When cats feel sick, they are usually very good at hiding it. However, if you share your home with a cat, you must be able to tell whether something is wrong with him.
If your cat’s behaviour suddenly changes, it’s normal for you to feel concerned. But does that mean you should take your feline friend to the vet? It might.
Look for these signs if you’re wondering how to tell if your cat is sick.
1. Your cat’s appetite has changed
You should not panic if your cat decides to skip a meal occasionally. But a sudden loss of appetite could indicate that your cat has a fever, is nauseous, or has a dental disease.
On the other hand, an increase in appetite could be caused by a gastrointestinal disease, diabetes, or intestinal parasites.
Either way, your cat should consult with vet urgent care. The specialists can help you diagnose what is wrong.
2. Your cat drinks more than usual
If your cat has started drinking much more water than usual, it could mean different things.
Increased thirst could be caused by kidney disease, diabetes, or hyperthyroidism. It could also be a sign that your cat has an abnormally high amount of calcium in his blood.
If you need to fill your cat’s water bowl more often than usual, you should consider taking him to the vet for a checkup.
3. Your cat’s personality has changed
It’s normal for a cat’s personality to change as he ages. But a sudden personality change could mean your cat is sick or in pain.
So if your friendly cat has suddenly become an aggressive feline or is normally confident but now afraid of everything, including you, he probably is sick.
You also should be concerned if your cat appears lethargic for no reason.
4. Your cat is meowing more than usual
Some cats meow more than others. But if your cat is now meowing much more than he usually does, it could be because he’s trying to tell you he is in pain.
Of course, it could also simply mean he is hungry or bored and needs attention. But if it seems like he is constantly crying, it could be because something is wrong.
5. Your cat is not breathing normally
If your cat is breathing rapidly, gasping, panting, or is short of breath for no apparent reason, you should see a veterinarian as quickly as possible.
Your cat could be struggling with a lung disease, a heart disease, or another serious health issue.
Abnormal breathing could also indicate that your cat is stressed out, which isn’t good for his overall health.
6. Your cat vomits or has diarrhea
Some ways to tell if a cat is sick are more obvious than others. If your cat is vomiting or has diarrhea, you can almost be certain he is sick.
It could be a sign of a bacterial or viral infection, kidney disease, liver disease, intestinal parasites, allergy, constipation, or inflammatory bowel disease, to name a few.
If your cat vomits occasionally, you probably don’t need to worry. But if it happens regularly, take him to the vet.
7. Your cat has bad breath
If you notice that your cat’s breath stinks, you should schedule a visit to the veterinarian clinic to get his teeth checked.
If his bad breath is severe and comes with excessive drooling and bleeding from the mouth, it could be a sign that your cat has an oral infection that needs to be treated as soon as possible.
8. Your cat’s pupils look odd
Like your own pupils, your cat’s pupils should get smaller when the light is bright and larger in darkness.
If your cat’s pupils are now always large, always small or unequal, it could be a sign of retinal disease, eye inflammation, glaucoma, hypertension, or brain disease.
9. Your cat is avoiding the litter box
If your cat cannot urinate, it could be an emergency, especially if it is a male. Take him to the vet immediately.
On the other hand, if your cat is avoiding the litter box and urinating or defecating in random places in your home, it could be because he associates his litter box with pain. This could be due to a bladder infection, a gastrointestinal disease, or constipation.
10. Your cat’s grooming habits have changed
Finally, if your cat’s grooming habits have changed, something might be wrong. If he has stopped grooming a part of their body, it could be because they feel pain in that area.
If he is overgrooming, it could be due to a skin issue. See a vet to figure out what’s going on.