What Are the Most Common Signs of Illness in Cats?

April 8, 2019 9:02 pm Published by

Cats are experts at hiding pain and illness, which makes it difficult to notice potential health problems. This means your cat is likely to accept physical discomfort as normal. If you are not familiar with your cat’s typical behaviors, it could take you a long time to notice that something is wrong. When you do notice changes, don’t ignore them—contact your vet right away if you have questions. Below, a local cat care clinic in Alexandria, VA highlights the most common signs of illness in cats:

  • Vomiting: Dogs vomiting occasionally is not too worrisome, especially when you have observed them eating grass or getting into the garbage. However, cat owners need to know that vomiting is not normal in healthy cats. It’s not even okay for a cat to vomit every few days. What is not too much of a concern are things like the occasional hairball or extremely rare vomiting, but anything more than that—like throwing up multiple times a day or several days in a row—calls for a veterinarian appointment.
  • Diarrhea: Like vomiting, diarrhea becomes a concern when it’s a regular occurrence. Watery or loose stool can point to problems that may include dietary indiscretion and intestinal parasites. Regardless of the reasons for a cat’s diarrhea, if left untreated it can lead to dehydration and painful intestinal inflammation, causing discomfort for your kitty. Collect a stool sample, if possible, and get your cat to the vet.
  • Lethargy: Older cats and less active cats have habit of lying around, sleeping the day away. However, even the subtlest indication of lethargy may be a sign of a problem in otherwise healthy or younger cats. If it is completely out of the ordinary for your cat to lie around a lot, sleep a long time or have low energy, there may be a change going on with their health.
  • Increase or decrease in appetite: Although a loss of appetite can be normal for cats, don’t ignore it if it becomes a prolonged issue. Skipping a meal here and there is usually fine, but consider calling your vet if your cat stops eating entirely or is eating very little food. A sudden increase in appetite may also be a cause for alarm, especially in older cats. Hypothyroidism is one possibility. A vet can run tests to find out if the problem is related to illness or general overeating.
  • Change in pee pattern: Animals cannot tell us it burns when they pee or that they’re experiencing discomfort down below. Always address changes in urination because your cat could be sick, have a urinary tract infection or be suffering from a serious kidney problem. Watch for changes such as the frequency of urination, the amount and color of urine, straining to pee with no luck, blood in urine or peeing in inappropriate places.

Not every occasional strange behavior warrants a trip to the vet, but do keep an eye on the situation. To schedule an appointment with a veterinarian at a trusted cat care clinic in Alexandria, VA, call Kingstowne Cat Clinic today!

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