catnapping more often, to waking in the middle of the night, the explanation may be illness, perhaps associated with aging.
9.Changes in Vocalization
Shy cats who begin to vocalize, or cats that howl in the night may be doing so as a result of a medical problem. Feline cognitive dysfunction, thyroid problems, heart conditions or high blood pressure are among the possible explanations.
10. Changes in Litterbox Habits
This one is far from subtle, yet it is often mistaken for spite, fussiness, or eccentricities. Cats who urinate or defacate outside of the litterbox, may be doing so because they are ill. Blood in the urine or feces warrants immediate medical attention. Cats who cry when picked up, vocalize in the litterbox, or strain to urinte, must be seen by a veterinarian right away. If your cat is attempting to urinate, but not passing any urine, his urethra may be blocked. This usually occurs in males and is ALWAYS life threatening! If you observe this behavior in your cat, take your cat to the vet IMMEDIATELY. Tell the receptionist your cat is blocked. This is an emergency and your cat must be seen promptly.
If your kitty is not sick, let us help her stay that way! At Sabal Chase Animal Clinic we offer a comprehensive Feline Wellness Package. These tests can help up detect signs of illness before they become a problem. Please call us at (305) 595-1450 to schedule an appointment. You can also visit us at www.sabalchaseanimalclinic.com or find us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sabalchaseanimalclinic .