Cats are well-known for their independent and often aloof attitude to life, and while that is just one of the many reasons why we love them, it can also have its downsides. When a cat is unwell, it will go to great lengths to hide it from us. It is a natural instinct based on a desire to seem strong, i.e., not vulnerable to predators that might see them as an easy target. Unfortunately, in the modern world, it can mean that cats do not get the attention or help that they need until they are seriously unwell.
There are, however, some telltale signs that give the game away if you know what you are looking for. If your cat is exhibiting any of these 5 signs, it might be a good idea to get them checked out by a vet, as these are all potential signs that your cat is sick.
1. Changed grooming habits
In addition to being independent, cats are also committed to personal grooming. When cats stop taking care of their coats, it is a strong signal that they are not feeling their best. You might notice that the fur has become less shiny, oily, or possibly matted in the case of long-haired cats.
On the other hand, sick cats may groom themselves too much out of anxiety or discomfort, resulting in bald patches and skin irritation. Increased shedding might be a symptom of an allergy or a hormonal imbalance.
2. Weight changes
A sick cat may lose weight gradually, or it could seem to happen very quickly. Either way, a loss of appetite and/or unexplained weight loss (even if they are eating normally) could be a sign of a serious internal problem or disease. On the other hand, a cat that gains weight very quickly or appears to have abdominal swelling or bloating also needs medical attention. This is why you should weigh your cat regularly to keep an eye on any significant changes and one of the many reasons why cats should be seen by a veterinarian at least twice per year. Head over to easyvet.com if you are concerned about your cat’s weight.
3. Problems with ears or eyes
Often one of the first symptoms that an owner will notice is that their cat’s eyes have become cloudy or that they have discharge coming from the ears or eyes. This can suggest a parasite infestation or a bacterial infection and should be treated as soon as possible. Look out for inflammation or discoloration of the skin around the eyes and ears.
4. Foul breath
It is normal for a cat’s breath to smell slightly unpleasant, but a strong odor that makes your stomach turn is cause for concern. It can be a symptom of kidney disease or a problem with their teeth or gums. Look in their mouth for signs of tooth decay or gum disease when you can, as these issues can lead to heart disease if not treated
5. Strange behavior
Finally, you know your cat better than anyone, and if they are behaving in a way that is out of character for them, it may mean that they are unwell. For example, if a confident cat is now shy and nervous, or your energetic cat is sleeping all day and night, it is unwise to ignore it. Are they suddenly urinating or defecating in strange places in the house? Are they vomiting regularly, or do they persistently have diarrhea? Do not assume that problems will clear up by themselves, as by the time you have noticed, they may have been going on for a long time already. Stay vigilant for these signs that your cat is sick and they will live a long life. If your cat is showing reduced mobility or slowing down, DGP for Pets can help put the pep back in your cat’s step, without an unnecessary trip to the vet!