15 February 2022

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6 Signs Your Cat Is Hiding an Illness

Cats are often notoriously independent creatures. They also have a natural survival instinct to conceal illness and weakness to protect themselves from predators. While you can sometimes tell that your pet is sick because you can see visible signs of a problem, you might not spot problems which your cat hides out of an instinctive need to protect itself.

However, sometimes, you might get a gut feeling that all is not well with your pet. Often, you’ll see changes in its normal behaviour and habits. What should you look out for?

1. Changes in behaviour

If your cat’s behaviour starts to change, then it could be ill. For example, a cat that likes to play with toys might suddenly lose interest in them. An active cat that likes to spend time outdoors might refuse to leave the house.

Often, your cat’s behaviour towards you will change if it doesn’t feel well. It might not be so affectionate. It might not want to spend any time with you. In some cases, a friendly cat might even show signs of aggression if you try to engage with it.

2. Changes in eating and drinking

You’re probably used to the way your cat eats and drinks. Any changes to these habits are important. For example, a lack of appetite can be a sign of many different illnesses and conditions. Or, if your cat eats more slowly and carefully, then it might have a dental problem.

Also, monitor how much your cat drinks. If your cat drinks less or more than usual, then it could have a problem with its kidneys, urinary tract, thyroid or liver. It might have diabetes.

3. Changes in toileting habits

If your cat is unwell, then its toilet habits might change. Its faeces might be a different colour or consistency. It might use its litter tray more or less frequently than usual. It might have difficulty passing urine or faeces.

In some cases, litter-trained cats suddenly stop using their trays when they are ill. They might go outside of the tray or in unusual places. This is also a sign that all is not well with your pet.

4. Changes in sleeping habits

Cats sleep a lot. Any changes to sleeping habits which can’t be explained away can be a sign that they are ill. For example, cats might sleep for longer periods or more often than usual. Or, they might find it hard to settle into sleep and might roam around the house.

If your pet is really unwell, then it might stop sleeping in its usual spots. It might hide under or behind furniture, for example. If your cat is looking for a safe place, then the chances are it really doesn’t feel right.

5. Changes in weight

Sometimes, cats lose or gain weight for no apparent reason. They eat the same amount of food; however, their weight changes.

A change in weight isn’t necessarily a sign of anything serious. For example, weight gain can be down to an unexpected pregnancy and weight loss to a stomach upset. However, if your pet’s weight has changed for no obvious reason, then this could be a cause for concern that needs investigation to see if your pet has an underlying illness or condition.

6. Changes in grooming

Cats should groom themselves often. A change in grooming habits and frequency can be a sign that a cat has a problem.

For example, if your cat avoids grooming a certain part of its body, then it might have an injury or its body might be sore there. If your cat over grooms, then it might have a skin problem. If your cat loses interest in grooming completely, then it is likely to feel pretty bad.

If you have any concerns about changes in your cat’s behaviour, then contact Arundel Veterinary Surgery. We can take a look at your pet and assess whether it has a problem that needs treatment.