Signs Your Cat May Be Sick

Cats are unique creatures with distinct personalities which may be unlike any other feline. They are often labeled as independent, cranky and distant. While these characteristics aren’t true of nearly all the population, it does serve as a good indication that cats can be hard to read. What you may take as them being independent or unsociable could be a sign of illness. It’s important to not overlook these signs and know when to get medical care.

Signs of Illness

Cats are good at hiding their feelings, including when they are sick. The first sign is often them going off on their own and ignoring their humans. Since cats have a reputation for being rude and unsociable (just look at all the cat memes), you may not realize something is wrong when they disappear for hours. Of course, a loving cat who suddenly wants nothing to do with people will be a lot more noticeable than one that likes to hide during the day anyway. As the illness becomes more advanced, you may notice other signs.

  • Discharge from the eyes or nose
  • Loss of energy
  • Unusual lack of sociability
  • Lackluster coat appearance
  • More shedding
  • Loss of appetite
  • Drinking more or less than normal
  • Changes in litterbox usage (going somewhere beside the litterbox is often an indication that something is wrong)
  • Difficulty breathing or shallow or rapid breaths
  • Change in overall appearance

When it comes to the change in overall appearance, this sign may be a little harder to explain. Often, the owner will just say something isn’t quite right. They may not even be aware of what is different, but they know their cat isn’t looking or acting like normal. For instance, they may sit hunched over or their tail may not be straight up in the air. Their head may be tilted to one side. Sometimes it isn’t just one difference but several small changes.

A common issue with cats is dehydration, which can indicate a variety of health issues. If you grasp the skin in your fingers and let it go, it should go right back into place. If it is slow about returning to normal shape, it’s an indication of dehydration.

Changes in Appearance

Loss of weight is another common problem with cats. Since they have a lot of fur, you may not notice the problem unless you pet their body. If you feel the ribs and backbone, it is likely they are suffering from some medical condition, especially if they were heavy before. If the coat looks messy with tangles and gnarls or mats of fur, it’s an indication they aren’t cleaning themselves correctly. A cat that doesn’t clean itself is usually a sick feline. If the cat grooms itself more than usual, it could be an indication of another illness. If your cat lies around more and doesn’t seem to have as much energy, don’t assume it’s just because they are getting older. They could be suffering from pain of arthritis or another condition which could be even more serious. It’s a good idea to take your cat to the vet if you notice any changes, even if you don’t think they act sick. Cats are good at hiding how they really feel and may even eat when they are ill. To ensure the best care for your cat, have them visit the vet for regular checkups even when they feel good. These visits establish a baseline that the vet can use to determine if something is different about the cat even if they don’t seem sick. If you are concerned about your cat’s health or just want to have them checked out, visit the Mayer Veterinary Hospital for a checkup.

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