Most cats are resilient and quiet. Even when they are sick, they tend to hide it anyway. By the time you realise they are sick, the illness could already be at a critical stage. Most diseases in cats are better treated if they are discovered early, thus cat owners should be well informed of the signs that indicate illness in cats so that they can get theirs cats treated quickly before it is too late.
Here are some signs that your cat may be sick.
1.Changes in behaviour or attitude
Be alert to your cat’s behaviour or attitude. Any sudden changes in the cats’ behaviour can be a sign of an illness in its early stages. For instance, your cat may suddenly become anti-social and hide away from you. This is because your cat feels uncomfortable and in pain. However, if older cats becomes over-active all of a sudden, it could be a symptom of hyperthyroidism (a type of glandular disorder).
2.Change in food or water intake
Look for changes in your cats food and water intake. Eating or drinking too much or too little may indicate health problems. A sudden decrease in food or water intake could be signs of several health issues including dental issues, kidney disease, or even cancer. Eating or drinking too much on the other hand, could signify diseases like diabetes, hyperthyroidism and inflammatory bowel.
3.Sudden weight gain or weight loss
Any significant changes in your cats weight deserves a trip to the vet. For most cats', weight loss without obvious reasons can signal the early stages of an illness. Cats with diabetes or thyroid diseases tend to lose weight even though they eat normally. Uncontrollable weight gain can lead to problems like heart disease and tumour. Weigh your cat once a week to see the weight difference if you are in doubt whether your cat has gained or lost weight.
Vomiting once or twice a week is completely normal for cats. They do it as a mean of cleansing their system. However, if they vomit frequently, particularly several times a day, it is a warning sign. Your cat may suffer from bacterial infection of the gastrointestinal tract, kidney failure or may have intestinal parasites. Sometimes, the situation can be worse. If your cat starts vomiting blood, get it to a vet immediately because vomiting blood is a sign of a serious illness.
Cats’ breath typically doesn’t smell good, but if you notice any extremely foul or unusual odour coming from your cat’s mouth, it is time for you to consult your vet. Stinky breath can indicate dental diseases in your cat. Breath that smell like ammonia can be a sign of kidney disease.
6.Diarrhea or constipation
Diarrhea or constipation is not common in cats. When it happens, there must be causes contributing to it. Diarrhea is often caused by allergy, food poisoning, parasites and bacterial infection, whereas constipation could be a symptom of megacolon, orthopedic or neurologic problems. Diarrhea or constipation needs to be treated quickly, as they can result in dehydration, which can be fatal.
7.Change in appearance/grooming habit
Cats are indeed germaphobe: they like to clean themselves. If you notice your cat has a messy coat for instance, it may be a sign of poor health condition. Your cat is less likely to neglect grooming itself unless it is sick. Lack of grooming can be be related to hyperthyroidism, allergies, skin diseases and even stress.
8.Changes in sleeping habit
When we are sick or in pain, we would have a hard time resting. Cats are just like us. If you notice that your cat stays up all night roaming the house, it may indicate potential illnesses, or if your cat tends to sleep more during the day when it used to be active, it is a cause for concern as sick cats sleep more.
If your cat has been meowing or yowling too much overnight, something is troubling it. Numerous illnesses such as kidney disease or thyroid disease can cause a cat to feel thirst, hunger or pain which leads to excessive vocalisation.
10.Change in activity level
Any change in activity level may be a sign of illness. If your cat seems to lose interest in playing and moving around, it may indicate arthritis or other issues. On the contrary, if your cat is overactive and hard to control, this could indicate an overactive thyroid disease.
If your cat is exhibiting any of the signs above, don’t hesitate to bring your cat to your vet for a checkup. Remember a false alarm is way better than ignoring your sick cat.