Observant cat owners can read the signs and symptoms that indicate their feline friend is not feeling well Cat Sick. Any change in a cat’s appearance, intake and outtake or behavior is a reason to take your cat to your veterinarian for a checkup.
Let’s go over 12 common signs of illness in cats
1. Stinky breath
A foul odor coming from your kitty’s mouth can mean gum disease or tooth decay. Brushing your cat’s teeth is a good way to decrease those risks. Imagine if you went 5, 10, or 15 years without brushing your teeth! In addition, breath that smells like ammonia can be a sign of kidney disease.
2.Change in appetite
Eating too much or too little can potentially signify disease. If you notice a change, either way, you should notify your veterinarian. There are countless diseases that can cause overeating or losing one’s appetite. Your veterinarian’s job will be to investigate why. This typically starts with blood work, X-rays, and/or ultrasound.
Weight loss can be an indication of thyroid disease or worse, cancer. Weight gain or a growing belly can be related to various conditions such as pyometra (a uterus full of pus). Obesity by itself is detrimental to your pet’s health: it can lead to arthritis, tumors, and a shorter lifespan.
4. Eliminating outside of the litter box
Causes of this annoying habit can be behavioral or indicate a disease. Discuss your pet’s symptoms with your veterinarian to rule out a bladder infection or urinary blockage before treating this as a behavior issue.
5. Grooming change
Lack of grooming can cause a dull or greasy hair coat, which can indicate skin disease or other problems. Some cats over-groom and end up with bald patches. Skin parasites, like fleas or mange, or even stress can cause this behavior.
6. Behavior change
If your normally social kitty suddenly becomes antisocial, there may be a medical reason. A classic sign of illness is hiding: kitty feels bad, tries to hide from “predators” and hides in a closet or under a bed.
7. Sleep pattern change
If your cat seems to sleep all day when he used to be active, he may be trying to tell you he doesn’t feel well. The opposite is also true. If your kitty is up all night roaming the house, vocalizing or seems overactive during the day, there might be an underlying cause.
8. Activity change
A sudden increase in activity level in a middle-aged to older kitty can indicate an overactive thyroid. If your kitty seems less than enthusiastic about moving around or playing, it may indicate arthritis or other issues.
9. Voice change
Voice changes can actually indicate a problem. Normally quiet cats with an increase in vocalizations, or a usually chatty kitty which suddenly becomes quiet, might mean trouble.
10. Stress-induced behavior
A change in your cat’s routine may be a sign of stress. Changes in the environment your pet lives in, like the addition of another pet, remodeling or loud noises can all cause hiding, depression, or a lack of appetite. Be objective and thorough when describing any potential changes to your veterinarian.
A sick cat displays one or more physical symptoms to indicate he isn’t feeling well. Changes in appetite and water intake are red flags. Refusal to eat or drink can indicate he is in pain. Increased thirst and urination are indicators of kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, or diabetes. Vomiting several times a day can lead to dehydration and lethargy. A sick cat may have different potty habits such as diarrhea or constipation. Any coughing, sneezing or excessive scratching indicates your cat may be sick.
Observing your cat’s appearance can help you discover an illness quickly. When petting him, feel through his fur down to his skin for bumps, lumps, or infected areas on the skin. Adelaide Animal Hospitals in Australia recommend checking the color of your cat’s gums to detect illness. Healthy cats have pink gums; other colors point to an illness. White gums are an indicator or blood loss or shock, red gums are a sign of elevated temperature or toxicity and blue or purple gums mean he is lacking oxygen. Gums that are tinged yellow are a sign of organ disease. Stiffness or limping could be a sign of pain from an injury or perhaps arthritis in an older cat.
RELATED: Stressed Cat
Any of the above changes, whether slow or quick, should be a reason to take your cat (or dog) to your vet to investigate the cause and find a treatment as soon as possible.
If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian – they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.
Dr. Hanen Abdel Rahman