If your cat is part of your family, you want it to stay as healthy as possible. You make sure it has plenty of food and water. You take it to the vet for routine checkups. You do everything you can think of to ensure its health. Unfortunately, even with the best care, unforeseen health issues can pop up. Because your cat can't talk to you, those health issues may go undiagnosed until they begin to severely affect its health. That is, unless you know what signs you should be looking for. Here are four subtle changes that may indicate your cat has a health problem that will require veterinary care.
Loss of Appetite
If your cat suddenly walks away from its food dish after just a few bites, you might want to give it a closer inspection. Watch your cat for a couple of days. If your cat has experienced a significant change in appetite – nibbling at its favorite foods, or skipping meals entirely – it's time to head to the veterinarian. This is particularly important if you know your cat isn't sneaking treats elsewhere during the day.
Drinking More – or Less – Water
If your cat usually empties one water dish each day, but now you're refilling it several times a day – or the water is remaining untouched – this may be a sign of a serious health issue. Feline diabetes, and kidney failure, can both cause an increase – or decrease – in the amount of water your cat consumes each day. If your cat continues to exhibit significant changes in water consumption, contact your vet as soon as possible.
Sudden Decline in Personal Grooming
If your previously perfectly groomed cat suddenly looks like it hasn't been groomed in days, your cat may be seriously ill. Most cats spend a good portion of their day tending to personal grooming. A lack of personal grooming is a sure sign that your cat isn't feeling well enough to care about how it looks. If your cat isn't caring for itself, you need to take it to the vet for a checkup.
If your cat used to be completely litter-box trained, but it's now having accidents around the house, you may be looking at health issues. Cats will usually avoid relieving themselves in unfamiliar territory – especially if they're litter-box trained. Urinating, or defecating on the floor could be a sign that your cat has lost control over its bodily functions.
Your cat may be trying to tell you something. If you notice any of the behavioral changes described above, contact a veterinarian, like one from Cats Only Veterinary Hospital, as soon as possible.