Cats are notorious for hiding the signs that they aren’t feeling well. Often independent by nature, cats will often suffer for a long time before owners are aware that their cat is sick. However, there are several signs that can indicate that something’s wrong:
Your Cat’s Breath Smells Bad
The bad smell coming from your cat’s mouth could stem from gum disease, tooth decay, or kidney disease. If your cat’s breath smells sweet, diabetes may be the problem.
Eliminating Away From the Litter Box
If this behavior is not normal, then it could indicate a bladder infection, urinary tract disease, or blockage. Any changes in elimination behaviors can indicate trouble. Pay special attention to changes in the color, smell, frequency, and amount of waste.
Some owners have recognized changes in their cats’ meows, only to find out later that their pet was suffering. Crying, more vocalization than usual, less talking than normal, and other changes are often signs that your cat needs attention.
Changes in Appetite
Cats that suddenly show an increase in appetite or whose appetites drastically drop off could be suffering from a variety of different diseases. Your vet may do some blood work and other tests to find the source of trouble.
Weight Loss or Gain
Similar to changes in appetite, sudden weight changes can signal serious conditions. Weight loss often occurs when cats have thyroid disease or cancer. Weight gain accompanies several conditions as well. These changes should prompt a visit to the vet.
Grooming Habits Change
As with appetite and weight gain, this change can go either way. Some cats will begin to over-groom and may create sores or bald patches. This is a typical symptom of parasites or stress. The lack of grooming may be a sign of skin disease. If your cat begins shedding, she may be suffering from hyperthyroidism or from allergies.
Hiding, Sleeping, or Overactive Tendencies
It is very normal for cats who feel sick, uncomfortable, or nervous to hide. If your cat starts to hide more than usual, this behavior can be a sign of trouble. Cats who are normally very active who start to sleep all day may be trying to show you that they aren’t feeling well. On the other hand, a cat who is suddenly wide awake at night, vocalizing, or seems really overactive, even during the day, could also be trying to let you know that he isn’t feeling well.
When you visit with your veterinarian, try to be as specific as possible about the changes you’ve seen in your cat’s behavior. Although the signs that your cat is sick can be subtle, they should be a reason for you to call the vet. Contact the Pet Medical Center to schedule an appointment. The sooner you can identify what is wrong and begin a course of treatment, the sooner your cat can get back to normal.