Our feline friends are good at hiding their sickness. In the wild, they need to conceal their weaknesses, including health problems, to protect themselves from predators. Domesticated cats also have the same natural instinct. Detect early signs of sickness in your cat by familiarising yourself with these symptoms.
- Weight Changes
A sudden weight loss in cats could signify a more serious health issue. Causes of cat weight loss can be anything, some of the common causes are toothache, diabetes, feline cancer and feline infectious peritonitis. Weight gain can also be an indication of a medical issue. Overeating is usually the cause of weight gain in cats, but it certainly is not the only cause. Cats with hypothyroidism gain weight and become lethargic because the impairment of their thyroid gland slows down their metabolism. Several other issues can lead to weight gain including Cushing’s disease, intestinal disease, and diabetes. Until your cat is examined by a vet, you will not know what is afflicting her. Consult your vet for an accurate diagnosis so that an appropriate treatment plan can be designed.
- Smelly Breath
Bad breath is one of the most common signs that your cat is suffering from dental problems. Oral infections can cause foul breath due to the bacteria build-up in the mouth. Watch out for other symptoms such as bleeding gums and excessive drooling. Without proper treatment, it can lead to heart problems and damage other organs.
- Decreased Appetite
Most cats tend to be finicky eaters and sometimes they end up eating less than they normally would. However, changes in their eating habits, most especially loss of appetite, should not be ignored. If your furry friend skips meals occasionally but still eats the same amount of food, monitor her closely. If she stops eating completely or only eats in small amounts, bring her to the vet for an examination. Lack of appetite even for a few days can be a sign of a severe problem such as fatty liver or hepatic lipidosis.
- Increased Water Consumption
If your cat all of a sudden starts drinking excessively, it’s an indication that she is afflicted with a health problem. Excessive drinking of water could be a sign of kidney or urinary tract problem. It could also be a symptom of diabetes or thyroid disease.
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Possible causes of diarrhoea include intestinal parasites, dietary indiscretion and other chronic health conditions. Without proper care, diarrhoea can quickly result in severe dehydration and intestinal inflammation. If your cat is having diarrhoea, make sure to schedule an appointment with the vet and if possible, bring a stool sample.
- Changes in Urination
Any changes in your cat’s urination is a big warning sign. If you notice that she strains to urinate, has traces of blood in urine, stays longer than usual in the litter tray, or urinates outside of her litter tray, bring her to the vet as soon as possible. Shifts in urination pattern often indicate a kidney or urinary tract problem. Neutered male cats are more susceptible to developing urinary stones or crystals. These can block the urinary tract. If not immediately given veterinary intervention, complete obstruction in the urinary tract may occur that can result in death within 24 hours.
- Discharge from eyes and nose
It is a sign that your cat is possibly suffering from upper respiratory infections. Kittens are prone to developing this disease. Keep in mind that it can be highly contagious to other cats. Thus, it is crucial to isolate your sick cat from other cats living in the same household and seek veterinary care.
Evey now and then cats hack up hairballs. However, if your kitty begins to throw up every couple of days, alert your vet. Vomiting especially after eating might be a sign that she has an intestinal blockage or other health issues.
There are other telltale signs that your cat needs an urgent trip to the vet.
- Breathing difficulties
- Trauma (from being hit by a car)
- Pale gums
- Exposure to a poisonous substance
- Severe pain
- Body temperature over 104 or under 99
Better Safe Than Sorry
Do not ignore any sudden changes in your furry friend’s behaviour. If your cat is exhibiting any of the abovementioned symptoms, bring her to the vet. Going to the clinic for examination may be tedious, but it could spell the difference between life and death for your cat.