Is My Cat Sick?
Unlike dogs, who tend to be very expressive with their feelings and emotions, cats are generally more introverted – making it more difficult to identify illness symptoms in cats. Since cat illness symptoms are less likely to be noticed, pet owners are also less likely to take their feline friends to the vet, which leads to the discovery of ailments much later in their progression. This can make treatment more difficult – and more expensive!
Cat Illness Symptoms
Since cat illness symptoms are difficult to notice, we’ve compiled a list of 10 signs of illnesses in cats to help you keep your cats happy and healthy:
- Changes in social behavior – Although they may not always appear to be, cats are social animals. If you notice an unusual change in the way your cat interacts with you, it could be a symptom of disease, pain or anxiety.
- Changes in activity – Most people associate a decrease in behavior in cats with old age or as cats simply growing out of the kitten phase. While this can be true, it can also by a symptom of arthritis or illness. Conversely, if your cat appears to be much more active than it previously was, this could be caused by a medical condition, such as hyperthyroidism.
- Unexplained weight loss or gain – Unexplained weight loss is a cat illness symptom that can be most commonly associated with hyperthyroidism or diabetes mellitus. Conversely, drastic weight gain can cause an increase in diabetes and joint disease.
- Stress – Stressed cats will commonly show signs of depression by hiding more or by spending more time awake observing their surroundings. These feline illness symptoms may signal a medical condition. It may be a good idea to bring your cat in for a veterinary examination to determine whether this is simply behavioral or the underlying symptom of a physical ailment.
- Changes in grooming – If your cat has hair loss, greasy-looking fur or is having trouble grooming itself this can be a sign of a serious illness or disease. Alternatively, an increase in your cat’s grooming activities may be a symptom of a feline skin condition.
- Inappropriate urination – A cat that urinates inappropriately, or outside its litter box, could have a number of conditions. Most commonly this is a symptom of urinary tract infection, kidney infection or diabetes. If you have a high or covered litter box, it could also signal arthritis as it may be too difficult for them to get into the litter box without pain.
- Changes in sleeping patterns – Adult cats often sleep 16 or more hours per day, so this can be hard to notice, but an increase in sleeping may signal an underlying disease.
- Bad breath – If you have noticed your cat’s breath smelling bad, it could be an indicator of oral health problems. More than 50 percent of cats have gum disease problems after age 3, so if your cat has bad breath, take it in for a feline dental examination.
- Changes in vocalization – If you’ve noticed an increase in your cat’s vocalization, this could signal several problems. Many cats increase their vocalization when they’re in pain or if they’re anxious about something.
- Changes in eating and drinking habits – A decrease in food consumption could signal a number of disorders ranging from relatively minor dental health problems to something as serious as cancer. An increase in food consumption could be associated with diabetes, hyperthyroidism or some other disorder.
If you’ve noticed that your feline is exhibiting any of these cat illness symptoms, schedule a veterinary examination with us today. Many of these cat illness symptoms are subtle and not immediately obvious, so keep a close eye on your cat’s behavioral patterns to keep him or her happy and healthy – longer.