Common Signs of Illness to Look for in Cats

cat illness

If you’re a devoted cat owner, you probably want to do everything you can to protect your cat’s health. Unfortunately, cats can’t tell us when they’re feeling unwell, so it’s up to us to look out for signs that something could be wrong. The earlier you spot a problem, the sooner it can be treated.

It’s also important to remember that prevention is better than cure. The best thing you can do for your cat’s health is to get them vaccinated. This will help to protect your furry friend against some of the most dangerous yet easily preventable diseases that can be contracted by cats. Many vets, such as veterinarianmidlothianva.com, offer comprehensive vaccination packages that will provide your cat with protection against diseases such as rabies and feline leukemia (also known as FeLV). 

However, although an important preventative measure, vaccinating your cat does not protect against every feline health problem, so here are a few of the important signs that indicate your cat isn’t feeling too well and might need a checkup:

Changes in appetite

If you notice your cat suddenly eating much more or much less food, this may be cause for concern. Cats with dental issues may struggle to eat, and cats with liver or kidney problems often have a decreased appetite. If your cat is eating more than usual, this could be a sign of diabetes or hyperthyroidism. 

Grooming

A cat’s grooming habits can tell you a lot about their health. If your cat is feeling under the weather, they might start to neglect themselves, and you will start to notice their coat becoming greasy, matted, or clumpy. On the other end of the spectrum, if your cat is grooming too much, you may notice bald patches and red, raw skin. This can be a sign of parasites, such as fleas or mites. It can also be a sign of stress. 

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Litterbox changes 

Your cat’s litterbox is a good indicator of their health. Keep an eye on how often your cat uses their litterbox, as both too often and not often enough can be cause for concern. Diarrhea and constipation both suggest health issues. Hard, dry stools could be an early symptom of kidney disease, so be sure to mention this to your vet. Too much or too little urine can also be the result of health issues, such as kidney, bladder, or liver problems. According to the ASPCA, lack of urination can be life-threatening for cats, so take your cat to the vet’s office right away if you notice this symptom. 

Sociability 

When a cat isn’t feeling well, they often become less social and retreat into their own spaces. They may also become lethargic and sleep more than usual. If you notice your usually sociable or energetic cat is suddenly hiding away and avoiding you or is unusually sluggish, this could be a sign that something is wrong. If this behavior lasts for more than a few days, or if you notice any other symptoms, take your cat to the vet so they can investigate what may be behind these changes in behavior.

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