Cats, being solitary, are often believed to be independent creatures. Whilst it is true that they have a self-sufficient attitude, they are also very good at hiding signs of illnesses. Signs of cat illness are often overlooked in their first stages, making it worse with time. To address this issue, take everything seriously. Strictly follow regular check-ups, especially if there are any changes in your cat’s behaviour.
1. A change in appetite and drinking habits
A healthy cat eats well and is happy to keep up with her daily feeding schedule. Spend time with your feline, enough to observe if there are any changes with her eating and drinking habits. These are good indicators of her overall health.
- Increased food consumption in cats is a potential indicator of diseases such as hyperthyroidism, diabetes, and other conditions.
- Increased water consumption in cats is a potential indicator of diseases such as diabetes, hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, and other conditions.
- Loss of appetite in cats could signify a range of diseases, such as gastrointestinal diseases and even cancer.
If you have noticed a change in appetite or drinking habits on your furry companion, get help from a veterinarian to investigate further. The examination usually involves blood work, X-rays, and ultrasound.
2. Sudden weight loss or gain
Is your cat eating normally? Know that a cat that eats normally may still gain or lose weight, and this may be a sign of more complicated cat illness.
Further, obesity is prevalent among domestic cats, with over 50 per cent of diagnosed cases. Sure, puffball cats look cute but this case should be taken seriously. It is detrimental to your cat’s health, leading to complicated medical problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and joint problems.
What can you do? Monitor your cat’s weight regularly. Even the slightest weight change should not be taken lightly. Also, observe her weight when the semi-annual pet exams are conducted.
3. Sudden changes in behaviour
Cats in the wild normally hide when they are at their weakest, to keep away from predators. The same applies to the domesticated variety, which does not benefit them at all as it prevents owners to address the main issue.
Does your sociable cat suddenly start to hide? A stressed cat is likely to hide and become depressed as well as other behavioural changes. Do not brush them off as behavioural problems alone. These can be signs of medical issues elicited from stress.
As a cat parent, be sure to be attentive to your cat’s behaviour and habits. Pay attention to his litter tray habits as well as changes in vocalisation. Does she normally meow or yowl as often as before? The said factors significantly help determine her condition.
4. Changes in her level of activity
Lethargy or lack of energy may signify a few health problems. Observe if it comes along with other signs such as fever and breathing difficulties. However, this is quite different from cats that are normally couch potatoes.
For sick cats, they are awake but do not have enough energy to move or interact well with the environment. As such, having a cat that suddenly lacks energy is worth bringing to the vet. It could signify that she is undernourished or ill.
5. Inappropriate urination or elimination
Cat owners are quick to assume that a cat urinating or defecating outside her litter tray has a behavioural problem. Investigate the case further by looking into potential cat illness causes.
- Abnormal defaecation can be an indicator of diseases such as constipation, inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, or other medical problems.
- Abnormal urination can be an indicator of diseases such as kidney disease, feline lower urinary tract disease, hyperthyroidism, cognitive dysfunction syndrome, and others.
- Increased urination in small volumes could be a case of pollakiuria (daytime urinary frequency), whilst the increased volume of urine could mean a case of polyuria (production of abnormally large volumes of urine).
Noticing these signs should merit a visit to the vet. Remember that these problems affect the urinary tract, which could lead to any blockage by stones, crystals, or mucous plugs.
6. Changes in grooming habits
Cats are prone to overgrooming, it is rare to see them in an unkempt appearance. As such, this could be a sign of a cat illness such as anxiety, depression, allergies, or skin irritation. If your cat is overly grooming in a particular area, there must be something wrong with the said area. Examine it for any bumps or allergies.
7. Becomes more vocal, especially at night
This is one of the common complaints of owners of senior cats. Increased meowing at night could be a sign of health conditions, including hyperthyroidism. It is best to have her checked by the vet. Examinations usually involve a simple blood test. However, for those with loud vocalisations any time of the day, it could be a sign of deafness. It would be best to test her sense of hearing. Please consult with the vet regarding this matter.
If your cat’s health remains normal after having her checked with necessary tests, she may have only been doing that just to get your attention. Try to ignore her when she does this to send a message that meowing is not a desirable trait. Do not reinforce this habit by yelling at her to stop; this creates confusion and may make things worse.
Cats with the above signs should not be treated lightly. Owners are advised to seek medical care to prevent it from developing to a more complicated cat illness condition.