February is National Cat Health Month. Kitties are very easy to care for, but they aren’t as invincible as some of them seem to think. They also instinctively try to hide signs of illness. This is because in the wild, showing weakness can attract predators. Therefore, it’s important to watch for warning signs. Here, a Fort Collins, CO veterinarian lists some signs that your feline buddy is sick.
Some kitties are scaredy-cats, and will bolt for their favorite hiding spot when the doorbell rings. Fluffy may also take a nap in a quiet spot. However, if your pet seems uncharacteristically withdrawn, and doesn’t want to leave her chosen hiding place, something could be wrong.
Cats are usually very meticulous about keeping themselves clean. However, just like people, they don’t always keep up with their beauty rituals when they’re sick. If Fluffy ignores her fur, it will soon start looking unkempt.
Kitties can be finicky, but a lack of appetite is far more serious than simple fussiness. If Fluffy just isn’t interested in dinner, there may be something wrong with her. Sudden increases in appetite can also be a sign of sickness, as can changes in water consumption.
The occasional hairball is more or less ‘purr’ for the course with our feline friends. Frequent and/or excessive vomiting, however, is definitely not normal.
Fever is as much of an indicator of illness in cats as it is in people. If Fluffy seems unusually hot, contact your vet.
Changes in the amount, texture, color, or odor of Fluffy’s waste can be signs of sickness. Straining to go is also a huge red flag.
Your feline pal should breathe quietly, at least when she isn’t meowing at you. Fluffy may sneeze occasionally, but she shouldn’t gasp, wheeze, or cough.
To be fair, if we recommended that cats come in every time they did something unusual, our waiting room would be overflowing with kitties 24/7. What you want to look for is behavior that isn’t normal for your pet. For example, if Fluffy is normally very aloof, but suddenly starts demanding attention, she may be ill. Changes in vocalizations can also be a warning sign.
As your Fort Collins, CO vet clinic, we’re dedicated to offering great care for cats. Please feel free to contact us anytime!