Cats are naturally independent animals that don’t need as much attention as more active pets like hyper dogs. Cat attitudes range from recluse and quiet to vocal and playful and you’ll notice early on by how your cat interacts with you and others in your home. Since these stoic pets sometimes hide their discomfort when they are feeling sick, it’s important to get to know your cat and their habits early on so you can detect if something is off at any point.
Change in behavior
Since cats are creatures of habit, it’s easy to settle into a routine quickly once you bring them home. If you happen to notice that their behavior is changing, it’s important you take notice. One behavioral change that can be alarming is if you have a quiet cat that becomes vocal all of a sudden or even noticeable more frequently than before. This type of increased vocalization with more meows than usual may signal that your cat is in pain or uncomfortable. Another behavioral change to pay attention to is in terms of socialization. Some cats love attention and affection and if you and your cat are very friendly you will likely notice if they become shier and more disconnected. This decreased level of socialization could be a sign that something is wrong, especially since cats in general tend to avoid socializing when they aren’t feeling well.
Change in appearance
Cats are meticulous groomers and love to keep their fur nice and clean. Pay attention if you notice that your cats grooming habits are changing. One sign that they aren’t feeling well is if they look a bit unkempt with a greasy / oily coat and more matting than normal. When cats are uncomfortable or too tired, they may cut back on taking care of themselves. On the other hand, if you begin to notice bald spots or red / irritated skin this is a sign that they are over grooming. This can be caused by a variety of things from allergies and change of medicine to anxiety and other illnesses.
Change in weight
Every pet owner knows that keeping your pet at a healthy weight by feeding them a balanced diet is important. Since you are in charge of feeding them, you’ll likely notice when your pet is refusing to eat or is overeating. According to the ASPCA, cat weight loss, which can happen quickly or over a more extended period of time, and rapid weight gain can be signs your cat is sick.
When in doubt, consult your veterinarian
The CDC reports that nearly 40 million households in the United States have pet cats, and this number has been growing rapidly ever since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic when people were looking for companionship. With more people becoming pet owners now than ever before, it’s important to educate yourself before bringing your pet home with the best practices for keeping them safe, healthy, active, and happy. If you notice any of the changes listed above or if you suspect your cat might be sick, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. If you need to schedule an appointment with the Bregman Veterinary Group, click here to get started!