How do I know if my cat is sick? 10 symptoms to watch out for

If you are a dedicated and concerned cat owner, you have probably already observed your little companion with close attention, looking for subtle signs of discomfort or illness.

Unfortunately, our feline friends are experts at hiding their symptoms of illness, a habit inherited from their wild ancestors for whom showing a sign of weakness could be a matter of life and death. This is why it is crucial to know the signs to watch for to quickly detect a possible illness.

Importance of monitoring your cat’s health

It is essential to understand that your cat’s health is not just about physical well-being, but also about happiness and quality of life. A healthy cat is one that can fully enjoy its days, whether it spends its time playing, sleeping, hunting or simply basking in the sun.

Understanding your cat’s normal behavior

Before you can spot unusual behavior, it is crucial to know your pet’s normal behavior. Each cat has its own personality and habits. Therefore, what may seem unusual to one cat may be completely normal to another.

The 10 symptoms to watch out for in your cat

Here are ten symptoms that could indicate your cat is not feeling well. It’s important to note that these symptoms can be signs of a variety of health problems, some more serious than others. If you observe any of these symptoms in your cat, it is advisable to consult a veterinarian.

Change in appetite

A sudden change in your cat’s appetite, whether an increase or decrease, may be a sign of illness. Cats who eat less than usual may suffer from health problems such as dental problems, infections, kidney disease or gastrointestinal problems.

Unusual or listless behavior

If your usually energetic and playful cat suddenly becomes lethargic and uninterested in his favorite activities, it could be a sign of illness. Likewise, a cat that hides more than usual or generally seems uncomfortable may also be ill.

Toilet problems

Cats are extremely clean creatures who spend much of their time grooming themselves. If your cat stops grooming itself or seems to have difficulty doing so, it may be a sign of pain or discomfort.

Weight changes

Sudden, unexplained weight loss or gain may be a sign of health problems in your cat. Illnesses such as diabetes, hyperthyroidism and cancer can all lead to weight changes.

Vomiting or diarrhea

If your cat vomits or has diarrhea for more than a day, it is important to consult a veterinarian. These symptoms may be a sign of gastrointestinal problems, infections, parasitism, or other potentially serious illnesses.

Bad breath or oral problems

Persistent bad breath can be a sign of dental problems or oral diseases. Cats can also suffer from gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums that can cause pain and discomfort when eating.

Difficulty urinating or defecating

If your cat has trouble urinating or defecating, or you notice blood in its stool or urine, this may be a sign of urinary or intestinal problems. Common conditions include bladder infections, kidney stones and intestinal obstructions.

Abnormal discharge (eyes, nose, ears)

Abnormal discharge, such as excessive tearing, runny nose, or ear discharge, may be a sign of infections or other health problems. Eye, nose, and ear infections are common in cats and can usually be treated with medication.

Skin or coat problems

If you notice changes in your cat’s coat, such as bald spots, red patches, itching, or rashes, these may be signs of skin problems. Common skin conditions in cats include allergies, parasites and fungal infections.

Coughing, sneezing or difficulty breathing

If your cat is coughing, sneezing or seems to be having trouble breathing, it is important to see a veterinarian immediately. These symptoms may be a sign of serious breathing problems, such as asthma, bronchitis, or chest infections.

What to do if your cat shows these symptoms?

If your cat exhibits one or more of these symptoms, the first thing you should do is contact your veterinarian. It is crucial not to attempt to self-diagnose or treat your cat’s symptoms without professional advice.

When to consult a veterinarian?

Generally, if your cat has symptoms that last more than a day or seem particularly severe, it’s time to see a veterinarian. Even if the problem seems minor, it is always best to be cautious and consult a professional.

How to prepare for your visit to the veterinarian?

Before your vet visit, write down any symptoms you’ve observed in your cat, as well as any information that might be helpful, such as changes in her diet or behavior. This will help the veterinarian make an accurate diagnosis and propose a suitable treatment plan.

Prevention and home care

Even with the best veterinary care, the best way to maintain your cat’s health is prevention. This includes a balanced diet, plenty of exercise, good hygiene and regular visits to the veterinarian for routine check-ups.

In conclusion, it is important to remember that each cat is unique and what is normal for one may not be normal for another. By knowing your cat well and remaining vigilant for signs of illness, you can help ensure a long and happy life for your feline companion.