Cats are undoubtedly the backbone of the internet (if you don’t count adult content). They are beloved both on and offline and known for their independent nature. Cat lovers swear by their ability to provide companionship and comfort.
As a cat owner, it is important to be aware of any changes in behaviour that may indicate that your cat is in distress. Cats are known for hiding their pain or discomfort, so it is up to owners to be vigilant and notice any behaviour changes that may indicate something is wrong. It’s important to understand that cats are sensitive creatures and any changes in behaviour may indicate an underlying health problem that requires attention. Here are some changes that may indicate something more could be wrong.
Loss of appetite
Changes in appetite are a key indicator that something is off. Cats are essentially creatures of habit. If your cat is not eating or drinking as much as usual, it could indicate an underlying health issue. The issue could range from dental problems to gastrointestinal issues, or even stress. A decrease in appetite can also indicate a more serious illness like cancer or liver disease. Monitor the change and if it’s too drastic and prolonged, seek medical attention.
Changes in grooming habits
Cats are meticulous groomers, spending 2-5 hours daily on this task so if your cat stops grooming or starts grooming excessively, it could be a sign of stress or pain. Cats may stop grooming themselves due to skin irritation, pain or stiffness of the joints, or dental problems. Excessive grooming may be due to skin allergies, parasites, or behavioural issues.
Hiding or avoiding social interaction
If your cat is hiding more than usual or is avoiding social interaction, it could be a sign of pain or discomfort. Cats often hide when they’re in pain. They may also hide when they are feeling ill or stressed. If your cat is hiding and not interacting with you or other cats, it could be an indication that it’s in pain or discomfort.
If your cat is meowing more than usual or making unusual vocalizations, it could be a sign of pain or discomfort. Cats may vocalize more when they are in pain, feeling stressed, in heat, or have a medical condition that is causing discomfort. It’s important to note that increased vocalization may also be due to behavioural issues, such as attention-seeking behaviour.
If your cat is lethargic or not as active as usual, it could be a sign of an underlying health issue. Cats may become less active due to chronic pain, arthritis, or other conditions that make movement difficult. Cats may also become less active due to anaemia, infections, or other illnesses that cause fatigue.
Changes in litter box habits
If your cat is having trouble using the litter box, or if there is blood in the urine, it could be a sign of a urinary tract infection or another health issue. Cats may also have trouble using the litter box due to arthritis, neurological issues, or other conditions that make it difficult to move.
Changes in mobility
If your cat is limping or having trouble jumping or climbing, it could be a sign of an orthopaedic problem. Cats may also have trouble walking or climbing due to neurological issues, arthritis, or other conditions that affect their mobility. About 70-90% of cats will have their mobility hampered by age-related arthritis as they grow older.
Pay attention to your feline friends and trust your gut feeling if their behaviour causes you to worry. As with humans, early detection can be a lifesaver. Plus, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
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