Do you feel like something is off with your feline pal? As a pet owner, you would always want to make sure that your cat is in its top condition. Another good reason for you to make sure that your cat is healthy is the fact that some cat illnesses and diseases are communicable to humans.
While you can simply just take your cat to your trusted vet to make sure it is okay, we would still want to avoid unnecessary appointments. If you want to know what signs you should be looking for to know that your cat is indeed sick, then here is a list that you should check.
1. Change in Appetite
A cat can only survive without food and water for three days, but you shouldn’t wait this long to decide on taking your cat to the vet. If your cat hasn’t been eating for about 48 hours, then your cat must be feeling something painful or is just really sick.
If you see that your cat isn’t moving around as much as it’s used, seemingly to be sleeping more than usual, it is possible that it’s encountering pain in its body. A possible reason that your pet isn’t moving much is arthritis, which is a major of a lethargic cat. Moreover, lethargy is also a sign of cat depression.
3. Sudden Change in Weight
A sudden decrease in weight could be something serious as this could mean that your cat isn’t eating well. Another reason for sudden weight loss would be a thyroid disease so it’s best to have your cat checked as soon as you notice this.
On the other hand, a sudden increase in weight could also be an indicator that your cat is either sick or pregnant. Either way, a visit to your vet would still be highly recommended.
Sudden weight gain can also be a sign or symptom of hyperthyroidism.
4. Change in Behavior
Cats that are suddenly behaving strangely like being aggressive when touched could mean that something in the touched area is painful. Another thing to observe is if your cat is suddenly hiding a lot.
If cats don’t want to be touched or picked up, they probably are feeling pained and so they would rather hide.
5. Change in Sleep Pattern
Lethargy can be the reason why your cat suddenly seems to be tired and always sleepy. It also indicates that it is feeling weak and is unwell. However, you should also look out for restlessness.
If your cat is up all day and night, then something is bothering it.
6. Bad Breath
A lot of pet owners easily disregard this sign as they think bad odor from their cat’s mouth is normal because of the food it eats. Around 75% of cats aged three and above actually have dental diseases and so this should be looked at.
Bad breath can also indicate that your cat has a metabolic disease.
7. Discharge from Eyes and Nose
Discharge from a cat’s eyes and nose can be clear, yellow, red, and brown. Whatever the color is, if your cat seems to have any of those for quite a period of time, it could mean that it has a chronic illness or disease.
One of the most common diseases that have this manifestation is an upper respiratory tract infection.
8. Blood and Mucus in Stool
If you do not know how your cat’s poop should look like, the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition came up with a fecal scoring system to let you know if your cat’s waste is still on the healthy side. The optimum score is 2-3 and otherwise could already mean something is off.
Blood and mucus in your cat’s stool could mean that it has IBD, intestinal parasites, and tumors. These symptoms shouldn’t be ignored as it could mean something fatal.
9. Increased Thirst
A cat that is always thirsty doesn’t automatically mean that something is off. It could simply mean that the weather is too hot or your cat ate something that’s rich in sodium.
However, thirst could also be one of the symptoms of medical conditions like diabetes and chronic kidney disease. This symptom is likely to be paired with another symptom before you feel too concerned.
It’s pretty common for cats to vomit every now and then because of something that has upset their stomachs. The only time this symptom should bother you is if your cat vomits multiple times a day and doesn’t seem to be getting any better.
If there are blood and mucus in your cat’s vomit, there could be multiple reasons for this like an ulcer, pancreatitis, and inflamed stomach. If you want to be sure, you can take a sample of your cat’s vomit and take it to the vet to have it tested.
11. Abnormal Temperature
There could be multiple reasons why your cat has a fever. But if you don’t know what your cat’s temperature should be, it should range from 100.4º to 102.5º Fahrenheit.
The possible causes of fever would be a bacterial infection, tumor, and diseases.
This is one of the symptoms that may seem not harmful at first, but when left untreated or if it doesn’t go away, it could be a symptom of something very serious.
Coughing could be a sign of asthma, fungal lung infection, or heartworms in cats.
This is a symptom that is more alarming when paired with another symptom. There are many reasons why your cat has diarrhea and some of these are parasites, infections, stress, inflammatory disorders, and metabolic diseases.
14. Change in Voice
This symptom can go unnoticed especially if you’re not very familiar with the sounds that your cat makes. This often comes with discharge from your cat’s eyes and nose – making this another symptom for an upper respiratory tract infection.
15. Lumps, bumps, and growths in your cat’s skin and body
A lump on your cat’s body can be caused by trauma or lesion. If that’s the case, you probably have nothing to worry about.
However, if a lump, bump or any growth in your cat’s body seem random, then it’s best to have it checked. Any of these three symptoms can possibly be a kind of tumor.
Things to Keep in Mind
Some symptoms we’ve listed are sometimes harmless on their own. However, as a responsible pet owner, it’s best that you don’t wait for your cat’s symptoms to get worse before you bring it to a vet.
It’s always best to take your cat to a trusted vet to make sure it gets thoroughly checked.