As a caring and responsible pet owner, you probably try to make sure that your four-legged friend is healthy and happy. Unfortunately, cats are not able to tell their owner what hurts and why they are unwell, so timely diagnosis and subsequent assistance to your furry friend is so important.
Unlike dogs, cats are more prone to solitude rather than seeking help and comfort when they are unwell. This protective reflex often makes them more aggressive or makes them hide from people. Unfortunately, all of this can interfere with proper care of your pet.
To avoid serious health problems for your cat, it is advisable to see a qualified veterinarian every 6-12 months. This recommendation becomes especially relevant when the animals reach the age of 8 years. If you think that something is wrong with your pet’s health, but you do not know how serious the situation is, you should pay attention to several characteristic symptoms, the presence of which will indicate the need to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Below is a description of the key symptoms and the most common conditions that cats most commonly suffer from that need to be monitored. Remember: if you are seriously concerned about your pet’s health, try not to delay your visit to the veterinarian!
1-Loss of appetite
If your pet begins to eat less than usual, this can be triggered by both hot weather, which reduces appetite, and hunting outside the house. However, in addition to this, a violation of the appetite of your furry friend may indicate the presence of certain health problems, which is especially typical for older cats.
If your pet’s poor appetite is accompanied by symptoms such as lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, or other signs of serious illness, you should immediately contact your veterinarian.
In turn, increased appetite may indicate diabetes, gastrointestinal disease, or an overactive thyroid gland.
2-Nausea and malaise
A pet regurgitation of hairball or grass is not a concern, at least if your cat does not do it regularly. However, if the urge frequency increases, and the cat is spitting up food or blood and has severe swallowing problems, then you should take it to a veterinarian for a checkup as soon as possible.
Nausea can be a symptom of a variety of medical conditions, including gastrointestinal problems, liver and kidney problems, etc. Remember – vomiting accompanied by malaise, diarrhea, depressed mood, or loss of appetite can indicate a serious health problem in your pet. In such a situation, you should contact your veterinarian as soon as possible, who will take all the necessary measures to cure your furry friend.
3-Problems with bowel movements and urination
If a cat suffers from persistent diarrhea, and its excrement is colored black or contains blood and mucus, then, with a high degree of probability, this indicates that your pet has some kind of health problem. If you find any of the above symptoms, accompanied by nausea, lethargy, lack of appetite, or weight loss, then this is a good reason to see your veterinarian immediately.
You should also seek help from a specialist as soon as possible if your pet’s attempts to go to the toilet “in a big way” are accompanied by failure, or if its excrement is extremely hard and contains wool. It may not be difficult for you to resolve these symptoms yourself, but remember that they can indicate a much more serious health problem for your cat than you think.
If your pet visits the litter box very often, unsuccessfully trying to go “small”, or if its urine contains blood, and while urinating, it meows loudly or makes piteous moans, then this is a symptom that your cat’s urinary tract is infected.
Some inflammations (such as cystitis) are very common in cats and can be easily treated, while more serious infections can lead to lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD urological syndrome), and if not taken care of, your pet’s health will be in jeopardy. If you find any signs of FLUTD in your furry friend, try to see your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Remember: letting bladder disease take its course is extremely life-threatening for your pet, so it’s important to start treatment as early as possible!
4-Significant weight gain
The rapid weight gain of your pet can lead to obesity, which in turn often leads to diabetes, mobility problems and a host of serious illnesses. If you can feel your cat’s ribs by touch, this indicates that your pet’s weight is normal – otherwise your furry friend is clearly overweight.
If you think your pet needs to lose a couple of pounds, first of all consult with an experienced veterinarian, who will certainly advise you on the best way to get the animal in optimal shape. Also, remember that any additions to the cat’s diet – for example, certain treats and desserts – should be given to your pet with extreme caution, because excess food may well damage the stomach of your furry friend.
If it seems to you that the cat’s belly is swollen or rounded, you should immediately consult with a veterinarian – the cause of such a problem may well not be obesity, but fluid retention in the body.
5-Increased water intake or increased urination
If you recently switched your pet from wet food to dry food, then it is likely that it will now drink more water than before, at least until its body finally gets used to the change in diet.
On the other hand, if a cat suddenly, for no apparent reason, begins to consume much more fluids and often go to the toilet “in a small way”, then this may indicate diseases such as diabetes, as well as the presence of other health problems of your pet, for example, about abnormal kidney function. Therefore, if you begin to notice your furry friend at the bowl of water more and more often or if its tray has become more humid than usual, you should immediately contact your veterinarian.
6-Leather and wool
Skin condition is a reliable indicator of a cat’s health. Your pet’s skin should be smooth, black or pinkish, and its coat should be shiny.
Frequent washing or scratching of the skin, or hair loss can all be indicative of a skin condition in your cat. At the same time, poor condition and dullness of the coat, along with a large amount of dandruff, may indicate a serious disease that is not directly related to the skin or coat, but has a significant impact on their condition.
Frequent scratching and the presence of small black dots on the body of the animal can also indicate the presence of fleas in your pet, but this is not such a serious problem, because they are relatively easy to remove.
Remember, you should see your veterinarian as soon as possible if you suddenly notice brown discharge or redness in your furry friend’s ear area.