Cat Illness Symptoms: 3 Major Categories

February 9, 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.

Cats are very good at hiding discomfort and signs of illness, but sometimes this comes out as a change in behavior. If you notice a change in your cat’s typical routine, you’ll want to check for a physical problem.

Elimination problems — Cats may experience a number of issues involving urination, defecation, and litter boxes.

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.

Excessive urination can be a sign of cat illness such as feline diabetes. Excessive licking in the groin or anal area can be a sign of problems.

Constipation is fairly common in cats. Treatments are available for this, and include store bought and veterinarian prescribed treatments such as lactulose.

Constipation over the long term may lead to a serious bowel condition known as megacolon. Impacted anal glands may present and 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.

Inappropriate elimination is very prevalent and has any number of physical and behavioral causes. If you notice that your cat is not using the litter box, always assume a physical cause may be at work. If your cat is not urinating or defecating or is missing the litter box, contact your veterinarian.

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.

Mouth and eye problems — Check your cat’s eyes for uneven pupils, cloudiness, or discharge. The nictating membrane, or haw, is a “third eyelid” that you will sometimes see when a cat’s eyes are open. This can be an indication of disease.

Pallor of the lips and gums is a sign of disease and could indicate anemia. Other possible cat illness symptoms include bad breath, ulcers in the mouth, and obviously, loose teeth.

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.

Parasites are usually easily spotted on the skin or coat on the belly. Your cat should be checked at least once per week. Also look for excessive dryness or flaking, hair loss, skin growths, and any kind of swelling or skin eruption.

Domestic felines may experience other health problems for sure, but these are a few of the major categories. Keeping an eye on your cat’s normal routine, and being sensitive to any of the above problems is an essential part of cat care.

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