You would do anything for your furry friends, and you don’t stop from getting the best products for them, from cat food, cat treats, online veterinarians, pet insurance, pet medications, and Fresh Step litter. While you can buy them everything they need and more, are you well-educated on how to tell if your cat is sick? Here’s 6 telltale signs kitty isn’t feeling well that you can keep watch for:
1. Check their litter box
If your cat’s litter box is full of diarrhea or has nothing in it, due to constipation, both are reasons to take your cat to the vet as they are indicators of disease. Small, dry stool is also a concern as it may indicate kidney disease. If you notice there is more urine than usual, it may be a sign that your cat is unable to conserve water properly and could be another sign of kidney or liver problems. Less urine may indicate kidney or bladder issues. If you notice any significant or consistent changes in your cat’s litter, you should take them to get checked out.
2. Eating and drinking habits change
Sick cats will often change their eating and drinking habits by either increasing or decreasing the amount they eat and drink—any change is reason for concern. Take your cat to the vet if there is a significant and consistent change in their eating and drinking patterns, as a change may indicate disease.
3. Lack of grooming or too much grooming
Your cat’s coat appearance may look different if they’re sick. Since ill cats tend to have less energy, they may not maintain their coat well and it may appear messy, greasy, matted, or have loose hair clumps. The shine in the coat may change and dandruff can also appear. On the other hand, over-grooming may indicate a problem as it can be a reaction to skin problems like parasites, allergies, mites, stress-response, or a bladder issue. Over-grooming can lead to red and raw sports or a development of bald spots.
4. Breathing changes
Shallow breathing, wheezing, mouth breathing, raspy breathing, or panting all may be an indicator of an issue with the airway or lungs. If your cat is repeatedly sneezing or coughing this can also be a sign of health issues. If your cat is experiencing breathing issues, they will often have their head or neck extended and may not be able to fall asleep in normal positions. Any strange breathing is reason for concern and should be checked by a vet.
5. Sleeping more than normal
If your cat is seeming lethargic and lying around or sleeping more than usual, you should take them to the vet. Low energy is representative of health issues and can be seen in their behaviors.
6. Bad breath
Bad breath is a big sign of dental issues. Mild bad breath isn’t usually too big of a concern and just indicates that they should have their teeth checked or cleaned, but if it’s severe bad breath, it should be checked urgently. Any drooling or bleeding from the mouth is also abnormal and should be checked by a vet right away.