Five Ways to Tell if Your Cat is Sick

As many cat owners have probably noticed, our feline friends are quite good at masking their pain and discomfort. If you’d like an inside scoop when your cat isn’t feeling up to snuff, read on below as a Briargate vet tells you about five common ways to tell if your cat is sick.

Behavior Changes

Any dramatic or noticeable change in behavior could be a sign of sickness, pain, or discomfort. Has your cat recently lashed out aggressively at you, when normally she’s as docile as a lamb? Perhaps a normally independent cat is suddenly following your every move, whining at every turn. Behavior changes like these could indicate something’s wrong, so it’s safest to check with your vet as soon as possible.

Appearance Changes

Did you know that a cat’s coat is one of the best indicators of internal and overall health? If your cat’s coat is looking a little dull or dry recently, an underlying health condition could be to blame. Also be on the lookout for increased itching and scratching, bald patches, sores, or suckling on limbs or paws. Many times, springtime allergies result in these appearance changes, so your cat will need treatment promptly.

Eating and Drinking Changes

Gum disease, kidney problems, and even cancer can cause a cat to stop eating and drinking normally. Some health problems, like diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease, may make a cat eat or drink more than normal. If you see any fluctuation in your cat’s dietary habits, let your veterinarian know right away.

Breath Changes

Notice a rotten or sour odor around your cat recently? It may be coming from her mouth! Dental diseases, rotted teeth, oral infections, and other problems can give a cat particularly offensive breath. In addition, sweet or fruity-smelling breath probably indicates diabetes. If you smell anything unusual, contact your vet.

Waste Changes

Check the litter box every once in a while—if you notice a substantial difference in the color, smell, or consistency of your cat’s waste, it could mean something is wrong. If your cat seems to be using the bathroom more or less than usual, it may also warrant concern. Always keep your Briargate veterinarian’s number on hand to call for a professional opinion.