One of the pets that aren't easy to understand is cats. They have a certain "air" around them that makes them mysterious and puzzling. And superior, too, because of how bossy a cat is.
As National Geographic puts it, cats are "a paradoxical blend of needy and aloof, cuddly and conspiratorial." Feline pets tend to blow hot and cold that's why it is hard to tell if they are sick.
Moreover, it is natural for cats to hide their illness and pain. In case you've forgotten, your kitty is a predator despite its cute and fluffy appearance. The “eat or be eaten” rule in the animal kingdom governs your cat’s behavior. As such, when cats are in pain, they do not show it so that other predators won’t take advantage of their weakness, thus ensuring their survival. The same goes for dogs.
Even though cats won't express their pain, here are telltale signs they are having health issues.
Increase in Appetite
Shouldn’t this be a piece of good news? It's different with cats, though. In an interview with PetMD, Dr. Rachel Barrack of Animal Acupuncture in NYC said if your feline companion is suddenly eating a lot, they might have disorders affecting their endocrine system, such as diabetes, or their ability to absorb nutrients, such as intestinal cancer.
Does your cat groom themselves nonstop? It might be a reaction to allergies or flea or mite infestation. Perhaps they have bladder problems or arthritis, or they are stressed out. Two signs your cat is grooming much more than they used to are their body has bald spots and they have developed rashes in certain areas.
Is your cat always near their water dish, and do they drink more than usual? While your feline friend must stay hydrated, an increase in water intake might be a sign of illness. It might be a symptom of a thyroid problem, diabetes, or kidney disease. They may also experience changes in urination or sudden loss of weight.
Stinky or Sweet Breath
Dr. Kelly Ryan of Animal Medical Center of Mid-America, said in an interview with PetMD, "A cat with diabetes may have a sweet-smelling breath along with increased thirst and urination." She added that foul-smelling breath, on the other hand, may indicate your cats’ kidneys are not doing their job of filtering body waste.
Besides kidney issues, bad breath may be a sign of dental problems.
Changes in Pupil Size
Like humans, a cat's pupil size dilates in low light and constricts in bright light. But when your cat's pupils change randomly, better consult a veterinarian, especially if it lasts for a long time.
According to Dr. Ryan, the following pupil size changes are signs your cat is sick:
- Dilated pupils
- Constricted pupils
- One dilated pupil and one constricted pupil
Other signs are droopy eyes or eye discharge.
Suddenly Becomes Very Vocal or Quiet
Meowing isn't only your cat's way of telling you it's time to feed them or they need some cuddle or pet time. If your well-behaved kitty is calling out to you often, then maybe they are not feeling well or are in pain. The same goes for a very vocal cat that becomes unusually quiet. When this bizarre thing happens, perhaps something is wrong with them.
Changes in Litter Box Habits
Your disciplined feline friend surprisingly "forgot" their litter box training. They are hesitant to use it and prefer to do their business outside the box. Before jumping to the conclusion that your cat is a bad kitty, observe them first when they attempt to use the litter box. Are they in pain or crying while urinating? Are they having difficulty squatting while trying to pee or poop? Your cat may be suffering from sore hips or knees, kidney disease, bladder stones, urinary tract infections, or, worse, cancer.
If you notice or feel something is off with your beloved furry companion, seek medical help immediately. Don't just rule it out as a weird behavior or your cat is just having a bad day. Early detection and cure are so much better than rushing your furbaby to the emergency room because you failed to act quickly.
This is the reason why pet ownership is not for everyone. Having a pet is like taking care of a baby or a kid. You are a pet parent and not just their owner. If you are not yet ready to be a pet parent, we have an alternative solution for you.
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