Cats tend to hide their pain and often don’t get diagnosed until it is too late. So how can you detect if your cat is sick? Remain vigilant and take immediate action if you see any of the following signs:
Sure, cats don’t always have the best breath most of the time, but exceptionally smelly breath could be a telltale sign that they are sick. It could just be that you need to brush your kitty’s teeth, as it could be gum disease or tooth decay. However, if your cat’s breath smells like ammonia, then there may be something more severe that you need to look into. A strong odor could be a sign of kidney disease, which is a potentially fatal issue that you’ll need to speak to your vet about. Untreated kidney disease can lead to kidney failure.
Your cat should have healthy pink gums at all times, so it’s worth checking above their fangs every now and then. If they start to look discolored, then there could be an issue that needs treating. Yellow gums can be a sign of jaundice, which could be due to liver disease, heartworm, an infection, or even cancer. Pale gums could be to do with poor circulation or anemia, whereas bright red gums could mean severe overheating or carbon monoxide poisoning. Finally, blue gums or a blue tongue could mean a life-threatening lack of oxygen which means an immediate trip to the vet.
A Social Cat Becoming Unsociable
Does your kitty love sitting on your lap and hanging around other humans or animals? If they have a sudden change of heart, deciding to become unsociable instead, then it could be because they’re trying to hide something. If you find your cat prefers being hidden away then coming out to play, and this is unusual for them, then they may have an underlying health issue. As mentioned, cats don’t like letting others know they’re sick or showing that they’re weak, so this change in behavior could be because they’re in pain. If you notice any changes in their behavior, then it may be worth getting your cat checked out.
It’s quite rare to see your cat drinking water, so if you notice that your feline friend is hanging around their water dish a lot more often, then there could be a problem. Alternatively, you may notice that you keep having to refill their water more than usual. Increased thirst could be a sign that there is something wrong with your cat, particularly issues with their kidneys or urinary tract. Increased thirst may also be the first telltale sign of diabetes. Any of these conditions can be painful or uncomfortable for your cat, but as they are unable to tell you, keep an eye on their drinking habits.
Your cat will gain and lose weight throughout their life; however, it’s essential to keep an eye out for any sudden weight changes. If they’re rapidly losing or gaining weight, then there could be an underlying health condition that is causing this. For example, a cat losing a lot of weight in a quick period of time could be a symptom of cancer. On the other side, if a cat gains a lot of weight quickly, then it could make them more susceptible to conditions such as diabetes or heart diseases. Try to weigh your cat regularly and look out for any noticeable differences in their body shape.
Using Anything But The Litter Box
Some cats have a penchant for going to the toilet outside of their litter box, but if your cat is usually loyal to their plastic potty then keep an eye out if they suddenly stop using it. If they’re making a mess outside of their litter box, then don’t chastise them, it could be an underlying health issue. Kidney disease, urinary tract infections, and bladder stones can all cause a cat to go outside of their usual spot. These health conditions can prove fatal if left untreated, so make sure you keep an eye out for any unusual toilet behavior.
Blood In Urine Or Poop
While on the subject of unusual toilet behavior, also keep your eyes peeled for any blood in your cat’s urine or poop. Blood in the urine could signify bladder problems or a urinary tract infection that needs treating. Blood in a cats’ stool could be a minor health issue, but could also signify something a lot more dangerous, such as parasitic infections which can be fatal if left. If you notice any blood in the litterbox, or even around the house if your kitty is avoiding the litter box, then you may need to get them checked out.
Detecting Potentially Fatal Problems Early
If you notice one or more of these symptoms, then it’s vital to get your cat checked out. A visit to the vet can be expensive and not always necessary, so you can use something like the CheckUp Kit to detect health issues early. This kit contains hydrophobic sand which you place in the litter box, and which your cat will assume is just their usual litter. You’ll also get testing strips, a sample collection vial, and a sample collection pipette to make it easy to collect urine from the hydrophobic litter.
Simply collect the sample, place the testing strip into it, and check the results against the results card. The CheckUp Kit can detect common issues such as urinary tract infections, kidney failure, high glucose levels (a sign of diabetes), and blood in urine. You can use the kit when you think your cat may have an issue or just for regular testing; something which is recommended by vets anyway.