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How to tell if your cat is sick: Signs and Symptoms

Cats can be very good at hiding their discomfort when they are unwell. Our Bartlett vets have shared some signs and symptoms indicating your feline friend may not feel well.

Symptoms of a Sick Cat

Cats, like many other animals, are remarkably good at concealing their discomfort when they're ill. In fact, the signs of illness may not be obvious until your cat feels unwell. That's why it's important to consult your Healthy Paws Veterinary Center veterinarian as soon as possible if you notice any of the following signs or symptoms:

  • Constricted or dilated pupils
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Sudden mood change 
  • No inclination to play or appear lethargic
  • Much less or much more vocal than usual 
  • Sudden changes in appetite, drinking, or eating habits 
  • Noticeable weight loss or gain
  • Rapid breathing or shortness of breath
  • Neglecting grooming or over-grooming
  • Improper use of litter box
  • Limping or injuries 
  • Wounds or swelling 
  • Bad breath
  • Discharge from eyes or nose 
  • Hair loss or skin irritation
  • Hiding

Knowing When Your Cat is Sick

As a cat owner, you are the closest person to your cat and know your cat's behavior better than anybody else. Keep an eye on your cat for any minor changes in its behavior that others may not observe; pay attention to any changes in your cat's usual body language or mood.

If you notice anything unusual, taking your cat to the vet for a comprehensive checkup is recommended, even if your cat is not displaying any of the signs listed above.

    Some Common Causes of Illness in Cats

    The above symptoms indicate that your cat may be unwell. Below are some common feline illnesses:

    • The sudden appearance of litter box issues could indicate anything from a urinary tract infection to bladder stones or kidney disease.
    • A sudden increased appetite could be an indication of diabetes, hyperthyroidism, inflammatory bowel disease, or even intestinal cancer.
    • If your cat is drinking far more water than usual, it could be a sign that your cat is suffering from kidney disease, thyroid problems, or diabetes. 
    • Upper respiratory infections can cause breathing problems and reduce your cat's enthusiasm for activities and play.
    • Injuries and arthritis can result in a drop-off in your cat's acrobatic activities. 
    • Bad breath in cats is a strong sign that your cat may be suffering from periodontal disease or experiencing tooth pain. If left untreated, dental disease in cats can lead to more serious heart, liver, and kidney issues.  

    What To Do if Your Cat is Sick

    If your cat is displaying any unusual behaviors, it is important to take them to the vet for diagnosis and treatment. Early detection and treatment of illnesses can help prevent more severe or life-threatening conditions.

    Cat injuries or illnesses often require urgent medical attention, surgery, or even emergency care. It is essential to seek professional veterinary advice as soon as possible. The sooner treatment begins, the sooner your furry friend will be back to their normal self.

    Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's

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