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Warning Signs of a Sick Cat

warning signs of a sick cat
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Warning Signs of a Sick Cat

Warning signs of a sick cat may not be so obvious.  As with all pets, even our independent cats may feel a little under the weather from time to time.  This article may help you identify an issue with your cat and help you treat the symptoms quickly.

Whether your cat is ill or not, it is recommended to take you cat to the vet at least once per year for a checkup.  As always, consult with your veterinarian for care specific to your pet.

Warning Signs

Changes in Appetite or Drinking

If your cat refuses to eat or drink, it’s important to get them to your vet as quickly as possible.  This often means that your pet is in pain or isn’t feeling well in general.  

In addition, if your cat is exhibiting increased thirst and urination it could be related to other health issues.  These issues can include kidney disease, diabetes, or hyperthyroidism. 

In general, extreme changes in appetite or drinking should be discussed with your vet.

warning signs of a sick cat include sudden changes in behavior

Litter Box Issues

If your cat is uncharacteristically missing or not using the litter box, this is a sign of a health problem.  Often, this issue is related to urinary tract infections, bladder stones, or kidney disease.  You’ll want to make an appointment for your cat to see the vet as soon as possible.  

Please note, however, if the litter box is not kept clean for them, they will not use it.

Repeated Vomiting

Vomiting the occasional hairball is fairly normal for cats.  However, if your cat is vomiting several times per day, make an appointment with your vet.  If there is blood in the vomit, get them to the vet immediately.

Mobility / Movement Issues

As cats get older they may begin to experience stiffness in joints leading to mobility issues caused by arthritis.  Just like humans, this can be uncomfortable or painful for them.  You may notice that your cat is slow to get up or has developed a limp.  Arthritis in cats is moderately treatable and a trip to your vet can help get them diagnosed properly.  If your kitten is exhibiting these symptoms, your vet should examine them as soon as possible.

Significant Weight Gain or Loss

If your cat is unexplainably losing or gaining weight, your vet should examine them.  This is especially true if the change is sudden.  

A moderate amount of weight loss in older cats is normal as they lose muscle mass.  However, extremes can indicate something serious such as cancer. 

Similarly, extreme weight gain is also problematic for cats.  Overweight cats will often develop many of the same health problems that humans experience from obesity.  These issues include diabetes or heart disease.

Blood in Vomit, Stool, or Urine

Blood in any of these biologicals from your pet is a warning sign of a sick cat.  

Blood in the urine can be the sign of a urinary tract  disorder. If this is the case, and your cat is also straining to urinate, see your vet.  Blood in the stool can be the sign of a variety of issues, some are minor. Others, however, can be more serious. 

Vomiting blood is always the sign of a serious illness.  You’ll want to get your cat to the vet immediately.  Sometimes, the cat will vomit what looks like coffee grounds.  This is actually partially digested blood.  In any case, please see your vet immediately.

To summarize, be mindful of the clues your cat is giving you to help them stay healthy and happy.

For more information about this subject or general questions you can contact:

Christi Phillips, CPDT with Posh Paws Pet Care, LLC
843.900.0438
Visit our website at PoshPawsPetCareSC.com
Or send us a note from our contact page here.

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