Cats mask illnesses and hide pain, this goes back to their long history of surviving in the wild prior to becoming domesticated. When a cat in pain is seen as weak, thus making them prime targets for predators. To survive, they have developed a natural instinct to hide their pain. And compared to dogs, cats’ signs of illness are often more subtle. That means cat owners may not immediately see physical signs that something is wrong, therefore need more close attention.
1. Suddenly Eating a Lot Pet owners usually worry about their pets when they eat less or stop eating. But increase in appetite could also be a sign of sickness in cat. Increased appetite can be due to endocrine disorders, such as diabetes or even hyperthyroidism, or nutrient malabsorption issues such as intestinal cancer or inflammatory bowel disease. Therefore, sudden appetite changes should not be overlooked.
2. Drinking More Than Usual Increased water intake can also be a sign of a sick cat. While cats need plenty of fresh water, drinking too much can indicate kidney disease in cats, diabetes or thyroid problems.
3. Not Grooming Decreased grooming can be connected to pain from dental disease, injury or arthritis. While in senior cats, decreased grooming may be attributable to senility; overweight cats may not be physically able to groom, and obesity can cause many health problems, including cancer, diabetes and decreased life expectancy and quality of life.
4. Becoming Vocal or Quiet Cats meow to communicate with humans, they may be more vocal when they are not well, and their meow might sound differently. If your cat is normally a quiet kitty and is now meowing a lot, he may be anxious or in pain. The opposite also applies, take notice if your vocal cat becomes unexpectedly quiet.
5. Bad Breath Periodontal disease is common in cats by the time they are 3 years old, and bad breath is one sign. While dental disease is the most common cause of bad breath in cats, there could be other reasons for it such as diabetes and kidney diseases. A cat with diabetes may have a sweet-smelling breath along with increased thirst and urination. A cat with kidney disease, on the other hand, can have breath that smells like ammonia because the kidneys are not able to filter waste products adequately.
6. Changes in Litter Box Habits The underlying reason for changes in litter box habits can be behavioral or medical. Behavioral reasons are usually attributable to changes in the household causing stress and anxiety. Medical issues such as arthritis, cancer, feline interstitial cystitis, kidney stones or urinary tract infections can be the cause of your cat not using the litter box properly or stop using it.
7. Uneven Pupils When your kitty has two differently sized pupils, this is called Anisocoria. The presence of Anisocoria can indicate serious illness. When neurological disorder occurs, be it from the brain or along the nerve itself, the message to the pupil to dilate or constrict can get lost, causing the difference in pupil size. It could be a sign of head trauma or concussion. If you notice your cat’s pupils are consistently two different sizes regardless of changing light, go see your vet.
8. Being Cranky Increasing irritability can be an indication of pain and/or senility. For example, cats with joint or back pain might react aggressively if you touch the area that hurts; and things like hyperthyroidism can cause your cat to be hyperactive, reacting in what sometimes seems to be a hostile manner.
9. Not Feel Like Playing A lack of interest in playing can be an indication of a sick cat, especially if you have a usually playful kitty who now seems lethargic or uninterested in playing for no apparent reason.
10. Hiding Hiding can be connected to any type of cat illness and it could also be a sign of injury, stress, anxiety or fear. All cats need to take a break at times, but if your cat starts to disappear on a regular basis for long period of time, and especially if there are also changes in eating and drinking habits and other behaviors, it is time to talk to your vet.
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