If you have a cat in your home, you know that they are very special little animals. Clever, silly, affectionate, judgemental, sneaky, aloof – there are so many ways to describe a single pet’s personality. Another typical behavior found in cats is their instinctive ability to hide pain or illness. It is a survival tactic that is used in the wild, but in a home environment, it can, unfortunately, prevent a pet owner from knowing when it is time to bring their cat in for a veterinary check-up.
If you are ever in doubt or have a feeling that your cat may need veterinary help, make sure to contact your local Massachusetts veterinarian or bring them in for emergency care. While every single pet is different in personality and behavior, the tips below are designed to help you spot potential issues before they become significant problems. If you aren’t sure, always take the time to contact your veterinarian in South Coast and describe the symptoms you are seeing. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Hiding – The most common sign of illness in a cat is hiding away in a quiet place where other animals and humans don’t frequent throughout the day.
- Sitting Position – Cats who are trying to cover up an illness will often sit quietly in a hunched position, so they are ready to move if they need to and not vulnerable.
- Grooming – A cat that isn’t feeling well will often neglect to groom; you might see matted fur, fur that has been urinated on, litter stuck to their legs or feet, and smell a “dirty” or “oily” odor coming from them.
- Purring – Most people don’t realize that purring isn’t just a sign of happiness or contentment, but it is also something cats do to comfort themselves when they are in pain.
- Confusion – Some cats will sit still, looking around as though they are confused about where they are or what they need to be doing; some will press their heads into the wall or furniture, as well as have seizures – all are signs of neurological problems.
- Eating – A change in the eating pattern should be watched carefully. Some cats will stop eating when they feel sick; however, other illnesses can cause a sudden increase in appetite.
- Drinking – The same goes with drinking water, a noticeable increase or decrease in drinking fluids can be a sign of various illnesses, including diabetes, kidney disease, and urinary tract infections or urinary blockages.
- Urinating – That being said, problems with urination should also be cause for an urgent veterinary check-up. Urinating too much, frequent attempts to urinate, not urinating a lot – these are all things to check for with a suspected sick cat.
Why Regular Check-Ups are Important
There are certain things that pet owners can do at home, such as brush your cat’s teeth and provide essential dental care for pets. Feed quality, nutritious foods, and check your cat over regularly for any lumps, injuries or other problems. Regular dental hygiene is important, not just to keep teeth and gums clean and healthy, but also so your cat will let you use this time to do a home exam. Check to see that gums are a deep pink color. A test for several illnesses includes pressing on the gums with a thumb or forefinger and then watching to see that the pink color returns within 1-2 seconds.
Cats that have extremely pale gums or that have a slow return to pink after pressing may be suffering from conditions that include a lack of oxygen, poor circulation, shock, or even anemia, all of which can be life-threatening. On the other extreme, a cat that has gums that are bright red in color may be suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning or overheating. Yellow gums can indicate jaundice, and red spotted gums can reveal an issue with the clotting of the blood. Dental care for pets is important, and it all starts with the owner’s commitment to learning how to brush your cat’s teeth properly. If you see any of these signs, bring your cat in for a veterinary check-up right away.
Visit Anchor Animal Hospital
Preventive medicine is the best approach, so make sure to bring your cat in for a regular exam at your local veterinarian in South Coast. Our team helps pets and their owners from all over the Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island region, providing quality veterinary check-up, vaccination, and emergency services to cats, dogs, and other domesticated animals. Give us a call at 508-996-3731 to schedule an appointment or to learn more about the services that we provide.