Dogs & Cats

Some changes in your cat could mean she needs vet attention

Check out these helpful hints and tips for what to look after in your cat''s health and behaviour wh...

Unlike humans, cats can’t always let you know when they are feeling unwell. It’s possible that your much loved kitty could be ill without you even noticing. However paying attention to your cat’s behaviour, eating habits and appearance will help you flag if there is something requiring the vet’s attention.

Regularly grooming your cat and giving her a mini health check can help to ensure you are aware of subtle changes early, before they develop into something more serious. Here we’ll share the warning signs which you need to be aware of – those that could indicate there’s something more serious going on.

1. Changes in appetite and hydration: Have your cat’s eating habits changed over the last few days? Is she eating less, or has she stopped eating completely? Or is your kitty still coming eagerly to meals, but then seems to have no appetite? If your cat isn’t eating normally, then she may also have stopped drinking. It’s important if your cat is dehydrated and refusing water that you get her to your local vet as soon as possible so fluids can be replaced.

Here’s our quick-step check to find out whether your cat is dehydrated:

  1. Gently grasp the skin between your cat’s shoulder blades
  2. Lift up slightly and let go with your fingers
  3. If the skin returns back to normal immediately, your cat is perfectly hydrated. If it doesn’t, then she is showing signs of dehydration

On the flip side, if your cat is drinking significantly more water than usual, and it’s not exceptionally hot outside, then this could indicate some health issues which may need to be investigated by your vet as well.

2. Changes in fecal matter or urine: Have you noticed traces of blood in your cat’s urine or feces? If you see any significant changes in the smell or colour of the litter tray, you should book an appointment straightaway with your vet.

3. Changes in weight: Perhaps your kitty seems to be losing weight even when she’s eating normally. If you see big changes in weight, then it’s vital you book a trip to your vet as soon as possible so they can run tests and find out the cause of the problem.

4. Changes in coat: If your cat is fit and healthy, her coat should have a natural shine. If you see changes to the quality of her coat -- perhaps thinning, dull or dry fur -- then perhaps your cat is feeling unwell. Cats are fanatical about personal hygiene, so checking out their coat is an excellent way to see any subtle changes in their health. If you groom your cat on a regular basis, you will also be able to feel any lumps or bumps which are not normally there. These could be a sign of a tumour and will need immediate attention from your vet.

5. Changes in skin: When cats become stressed or have a skin problem they can start to groom excessively, and this in turn can lead to other issues. It could also be an indicator that they have fleas. If your cat is licking one area more than another, check to see if the skin has become raw and affected. This is known as moist acute dermatitis, and could be a result of fleas, allergy or even an insect bite. If your cat’s coat starts to show signs of bald patches, and they haven’t been in a back garden scrap with another local moggy, then a trip to the vet might be in order.

6. Changes in reaction to your touch: As you check over you cat’s coat you should be able to stroke her and not see any flinching. If when you pet and stroke your cat she reacts, it might be a sign of internal pain, a wound or something more serious. If your cat doesn’t want a fuss and seems distressed, book her into the vet straightaway.

7. Changes in the mouth: A happy and healthy cat’s mouth should look pinkish inside. If when you check out your kitty’s mouth it is white, then this could be a sign of anaemia. If it is yellow, she may be having issues with her liver, and blue can indicate issues with oxygen in the body. But we aware that cats’ gums very often are coloured matching the colour of their coat. Even black gums can be normal – its changes from the norm that mean you need to pop to your vets.

8. Changes in teeth: Just like humans, cats also need their teeth examined. An issue with a tooth could be masking a more serious issue with your cat. If too much tartar builds up, your cat can get excess bacteria, which can lead to infections in the bloodstream and can in turn affect the organ functions. To avoid these, get into the habit of cleaning your kitty’s teeth on a regular basis.

9. Changes in the ears, eyes and nose: As part of your regular health check for your cat, make sure you pay attention to her ears, eyes and nose. As cats often get into back yard fights, you need to check to ensure none of her war wounds are serious. If any appear to be infected and not healing, then pop along to your vet’s for some medication to help heal the affected area. Your cat’s eyes should be bright and shiny. If she is ill you might notice a milky film over the pupils which could be cataracts. Any bloodshot areas mean your cat needs a trip to the vet for a more in-depth check-up. If her nose is normally wet and moist, then a totally dry nose could be a sign that her health is a little under par. Monitor your cat’s behaviour, and if you are worried give your vet a call.

If you decide a visit to the vet is necessary, write down all your cat’s symptoms before heading in. It can be upsetting and unsettling taking your beloved kitty to the vet when she is unwell. Remember, the more information you can give your vet about your cat’s condition, the easier it will be for your vet to diagnose the problem quickly, and to help get your cat back into tip top health.



This site is provided by Towers Property Management