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Ten Signs of Illness in Catsj0314404.jpg

Sometimes it’s difficult to identify when your cat’s not feeling well.  Watch for these signs of illness and consult with your veterinarian as soon as possible if your pet begins to show any of them.


1.  Inappropriate elimination

A cat that urinates inappropriately can have any number of conditions associated with the behavior, including lower urinary tract disease, kidney disease, urinary tract infection and diabetes mellitus.  It can also be a sign of arthritis, which makes it difficult for cats to get into and out of the litter box.


2.  Changes in interaction

Cats are social animals, so changes in interactions with humans or other pets can signal disease, fear, anxiety or pain.


3.  Changes in activity

A decrease in activity is often a sign of arthritis or systemic illness, while an increase in activity can be caused by hyperthyroidism.


4.  Changes in sleeping habits

If your cat is sleeping more than normal (keep in mind the average adult cat may sleep 16-18 hours a day – though much of that is “catnapping”), it could be a sign of underlying disease.


5.  Changes in food and water consumption

Decreased food intake can be a sign of several disorders, ranging from poor dental health to cancer.  Increased food consumption can be a symptom of diabetes, hyperthyroidism, or other health problems.


6.  Weight loss or weight gain

Sudden weight loss can be a sign of hyperthyroidism, diabetes, or a host of other diseases.  Obesity on the other hand can cause an increased risk of diabetes, urinary tract disease, joint disease and other problems.


7.  Changes in grooming

Patches of hair loss or a greasy or matted appearance can signal an underlying disease.  Cats who have difficulty grooming often suffer from fear, anxiety, obesity, dental pain or arthritis pain.  An increase in grooming may signal a skin problem.


8.  Signs of stress

Stressed cats may exhibit signs of depression, hide more, or spend more time awake scanning their environment.  These signs may indicate a medical condition that can be treated.  So it’s important to rule out medical conditions before addressing the stress behaviorally.


9.  Changes in vocalization

Changes in vocalization or howling are often seen with an underlying condition such as hyperthyroidism or high blood pressure.  Many cats also vocalize more if they’re in pain or suffering from anxiety.


10.      Bad Bread

Bad breath is an early indicator of an oral problem – studies have shown that 70 percent of cats have gum disease as early as age 3.  Dental disease negatively impacts the health of other body systems, putting your pet at risk for kidney, heart and liver disease.

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