Cat Illness: 3 Major Symptom Areas

January 16, 2013

in Cat Health

by Kurt Schmitt

Since your cat can’t tell you where it hurts, you’ll have to be on the look out for problems. Let’s talk about some cat illness symptoms you should know about.

Pay attention to changes in your cat’s behavior as this can indicate signs of illness. Cats tend to disguise signs of pain and illness as a throw-back to their wild days.

Defecation and urination — A number of cat health issues present as urination and defecation issues.

Cats my experience FLUTD (feline lower urinary tract disease). This is actually the name for a group of problems that may involve crystals, stones, inflammation, or infection. Some of these urinary tract problems can be life threatening.

Cats self-groom regularly, but excessive licking in the anal or groin area can be a sign of illness. If your cat is urinating more often than normal, this can be a sign of an illness such as diabetes.

Treatments are available for hairballs/constipation, and include store bought hairball remedies as well as veterinarian prescribed treatments such as lactulose.

It should be noted that long term constipation may lead to a serious bowel condition known as megacolon. Impacted anal glands my also be a factor which will require treatment.

If your cat is howling or crying out while using the litter box, or makes frequent but unsuccessful trips to the box, she may have some physical problem that needs to be looked at. Also, a common sign of trouble is scooting across the floor while dragging the rear end.

If your cat is not urinating or defecating or is missing the litter box, contact your veterinarian immediately. Inappropriate elimination is common and is the number one cause that adult cats are brought to shelters. It has a number of physical and behavioral causes. You should address any medical problems first.

Other problems to look for are blood in urine or feces, including black tarry stools. If your cat has diarrhea, it may lead to dehydration, which can be fatal.

Eye and mouth problems — The haw, or nictating membrane, is a “third eyelid” that you will sometimes see when a cat’s eyes are open. This is often an indication of illness. Check your cat’s eyes for cloudiness, pupils of uneven size, or discharge.

Pale lips and gums is a sign of disease which may indicate anemia. Other symptoms of cat illness may include bad breath and ulcers of the mouth.

Skin and hair issues — The skin and coat of your cat can be used as a measure of overall health. Poor coat or problem skin can be a sure sign of cat illness.

In addition, if your cat stops grooming or looks disheveled, it’s probably a sign of trouble. An oily looking coat is also a sign of illness.

Also look for swelling, hair loss, excessive dryness or flaking, or skin eruption or growths. Check your cat at least once per week for parasites.

These are a few of the major categories of cat health problems. Keeping alert to your cat’s routine, and being sensitive to any of the possible above problems is an essential part of cat care.

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