When my cat got sick, it was one of the worst feelings. Not knowing if I could have prevented it, not knowing how to spot the signs, I felt guilty.
Now in the case of my cat, there was no way we could have known she was sick before it was really noticeable. But that doesn't mean there aren't signs everyone should be aware of.
These are some of the most common signs your cat could be sick.
1. Weight Changes
Weight change in cats is not common. Generally, if a cat is changing weight it signifies illness, this according to Dr. India Lane at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine.
Weight change doesn't mean weight LOSS, either. Gaining weight means your cat is eating excess food, which could also be a problem. Keep an eye out for a hanging belly, which signifies an overweight cat. If you can feel bones that you previously couldn't it could mean your cat is losing weight.
Both of these are signs that your cat could be ill, and should be monitored.
2. Messy Coat
Cats are notoriously clean animals. If you notice your cat's coat is looking clumpy or otherwise unruly, it could be cause for concern. Cats will raise the fur of their coats when they're nervous, so if you notice this it could signify some type of stressor in your cat's life.
Continue on the next page to find out more signs your cat could need medical attention.
3. Bad Oral Health
Specifically, bad breath and pale gums. Pale gums can signify poor circulation and disease. Bad breath is also an indicator that your cat could be sick...but also note what you've been feeding them. If the cause is from a new food, then there's no need to panic.
4. Dilated Eyes
In a typically healthy cat, their pupils will be similar and not dilated. As a cause of some illnesses, cats will have dilated pupils that remain dilated. It can also cause one pupil to be larger than the other.
5. Shallow, Quick Breathing
This one is harder to monitor but still very important. Respiratory problems can be a big red flag for cats. If you notice they've been hiding or hunched up, with quick shallow breathing, then you should bring them to get medical attention as this could signify serious illness.
6. Behavioral Changes
The first thing I noticed when my cat got sick was her lethargic attitude. She slept in the same spot all day and didn't react to sounds or being pet. Other behavioral changes to look for would be as follows:
- Urinating or defecating outside the litter box
- Straining in the litter box
- Not interacting with family members
- Hiding in odd places
- Becoming aggressive or irritable
All these signs could mean illness for your cat, so it's important to get them medical attention as soon as you can.
Share this so other cat lovers know the signs!