Cats can get sick for a variety of reasons, just like people. When they’re younger, cats are more at risk of becoming infected with parasites or ingesting toxic substances. As they age, cats are at higher risk for conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Catching these problems early can help you get your cat help when he or she needs it. Below are symptoms of the most common illnesses cats experience.
Symptoms of Cat Sickness
Urination or defecation outside the litter box.
Cat urination and defecation outside the litter box can be an indication of kidney trouble, diabetes or urinary tract infection, which can cause pets to feel the need to relieve themselves urgently.
Changes in interactions with people or other pets.
When pets don’t feel well, they may isolate themselves from people and other pets, or may even become grouchy and unhappy when interacting with others. Cats can also become overly affectionate when they don’t feel well. Changes in behavior around people and other pets could be an indication of many different illnesses.
General malaise or weakness.
When your cat gets sick, he or she may develop fatigue. This symptom can manifest itself as an increase in hours asleep, hiding, or an obvious decrease in the usual daily activities.
Changes in grooming habits.
Cats who scratch or lick themselves constantly may have allergies or skin parasites. Cats with arthritis or other painful conditions may find that grooming becomes uncomfortable. Lack of grooming can be a sign of a serious problem because cats groom themselves instinctively.
Obvious weight loss or gain.
Some cats will gain weight with time, but an obvious increase in weight in a relatively short period of time could be a sign of fluid retention in the abdomen. Loss of weight is a problem that comes from many conditions, ranging from cancer to parasitic infection.
Changes in consumption of water or food.
Cats may drink a lot when they suffer from a condition like diabetes. They may stop eating if they develop a serious illness. Any serious increase or decrease in your pet’s appetite or water consumption could be a red flag and should be addressed with your pet’s veterinarian right away. When cats drink excessively, they often have a condition in which they are having trouble maintaining hydration. Despite tons of water consumption, these cats can still be dehydrated.
Increased urine production.
An increased volume of urine produced could be a sign of diabetes or kidney disease among other conditions.
Straining to urinate or defecate.
Straining to defecate could be a sign of constipation while straining to urinate could be a sign of crystals in the urine or urinary tract infection. Straining to urinate without the success of actually producing urine can be a medical emergency indicating a urinary blockage. These cats should be seen by the veterinarian immediately, especially male cats who tend to develop urinary obstruction more than females due to the anatomy of their urinary tract.
Constipation or diarrhea.
Constipation and diarrhea can be the result of an illness or food changes. These symptoms could also be an indication of a larger problem.
Cats vomit hair balls on a regular basis because of their grooming habits. Cats can also vomit because of something relatively harmless that they’ve eaten. However, a sharp increase in the amount of vomiting your cat does in a short period of time could be an indication of many different conditions and your cat should see the veterinarian right away.
Arthritis stiffness and difficulty jumping up.
Stiffness in the joints is an indication of arthritis, an age-related condition that can make movement painful.
Sneezing and/or coughing.
Cats can get allergies, just like people! If your pet is sneezing, coughing or has runny eyes this could be a sign that your cat is allergic to something in the air.
Bad breath comes with the periodontal disease. Regular dental cleanings from the veterinarian can help freshen your cat’s breath.
Changes in vocalization.
If your cat makes different noises than normal, this could be an indication of several different conditions. Only your cat’s veterinarian can diagnose your pet properly.
Contact Your Las Vegas Animal Hospital for Help
As a cat owner in Las Vegas, being able to recognize the symptoms of cat illness can help you protect your cat from chronic conditions, diseases, and serious illnesses. As your Las Vegas animal hospital, we recommend bringing your cat to the veterinarian at least once annually for a wellness exam. We also recommend bringing your cat to the veterinarian if he or she shows signs of illnesses, like the symptoms mentioned above. Learn more about cat illness here. To make an appointment at your Las Vegas cat clinic, contact All About Cats at (702) 257-3222