Thursday, January 26, 2012

Is Your Cat in Good Health?

By Sally Endaer

In general, cats are healthy animals. They do not get sick often at all. However, once they are sick, it can be hard to tell. Cats often do not show symptoms of being sick until they are quite ill. However, if you train yourself to look for changes in behavior, and other, subtle differences, then you will be able to tell much earlier that your cat is sick.

Please remember that although most health issues in cats can be easily prevented through the use of good, high quality cat food, as well as regular veterinary appointments, sometimes, your cat will simply get sick-no matter how well you take care of it. The best thing you can do if the cat is sick is to take them to the vet for help.

Before I go into the different signs of a sick cat, I just want to briefly say that it can be difficult to diagnose at home, because many of these signs can be normal as well. You just need to know your cat well and be able to tell that there is something wrong. However, if you do see one of these symptoms and you aren't sure, bring your cat to the vet just in case.

1. Vomiting/Diarrhea - Most cats have this at some point simply because they ate something bad and their body is reacting to it. However, if this occurs for an extended period of time, or they are getting dehydrated from it, then it may be a sign of sickness.

2. Sneezing/coughing - Sneezing usually means that your cat has a cold, although sometimes this means other illnesses as well. If your cat is sneezing or coughing, you should bring it to the vet.

3. Inappropriate elimination - Basically, this means going outside of the litter box. Although this can be a behavioral problem, often it is an issue like a urinary tract infection and must be taken care of quickly.

4. Increased Vocalization - If your cat is meowing a lot more than usual, then this may be a sign that they are in pain or unhappy.

5. Increased/Decreased drinking/eating - Any drastic change in eating or drinking behavior can be a sign of an ill cat.

6. Decreased Grooming - When a cat is sick, they may stock grooming themselves as often as they usually do. If your cat's coat begins to look ragged, he may be sick.
These are the most common signs of a sick cat. You know your cat best, if it seems to be changing behavior, or anything seems out of place, then you should take them to the vet. Every cat displays illness differently.

Sally write about cats and kittens on her website, Kitten Advice.