While cats should be taken to the vet for a regular visit around twice a year, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, their signs of sickness tend to be less obvious than that of dogs and other pets. Studies show that our feline friends vastly outnumber their puppy pals by several millions, but the former get professional medical care less frequently.
While you’re waiting for your next vet appointment, take a look at the subtle signs of illness in your kitten or cat:
1.) Change in character or affection
An aloof cat who suddenly becomes very affectionate or a playful cat who avoids interaction can be suffering from a severe stressor. It could either be an issue with their health or due to changes in their environment. Go over the possible causes of their environmental stress and pay attention to their behavior in the next few days. If things don’t improve, schedule a vet visit as soon as possible.
2.) Increase or decrease of appetite
If your cat doesn’t eat or drink for more than a day, visit your vet right away. Drops in appetite can be due to a host of health issues, from simple dental problems to cancer. A sudden increase in appetite can also be just as important as a decrease, since it can be a symptom of hyperthyroidism, inflammatory bowel disease or diabetes. Never ignore important pet health symptoms!
3.) Change in appearance or grooming
If your cat starts shedding more than the usual amount or if her appearance becomes straggly and unkempt, these can be signs of allergies or hyperthyroidism, which is a common glandular disorder in cats. Cats love to groom their selves so if yours fails to keep up her routine, this may be due to oral disease, orthopedic injury or excess weight.
4.) Changes in their waste
A change in your cat’s waste smell, frequency, volume or color is a significant issue that you should tell your vet. When you notice increased urination, this can be due to diabetes, and if your cat strains when using the litter box or doesn’t use it at all, she may have lower urinary tract disease.
5.) Unusual breath
When your cat develops bad breath, it can point to kidney issue or severe dental disease. However, sweet-smelling breath can be problematic as well because it is a potential sign of diabetes. The moment you notice an unusual smell when your cat opens her mouth, consult your vet right away.
Everyone wants a happy and healthy pet! Now that you know the subtle signs to watch out for, here’s a quick read that shows you simple ways to make sure your pet is always in tip-top shape.