Recognizing the Signs of Illness in Cats
Despite the fact that cats are predators, in the wild, larger predators will feast on them. Because sick or elderly animals are excellent prey for other predators, any evident symptom of disease will signal other predators that the animal is unwell or injured. As a result, cats have developed the ability to conceal indications of disease and discomfort. As a result, in the early stages of disease, the only thing that a cat owner may notice is that the cat has become quiet and withdrawn from the household.
Veterinarians can detect subtle signs that a cat is developing a health problem as a result of their training and experience, which is one of the primary reasons that the American Veterinary Medical Association and other veterinary experts recommend twice-yearly wellness examinations for the average adult cat.
Understanding how cats display disease symptoms will help you spot early warning signs and know what information to offer to your veterinarian if your cat is suffering from a medical condition.
What things should I look for?
Cats suffering from illness may typically exhibit changes in their general look, activity level, friendliness, coat appearance and/or quantity of shedding, hunger, litterbox usage, respiration, and discharges from the eyes and nose, among other things. In general, any unexpected change in your cat’s behavior should serve as a warning that he or she requires medical care.
What changes would I see in overall appearance?
It is possible that cats that are not feeling well will only appear a little “odd.” When the cat is sick, it may sit or move in an unnatural manner. It may not elevate its head correctly or may have a head tilt, or it may carry its tail in a manner that is not usual for the species. A range of minor alterations may be noticeable rather than a single prominent feature in some cases. Dehydration is a common concern in sick cats, and it may be deadly. Check to check whether your cat is dehydrated by gently grasping the skin at her shoulder blades, pulling it up and away from her body, and then releasing your hold on her.
Cats suffering from a chronic disease may experience modest and subtle weight loss that is only noticeable when you run your hands over the ribs and spine of the cat.
What changes in sociability or energy level would indicate that my cat might be sick?
The behavior of sick cats is generally withdrawn and they may even hide, but this might vary depending on their nature and the illness in question. Others become irritable and clinging, while others become more demanding of attention, and yet others become just plain grouchy. Cats who are unwell will, on average, have lower energy levels than healthy cats. It is possible that the only difference you may notice is that your cat naps more, does not play as much, or is restless. Some disorders, particularly hyperthyroidism, can cause your cat’s energy level to appear to rise to the point of hyperactivity, and this can be dangerous.
“Cats who are unwell will often have decreased energy levels,” says the veterinarian.
If your cat suddenly loses the ability to utilize her hind legs, she should be sent to your veterinarian as soon as possible.
What changes would I see in coat appearance and amount of shedding?
Cats that are not feeling well have a tendency to brush themselves less thoroughly than healthy cats. This results in an untidy or oily coat, matted fur, or clumped loose hair becoming the norm rather than the exception. In certain circumstances, you will notice a difference in the sheen of the coat or an increase in the amount of dandruff on the hair. Cats that groom themselves excessively may also be suffering from this condition. Grooming in excess may be caused by an allergic reaction to a skin disease such as hives, a parasite such as fleas, mites or ringworm, discomfort such as arthritis or a bladder problem, or it may be a response to stress.
What changes should I look for in appetite or thirst?
Because ill cats may eat less or more than normal, or may have more or less thirst than usual, any change in appetite or thirst should be taken seriously in order to avoid complications. Cats suffering from dental disease may appear to be fussy about what they eat. If your cat is suffering from a metabolic disorder such as hyperthyroidism or diabetes, you may notice that they have a voracious hunger and excessive thirst. Cats suffering from liver or renal disease frequently experience appetite loss, but they also have increased thirst.
If your cat has not fed adequately for more than 24 hours, you should seek veterinarian assistance right once.
In this condition, the cat’s appetite is completely suppressed for several weeks.
What changes should I look for in the litterbox?
Considering that ill cats may consume less or more food than normal, as well as have increased or decreased thirst, any change in appetite or thirst should be taken seriously. The feeding preferences of cats with dental illness may appear to be limited. The hunger and thirst of cats suffering from certain metabolic illnesses such as hyperthyroidism or diabetes mellitus may be excessive. Cats suffering from liver or renal disease frequently have appetite loss, but they also tend to have increased thirst, as described above.
Anarectic cats, or cats who have not eaten for several days, are at risk of developing a condition known as hepatic lipidosis, also known as fatty liver disease (for more information, see the handout “Hepatic Lipidosis in Cats”).
This condition causes the cat’s appetite to be completely suppressed for several weeks, and it can be fatal. If your cat gets fatty liver syndrome, he or she will require significant medical care for several weeks to months before things return to normal.
What changes should I look for in breathing?
Because ill cats may eat less or more than normal, or have more or less thirst than usual, any variation in appetite or thirst should be taken into consideration. Cats suffering from dental problems may appear to be finicky eaters. If your cat is suffering from a metabolic disorder such as hyperthyroidism or diabetes, you may notice that they have a ravenous hunger and excessive thirst. Cats suffering from liver or renal disorders frequently experience appetite loss, but they also have increased thirst.
Cats who have not fed for several days (anorectic cats) are at risk of developing a condition known as hepatic lipidosis or fatty liver disease (for more information, see the handout “Hepatic Lipidosis in Cats”), in which the cat’s appetite is fully repressed for several weeks.
What eye changes may be present in a sick cat?
Because ill cats may eat less or more than normal, or have more or less thirst than usual, any change in appetite or thirst should be taken seriously. Cats suffering from dental problems may appear to be fussy eaters. Cats suffering from metabolic illnesses such as hyperthyroidism or diabetes mellitus may have a voracious appetite and excessive thirst. Cats suffering from liver or renal disease frequently experience decreased hunger, but they also experience increased thirst. “If your cat has not fed adequately for more than 24 hours, seek quick veterinarian assistance.” If your cat has not fed adequately for more than 24 hours, seek emergency veterinarian assistance.
In this situation, the cat’s appetite is fully repressed for several weeks.
Are there any other symptoms that are abnormal?
There should be no discharge from the nose, no debris in the ears, no excessive salivation, no foul breath, and no strange odor emanating from other regions of the body in a healthy cat. Vomiting, particularly vomiting of clear frothy fluid or bile-tinged material, should be taken seriously as a sign of illness. Pale gums, skin, or eyes may suggest anemia, while a yellow tinge may indicate jaundice, and a bluish tint may indicate a lack of oxygen in the blood. The consequences of delaying treatment for certain conditions, even by a few hours, can be lethal.
Because symptoms of sickness can be subtle, if your cat does not appear to be feeling well, it is best to err on the side of caution and schedule a veterinarian checkup as soon as possible.
If your cat hasn’t eaten in more than 24 hours, or if you observe any breathing difficulties, straining in the litterbox, or anomalies in the eyes, seek quick veterinarian care.
Please visit or call your veterinarian if you have any concerns or questions regarding your cat’s health. Your veterinarian is your greatest and most trusted resource for ensuring your cat’s well-being and health.
How to tell if your cat is sick: Signs and Symptoms
Cats may be stoic creatures, and when they are unwell, they are frequently able to keep their misery hidden. Our Bartlett veterinarians discuss some of the signs and symptoms that may suggest that your feline companion is feeling under the weather.
Symptoms of a Sick Cat
If you have ever seen a cat in distress, you know that they are exceptionally excellent at masking their misery. In fact, indicators of sickness may not become apparent until your cat is in a state of extreme discomfort. If you see any of the following signs or symptoms, it’s critical that you contact your Bartlett veterinarian as soon as possible.
- Pupils that are constricted or dilated Vomiting or diarrhea are common symptoms of the flu. A sudden shift in mood
- No desire to play or the appearance of being sluggish
- Considerably quieter or much more boisterous than normal
- Changes in hunger, drinking, or eating habits that occur suddenly
- Weight loss or growth that is noticeable
- Breathing too quickly or feeling short of breath
- Grooming is either neglected or excessively performed. Inappropriate usage of the litter box
- Injuries or limping
- Wounds or swelling
- Foul smelling breath Expulsion of fluid from the eyes or nose. Hair loss or inflammation of the skin
Knowing When Your Cat is Sick
Your cat is the only one who knows him as well as you do. Remember to keep an eye out for subtle changes in your cat’s behavior that others may not notice; take note of any changes in your cat’s regular body language or disposition, for example. Even if your cat isn’t exhibiting any of the symptoms described above, it’s a good idea to take him to the veterinarian for a complete examination if anything doesn’t seem quite right.
Some Common Causes of Illness in Cats
The symptoms described above are all indications that your cat may be suffering from a medical condition. Here are some of the most frequent ailments that cats can contract:
- It is possible that the sudden occurrence of litter box troubles is due to anything from a urinary tract infection to bladder stones or renal illness. A sudden increase in appetite could be a sign of diabetes, hyperthyroidism, inflammatory bowel disease, or even intestinal cancer
- However, this is not always the case. In the event that your cat is consuming significantly more water than normal, this might indicate that your cat is suffering from renal illness, thyroid issues, or diabetes. Upper respiratory infections can cause breathing difficulties in your cat, as well as a decrease in his or her interest for hobbies and play. It is possible for your cat’s acrobatic activities to be curtailed as a result of injuries or arthritis. Cats with bad breath are a significant indicator that your cat may be suffering from periodontal disease or is experiencing teeth pain. If left untreated, dental disease in cats can progress to more significant problems, such as heart, liver, and kidney illness, among other things.
What To Do if Your Cat is Sick
If your cat is exhibiting any strange habits, it is recommended that you take him to the veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment. Preventing diseases from becoming more serious or possibly life-threatening can be accomplished by detecting them early and treating them as soon as possible. Accidental injuries or diseases in cats may need immediate medical treatment, surgery, or even emergency care. It is critical that you get competent veterinarian help as soon as possible after discovering the problem.
If your cat isn’t feeling their very best, contact Hillcrest Animal Hospital tobook an appointment today.
We’re constantly welcoming new patients, so please contact our veterinary facility immediately to schedule your pet’s first appointment. We look forward to hearing from you. Get in Touch With Us
18 Signs That Your Cat Is Sick
Is it possible that your cat is ill? It might be tough to determine whether or not slight changes in your cat are indicative of a health condition. Cats are masters at concealing their disease. They can use this impulse to protect themselves against predators or other cats that may pose a threat in the wild. Even if the only possible threat is a housemate, today’s house cat exhibits the same inclination to avoid being vulnerable as its predecessors. Even cats that live in homes with only one other pet have a strong drive to defend themselves.
Animals have a tendency to accept pain or disease as the new normal and go on with their lives.
How to Know If Your Cat Is Sick
By the time you recognize that anything is wrong with your cat, it is possible that the problem has been going on for a longer period of time than you realize. Keep an eye out for tiny changes in behavior and keep an open mind. Examine your cat’s temperament and body language to determine his or her mood. Do you have a strange feeling about something? Learn what is typical for cats and how to determine what is normal for your particular cat. Never overlook symptoms of sickness that are evident.
- Vomiting is not a cause for concern on rare occasions.
- In addition to dietary errors, intestinal parasites, and a range of other issues, diarrhea can suggest a number of additional issues.
- It’s also an extremely unpleasant experience for your cat.
- It is typical for cats to have a loss of appetite, but it should not be dismissed.
- If your cat has stopped eating completely or is only eating little amounts, you should consult with your veterinarian immediately.
- The presence of increased hunger in an older cat might also be concerning, particularly if it appears unexpectedly.
- The presence of increased hunger in cats of any age should not be overlooked.
Weight fluctuations in cats are always alarming, regardless of whether they are gaining or losing weight.
The need for weight loss is more pressing in the short term, although weight increase is often more hazardous over time.
Even slight signs of a condition, such as lethargy, should be taken seriously.
There is most likely something wrong with your cat’s health at the moment.
This indicates that there is an issue with the kidneys or urinary system in the majority of cases.
As a result, if you see your cat spending more time around the water dish than usual, there is a reason for it.
They are frequently associated with a urinary tract disease or a kidney condition.
A medical emergency may arise if your cat is trying to urinate and nothing comes out, especially if it is a male cat.
Never disregard changes in respiratory patterns, such as wheezing or fast breathing, shortness of breath, or harsh breathing.
If the symptoms are moderate, schedule an appointment with your usual veterinarian as soon as possible.
This might cause your cat to become unwell and stop eating altogether.
Your veterinarian may offer drugs to aid in the recovery of your cat.
If this is not addressed immediately, it may result in damage to the eardrum.
Dermatitis (skin irritation) and hair loss are common symptoms of allergies, external parasites, and other skin conditions.
Don’t allow your cat go through any unnecessary pain.
Increased vocalization may indicate that your cat is ill, in pain, anxious, or simply bored, according to the ASPCA.
Overgrooming may be due to behavioral reasons, but it might also indicate that your cat is suffering from a skin problem or is in discomfort.
When personality changes occur over time, especially as your cat ages, it is typical for your cat to exhibit these characteristics.
If your cat appears to be confused or disoriented, this is an even more serious matter to be dealing with.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming your cat is not in pain simply because he is eating and acting normally.
Whenever there is swelling in any part of the body, it should not be disregarded.
It’s possible that it’s a tumor.
If it is painful, hot to the touch, or does not improve within a few days, take your pet to the veterinarian.
Mild halitosis may not be an emergency, but it does indicate that your cat’s teeth should be examined as soon as possible.
Additionally, keep an eye out for excessive drooling and bleeding from the mouth. If your cat gets an oral infection, the germs in the mouth can spread throughout the cat’s entire body. This might cause difficulties with the heart and other organs in the body.
Emergency Situations and Your Cat
Certain circumstances may be seen to be of an urgent nature. When your cat is having an emergency, you should not wait to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. Keep contact information for after-hours veterinarians on available in case you need to make a last-minute trip to one. If you see indicators of an emergency, do not hesitate to call 911. Go to the nearest open veterinarian as soon as possible:
- Trauma (for example, falling from a great height or being hit by a car)
- Difficulty breathing
- Gums that are blue, white, or very pale
- And other symptoms. Collapse, unconsciousness, or non-responsiveness are all possible outcomes. Seizure
- Dizziness, instability, or circling
- Or a combination of these symptoms being unable to walk
- The presence of moderate to copious bleeding
- Exposure to a toxic chemical
- Experiencing severe pain (as evidenced by indicators such as screaming out loudly and repeatedly or responding aggressively when touched)
- Having a body temperature exceeding 104 degrees Fahrenheit or below 99 degrees Fahrenheit (a normal body temperature is generally 100.5-102.5 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Not having eaten sufficiently in the previous 24 hours
If you observe anything else that your cat does that makes you uncomfortable, it’s best to be safe than sorry and call your veterinarian. If you need assistance determining whether or not something is an emergency, you can contact your veterinarian or the emergency vet.
How to Prevent Illness in Cats
Numerous cat owners undervalue the significance of routine veterinarian care for their pets. It is possible that they will wait several years before taking their cats to the veterinarian for a checkup. Even worse, people sometimes wait until their cat becomes ill before acting. The desire to avoid subjecting cats to the anxiety that comes with a veterinarian appointment is very natural. Some cats get extremely frightened or even violent when they are taken to the veterinarian. Choose a veterinarian clinic that will be less traumatic for your cat rather than waiting.
- Alternatively, you may want to look into hiring a mobile veterinarian that would come to your house.
- For cats, it is necessary to get annual veterinarian examinations.
- These appointments provide the veterinarian with an opportunity to evaluate your cat when he looks to be in good health.
- Early detection may allow you and your veterinarian to intervene before the sickness progresses to a more dangerous stage.
- Adopting a nutritious diet for your cat will help him prevent obesity as well as a variety of other health problems.
- Make careful to follow your veterinarian’s recommendations for routine parasite prevention.
- Make your cat’s home a joyful and low-stress environment.
- Provide vertical space, such as cat trees and wall shelves, in smaller homes or multiple-cat households to accommodate the cats.
Always consult your veterinarian for health-related inquiries, since they have evaluated your pet and are familiar with the pet’s medical history, and they can provide the most appropriate suggestions for your pet.
5 Signs Your Cat is Sick
It might be difficult to determine whether or not your cat is unwell since our usually independent feline companions have a tendency to conceal their symptoms. Similarly, when cats are not feeling well, they may seek refuge in a hiding place. When they’re sick, they may have acquired this habit from their large cat ancestors, who were forced to remain hidden in order to avoid predators. But there are several indications to look out for that might suggest a cat’s illness that can be prevented.
How to tell if your cat is sick
If you observe any of these five indicators that your cat is unwell, contact your veterinarian immediately to determine what is causing the problem.
1. Unkempt or Over-groomed Coat
The state of your cat’s coat might indicate a lot about him. If your cat is under grooming, over grooming, or shedding more fur than normal, there may be a health problem lurking beneath the surface.
Sick cats may cease grooming themselves because they are too exhausted or unpleasant to care for their coat. Their fur can get dull, greasy, and even tangled or matted if they do not properly care for it on a regular basis.
If you find cat hairless patches or raw and itchy skin, it’s possible that your cat is grooming himself excessively. Cats who exhibit this behavior may be suffering from a variety of common illnesses or skin disorders, such as an allergic response. Anxiety might also lead to excessive grooming. Feline anxiety develops when cats are confronted with stressful conditions, such as a change in routine or the introduction of a new pet into the household. You should consult with your veterinarian if your cat is exhibiting any signs of anxiety.
Anxiety might also lead to excessive grooming.
You should consult with your veterinarian if your cat is exhibiting any signs of anxiety.
If your cat’s hair is flying around more than normal, he or she may be ill. Hyperthyroidism or other common feline disorders can cause an increase in shedding, which can be a sign of the condition. It is also possible that it is the outcome of a skin allergy. Visit your veterinarian to find out what’s going on and what you can do to help yourself—aside than cleaning your teeth more often!
2. Drop or Gain in Weight
Cat weight loss, which can occur fast or over a longer period of time, as well as sudden weight increase, can both be indicators that your cat is unwell and should be evaluated.
Cat weight loss, which can occur fast or over a longer period of time, as well as sudden weight increase, can both be indicators that your cat is unwell and should be examined.
Your cat’s weight gain might be caused by bloating or belly swelling rather than by an increase in weight. Pregnancy, tumors, parasite infections, hypothyroidism, and Cushing’s illness are all examples of conditions that can induce fast weight gain. If anything is wrong, you should consult with your veterinarian about what’s happening. During your cat’s yearly health visit, your veterinarian should also keep note of his or her weight. During your cat’s yearly health visit, your veterinarian should also keep note of his or her weight.
Our wellness options, which can be added to any plan and cover an annual exam, are a great value (learn about important wellness coverage).
3. Issues with Eyes or Ears
A healthy cat should have bright, clear eyes with pupils that are the same size as the pupil in the other eye. A foggy coating on your cat’s eyes or changing sized pupils may indicate that he or she is ill. Excessive discharge from the eyes can also be a sign of common feline illnesses or problems, such as infections or parasites. There should be no discharge coming from your cat’s ears. Aside from that, there should be no evidence of redness, discolouration, or inflammation on their skin. If you observe any abnormalities in your cat’s eyes or ears, take him or her to the veterinarian for an examination to determine the cause.
4. Bad Breath
It is possible that your cat’s breath will not smell minty fresh, but it should not cause you to gag. Cats with bad breath may be suffering from one of the many common feline ailments, such as renal disease. It is also important that your cat’s mouth and gums seem healthy, with no signs of discolouration or irritation. Infections such as gingivitis or tooth decay, which can cause bad breath and oral problems, can create an infection that can lead to heart problems. Therefore, it is critical to maintain the oral and dental health of your feline companion by brushing him or her frequently and arranging a yearly dental cleaning.
5. Changes In Behavior
Has your cat, who was once sociable and gregarious, suddenly turned into a shy and nervous mess? Is it possible that your normally lively and cheerful furball has transformed into a weary and touchy grouch? Changes in your cat’s behavior may indicate that he is ill. Another change in behavior to keep an eye out for is difficulties in using the litter box. When cats stop using the litter box, urinate more frequently, or appear to be in discomfort when going, they may be suffering from a urinary tract infection or another common feline ailment.
Early detection can make treatment easier and improve your cat’s prognosis if it is discovered in time.
Cat insurance is something you should look into.
How To Tell If Your Cat’s Secretly Sick
Dr. Phil Zeltzman is a board-certified surgeon who practices in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Dr. Phil Zeltzman may be found online at www.DrPhilZeltzman.com. In addition, he is the co-author of the book “Walk a Hound, Lose a Pound” (www.WalkaHound.com). Katie Kegerise, a Certified Veterinary Technician based in Reading, Pennsylvania, contributed to this piece. It always surprises me when I come across a very unwell cat whose owner has failed to recognize any obvious indicators of sickness. Only twice in the last few of weeks has this happened to me.
- All of his abdominal organs were under strain from a lump that was easily the size of both your hands.
- In both cases, the first indications of illness were discovered only two days before the procedure was scheduled to take place!
- No, I’m referring to excellent, conscientious, and loving owners who just did not or were unable to recognize very early or subtle signals that something was developing inside their animals.
- It’s possible that this is because cats have retained their capacity to conceal indications so well that they go missed at times.
- In this section, we’ll go through 10 typical indicators of disease in cats — several of which are also applicable to dogs.
- Change in appetiteEating excessively or insufficiently might be an indication of sickness.
- Many illnesses can induce overeating or a loss of appetite, and there are many different types.
This is usually preceded by blood testing, X-rays, and/or an ultrasound scan.
a bad smell in the air The presence of a bad odor emanating from your cat’s mouth might indicate gum disease or tooth decay.
If you went 5, 10, or 15 years without cleaning your teeth, how would you feel?
Prior to addressing a behavior problem in your pet, consult with your veterinarian to rule out a bladder infection or urine obstruction as the cause of his or her symptoms.
Change in body weight Weight loss can be a symptom of thyroid illness or, in the worst case scenario, malignancy.
Even just being overweight may be harmful to your pet’s health, since it can cause arthritis, tumors, and even a shortened lifetime.
Modification of behavior In the event that your ordinarily gregarious cat suddenly turns antisocial, there might be a medical explanation for this.
Some cats groom themselves excessively, resulting in bald patches.
If your cat appears to be less than enthusiastic about moving around or playing, it might be a sign of arthritis or other health problems.
Alteration in sleep patterns If your cat appears to be sleeping all day when he used to be active, he may be attempting to communicate with you that he is not feeling well.
If your cat is up all night exploring the house and vocalizing, or if he or she appears to be energetic during the day, there may be an underlying problem.
Alteration in tone of voice Changes in tone of voice might really signal an issue.
Whatever the source of your cat’s (or dog’s) changes, whether gradual or sudden, it should be a reason to take him (or her) to the veterinarian as soon as possible for an investigation and a treatment.
In the event that you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or phone your veterinarian; they are your greatest resource for ensuring the health and well-being of your dogs.
How To Tell If Your Cat Is Sick
How do you determine whether your cat is ill or if it’s just a bad day? Cats have a tendency to conceal their ailments, and they may even conceal themselves when they are sick. Early indicators of your cat’s disease may be difficult to detect as a result of this circumstance. It occurs all too frequently: by the time a cat’s owner discovers their animal is unwell, the cat is already in critical condition. However, many illnesses are best addressed when they are discovered early on, which means you are the most essential health care provider for your cat.
Keep an open mind to what he’s attempting to tell you — or attempting not to tell you.
Is he acting differently?
A cat hiding in a quiet, inconspicuous location is the most typical indication of sickness in certain cats. Cats who are sick frequently lie quietly in a slumped stance. They might not pay attention to their appearance. They may be purring, which cats do not just when they are pleased, but also when they are unwell or in pain, according to the American Cat Association. When a cat is having respiratory issues, he may refuse to rest on his side and may prefer to keep his head elevated. Cats suffering from neurological issues may get disoriented, have convulsions, or bang their heads against furniture or walls for no apparent reason.
Is he eating, drinking, urinating or defecating more or less than normal?
Cats that aren’t feeling well are less likely to desire to eat. Some ailments, on the other hand, might induce an increase in hunger, so don’t disregard your cat’s sudden appetite. Increased thirst and urination may be a symptom of renal disease, diabetes, or another sickness, among other things. Cats who pee often or involuntarily, especially if only little quantities are produced or if they are showing symptoms of pain (such as meowing or straining in the litterbox), may have a urinary tract infection or blockage.
Is he regurgitating or vomiting?
If your cat regurgitates food shortly after eating, he may be suffering from a medical condition. Vomiting food after it has been digested can suggest illness, a blockage, or a variety of other disorders in the stomach. It’s likely that your cat will need to see a veterinarian after vomiting frequently for more than a few hours or after vomiting for more than a day. In addition, if you experience vomiting that is followed by tiredness, diarrhea, or a reluctance to move, you should seek medical assistance.
Does he have diarrhea or constipation?
diarrhea can be caused by a variety of factors including anxiousness, a change in diet or drinking water, food sensitivities, intestinal parasites, infections, poisoning, and a variety of ailments. Diarrhea that is watery, diarrhea that contains blood, diarrhea that is accompanied by vomiting or other indicators of disease should be taken to the veterinarian.
Constipation is a frequent problem in cats. They may struggle to defecate, whine or meow in the litterbox, pass only little, hard feces, or pass only small volumes of watery excrement, among other things. Ensure that your cat is defecating properly in his litterbox by checking it often.
Is he coughing?
It is possible that coughing is caused by a range of problems such as foreign things or hairballs; allergies; asthma; tumors; heart disease; lung disease; or a variety of communicable diseases. If the coughing continues for more than a day, call your veterinarian immediately to discuss your options. If your cat is coughing uncontrollably, is having difficulty breathing, or has blue gums, he should be taken to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
Is his gum color off?
Check the gums if you have a suspicion of a problem. Ideally, they should be deep pink when you press with your thumb, and they should return to pink within two seconds of removing your thumb from the pressing surface. Anemia, stress, or poor circulation can all manifest themselves as very pale gums and delayed repinking. The presence of bluish gums or tongue might indicate a potentially life-threatening shortage of oxygen. Gums that are bright red or yellow may suggest overheating or carbon monoxide poisoning, whereas bright red gums may indicate jaundice.
Tooth and gum disorders are frequently associated with foul breath, discomfort, and redness around the gumline.
Is his temperature abnormal?
The temperature of your cat should be taken by using a rectal thermometer that has been lubricated (either petroleum jelly or personal lubricant is acceptable) and inserted 1 to 1.5 inches into the cat’s rectum. You may leave it there anywhere from 10 seconds to a minute, depending on the thermometer. Cats have a normal body temperature ranging from 100 to 103 degrees, with an average of 101 degrees. If the temperature is 104 degrees or higher, or 99 degrees or lower, call your veterinarian for guidance; if the temperature is 105 degrees or higher, or 96 degrees or lower, go to your veterinarian for treatment.
A false alarm is preferable to failing to recognize the signs of a sick cat.
7 Signs Your Cat May Be Sick That Warrant a Call to the Vet
Cats are infamous for concealing indications of sickness and disease. Despite the fact that your feline companion is more likely to spend their time cuddled up on the sofa than roaming the jungle, domesticated cats have kept many of the characteristics of their wild predecessors, including their nocturnal habits. In the wild, ill cats are easy prey for larger predators who prey on them. Therefore, it is only logical that they would wish to conceal evidence of disease and perceived weakness. Unfortunately, as a result, many pet owners are unaware that something is wrong with their pet until the condition has progressed to a critical level.
A veterinarian, on the other hand, is not required in order to notice when something is not quite right with your cat.
Furthermore, when you see indicators of problems early on, we can begin therapy considerably sooner and – in many cases – provide a better prognosis for the patient.
We’ve compiled a list of seven indications that your cat may be unwell that you should be on the lookout for at home, which you can find below.
1. Changes in Appearance
If your cat is not feeling well, it is possible that they will not appear quite right. They may sit in a more stooped stance or walk with less elegance than they would otherwise. Tilting the head or carrying the tail in a different way might also be signs that something is amiss with the dog. Cats that are sick or injured frequently do not groom themselves as well as they should.
Some of the signs that your cat isn’tgroomingthemselves as well as they usually do are as follows:
- A coat that is oily and untidy
- Increased use of matting Fur clumps that have become disorganized
- It is possible that the coat will seem less glossy. An increase in the amount of dandruff
Numerous changes are seen in numerous cases, rather than simply a single one. Rather, there are a number of small differences. If you notice any changes in the look of your cat, you should speak with their veterinarian immediately.
2. Increased Vocalization
When a cat that is generally as quiet as a church mouse suddenly becomes a chatterbox, it is possible that they are attempting to communicate that something is wrong. It is especially alarming if the behavior persists for more than 24 to 36 hours after being seen. Increased vocalization can indicate a variety of different things. It is possible that your cat is in discomfort, has an upset stomach, or is possibly suffering from a neurological condition if you notice this behavior in him. While it is possible that a cat’s meowing is caused by something relatively innocent, such as their food dish being empty or their favorite toy being missing, a cat that meows more frequently than normal for more than 24 to 36 hours may be suffering from a significant underlying health condition.
3. Decreased Socialization
Cats are stoic creatures who are able to conceal their agony and pain with surprising dexterity. If your ordinarily affectionate kitty suddenly refuses to interact with you, it might be a clue that something is wrong with him or her. When cats are sick, they tend to hide or avoid socialising, therefore a change in behavior should not be overlooked if it is indicative of illness.
4. Excessive Thirst
In many families, getting cats to drink enough water may be a difficult proposition. They are not naturally attracted to water and are unlikely to gulp it down with the same zeal as their canine companions. The fact that your cat’s water bowl is being emptied at a faster rate than normal, or that your feline companion is seeking water from strange places – such as the toilet or the faucet – indicates that there may be a major problem. Several endocrine illnesses, such as diabetes and hyperthyroidism, can produce excessive thirst in elderly cats.
The good news, on the other hand, is that such illnesses are highly curable if caught early enough.
5. Refusal to Eat
It is never a good indication for pets when they refuse to consume food. If your cat is refusing to eat their favorite food or – gasp – treats, don’t disregard their protests. While the occasional unpleasant stomach is to be expected, refraining from eating favorite foods and snacks for more than 24 hours is grounds for severe concern. If your cat is refusing to eat, it might be due to a broken tooth or an infection in the mouth. It might also be a symptom of cancer or a variety of other significant health concerns, such as diabetes.
There might be a variety of explanations for your cat’s lack of appetite, ranging from respiratory sickness to ingestion of a foreign material. Rather than taking any chances, it is important to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible.
6. Frequent Vomiting
It is fairly uncommon for cats to vomit up a hairball every now and again, or to throw up right after eating. While vomiting regularly, especially for two or more days, might be an indication of more serious issues, it is not always the case. Take into consideration as well the fact that vomiting that lasts for more than two days may result in dehydration. If your cat vomits, pay close attention to how it appears and how frequently it occurs. Visit a veterinarian if the problem has an odd look, includes blood, or occurs on a consistent basis.
Frequent or unusual vomiting could indicate:
These concerns can all lead to major difficulties if they are not addressed immediately.
7. Weight Loss
While losing a few pounds isn’t usually a major matter for humans, it may be a severe problem for a cat that is already only about 10 pounds in the first place and has to lose much more. If you observe that your cat is losing weight, take them to the veterinarian to be checked for dental problems, internal illness, and other concerns that might be causing the problem. Keep track of their food and drink consumption, as well as their litter box usage.
As a cat parent, you are the only person who truly understands your cat. If you see any changes in your pet’s behavior or appearance, or if you have the distinct impression that something isn’t quite right, it is always best to trust your instincts and book an appointment with your veterinarian. Even the most minor signs of disease in cats might signal the presence of a major condition, therefore there is no such thing as being overly careful in this situation. We would be delighted to assist you if your cat requires a checkup.
13 Silent Signs Your “Healthy” Cat Is Actually Sick
“Cats are stoic creatures, which makes it difficult to discern whether they are ill or injured. According to Ashley Rossman, DVM, of Glen Oak Dog and Cat Hospital, “If your cat is hiding more often and is less sociable than usual, this might be a clue that something is wrong.” Despite the fact that it is less specific than the majority of other indicators of a sick cat, don’t dismiss it. The probable causes might range from an infection to an endocrine issue to something more serious such as cancer, among other things.
He’s drinking like a fish
Cats, in general, do not drink huge amounts of water (approximately a cup for every ten pounds of body weight), therefore it should be reasonably easy to detect when the water bowl empties faster than usual, or when he is attempting to acquire water from other sources such as the sink or bathroom toilet. In Dr. Rossman’s opinion, if your cat is drinking more water than usual, this might be a symptom that your cat has an endocrine problem such as hyperthyroidism or diabetes.
If you observe that your cat is drinking more water than normal, you should contact your veterinarian immediately. This is one of the indicators that your cat is unwell. Pixel-Shot/Shutterstock
She’s turning his nose up on her favorite food
If you bring home a new bag of kitty food, your cat will go crazy, but if she hasn’t showed much interest in it recently, pay attention. A reduction in appetite might be caused by a variety of factors, including an underlying illness, cancer, or the fact that their choppers are irritating them. A wide range of dental problems affect cats, including gingivitis, periodontitis, and stomatitis, all of which can result in the resorption of multiple tooth roots. Cats are also susceptible to dental tartar buildup and tooth fractures, according to Dr.
These 11 foods should never be given to your dogs.
She’s got runny eyes and nose
According to veterinarian Heidi Cooley, senior manager client experience and advocacy at Banfield Pet Hospital, “If your cat is experiencing sneezing, nasal discharge, coughing, fever, or the sniffles, it could be due to a variety of things, including feline upper respiratory disease, which is similar to the common cold in humans.” However, if the weeping is extensive or accompanied by a clear discharge, Dr.
Cooley believes it might be a sign of a clogged tear duct or another type of irritation to the cornea.
Learn how to provide a medicine to your cat if it becomes unwell.
He’s more vocal than usual
So it’s not one of the “silent” indicators that your cat is unwell, but it is worth noting when your cat becomes more loud than he is used to being when he is normally quiet. In fact, if his meowing continues for more than 24 to 36 hours, he may be suffering from a medical condition. “Vocalization is a very wide clinical sign in cats—it may transmit pain, but it can also convey a variety of underlying disorders,” explains Dr. Rossman. “Vocalization is a very broad clinical sign in cats.” Despite common belief, a cat’s purring does not necessarily indicate that he is healthy and satisfied.
She’s losing weight
An eight-pound cat’s weight will drop by a couple of pounds in a matter of weeks, and this is a symptom you should not overlook. According to Dr. Cooley, if you notice signs of weight loss in your cat, the first thing you should do is double-check with your veterinarian to ensure that your cat has been properly screened for internal disease, dental health, and any other conditions that could be contributing to her weight loss. Make a note of what your cat is eating and drinking, as well as whether or not they are eating more or less than normal, to provide to your veterinarian.
He’s losing hair and his skin is crusty
If your cat is suffering from hair loss or crusty or scaly spots on the skin that are red and may be scratched, this is a solid indicator that he or she isn’t feeling well. If your cat is exhibiting these symptoms, it is vital that you take him to the veterinarian as soon as possible. “If you have reason to believe your pet may have ringworm, it is critical that you work with your veterinarian to identify and treat the condition because it is contagious to other pets and humans,” explains Dr.
Cooley. Don’t ignore these indicators that your cat is displeased with you. Photograph courtesy of Holly Vegter/Shutterstock
He’s letting his dander pile up
Cats are excellent groomers, so if you notice dander accumulating on his tummy or bottom, you know something is wrong. As Dr. Cooley points out, “one of the most difficult things for senior cats that have developed arthritis may be losing the capacity to groom themselves correctly.” When their bottom or lower belly is scratched, these cats look uncomfortable, if not in pain, according to the researchers. “Although we don’t know for sure, we believe it creates stress for them.” Make a point of avoiding these 12 frequent blunders that cat owners tend to make.
She’s throwing up a lot
Something is wrong if you discover dander piling up on your cat’s tummy or bottom, because cats are excellent groomers. As Dr. Cooley points out, “one of the most difficult things for older cats with arthritis may be the loss of the capacity to groom themselves adequately.” “Although we don’t know for sure, we believe it creates stress for them, and these cats seem uncomfortable or perhaps in pain when their bottoms or lower bellies are scratched,” says the researcher. Take care not to make any of the following 12 typical blunders that cat owners do.
He’s just not himself
Although you are unable to pinpoint the source of the problem, something is wrong with your kitty cat. He’s just not as lively as he used to be, and he appears to be napping more. It doesn’t appear to be a significant problem at first, but as you continue to observe his behavior, you note that he is moving more slowly up and down the stairs, that he is having trouble using his litter box, and that he is no longer leaping up to his favorite perch on the window ledge. Even worse, he may get irritated or outspoken if you touch him.
Cooley, these subtle signals that your cat is unwell might potentially indicate arthritis in your cat.
This is a list of the 11 subtle indicators that your cat is feeling sad in the dumps.
His breathing is bizarre
Whenever your cat looks to be having difficulty breathing, you will observe that his tummy and chest are moving, or that his mouth is open, or that his neck and head are hanging low and extending from the body. Aside from fast breathing, wheezy and raspy noises are other warning signals of problems. “Changes in respiratory patterns should be treated by a veterinary practitioner as soon as feasible. ” Asthma, pneumonia, lung cancer, and lung disease are just a few of the respiratory ailments that cats can contract, says Dr.
“Cats can suffer from a wide range of respiratory disorders,” he adds.
He is spending way too much time grooming
No, he isn’t that vain; he is only attempting to persuade you to take him to the veterinarian. “Excessive grooming, also known as psychogenic alopecia, can be a symptom of a medical condition,” explains Dr. Rossman. As far as disease goes, it may be caused by a variety of factors including psychological factors such as increased worry, tension, or boredom; it can also be caused by fleas, infections, allergies, bad dietary responses, or even hormone abnormalities.
Find more about 12 natural flea treatments. kae nata/Shutterstock
You noticed a lump while petting her
According to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, lumps, bumps, discolored skin, obvious tumors, and other masses are all frequent indicators of cat cancer in the elderly. Other signs and symptoms to watch out for include trouble breathing and eating, stomach swelling, recurrent diarrhea or vomiting, and bleeding from the mouth, nose, or other bodily openings, among other things. It is important to do a biopsy in order to confirm the diagnosis. Finding out that your cat has cancer is a terrifying experience, but certain diseases, like as lymphoma, are treatable, and there are techniques to control their discomfort and provide them with comfort during their treatment.
The original publication date was August 12, 2019.
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