A Sick Cat Won’t Tell You They Need a Doctor’s Appointment

A cat hiding under the couch

When we aren’t feeling well we either spend the day in bed to rest and recuperate, or take ourselves to the clinic. Either way, we generally know when we cannot go to work or be around others. 

Cats, on the other hand, try really hard to show the world they are fine –they can’t help it! As a method of self preservation, they are hardwired to mask any signs of “weakness”. Owners might not even realize they have a sick cat until one day Fluff Buddy doesn’t come out of their hiding place. Then what?

There’s a Reason

Aside from the regular opportunity to love on your cat, we encourage 1-2 wellness exams every year (depending on your cat’s age, lifestyle and medical history). Younger cats typically can get away with an annual exam, but it is necessary to assess their weight, coat quality, dental health and disease prevention every year.

Gettin’ Up There

As cats age they tend to develop certain conditions related to weight gain, dental hygiene, and more. As a result, senior cats should be seen every 6 months or so. Running bloodwork and conducting various diagnostic tests can help us stay in front of developing problems and thwart age-related illness.

Kitty Won’t Talk

As we mentioned, cats are quite stealthy when it comes to masking any signs of illness or injury. This can make it hard to detect that something’s wrong. However, the following behaviors should help owners ascertain whether or not they have a sick cat:

  • Sudden departure from their routine (even slight changes in their sleeping, drinking, eating, or grooming habits could indicate trouble)
  • Lethargy that is abrupt or displayed without exertion
  • Issues going to the bathroom
  • Changes to their personality or behaviors, such as being extra sensitive when touched in certain areas, clinginess, or total withdrawal
  • Increased vocalization
  • Reduced ability to jump onto higher surfaces
  • Vomiting or diarrhea (including more hairballs than usual!)

A Sick Cat 

It’s not uncommon for a cat to present confusing symptoms after eating something they shouldn’t have. Lilies, for example, are a leading cause of dangerous pet poisonings, but antifreeze, rodent bait, and even OTC medications like acetaminophen can be incredibly toxic to a cat’s health.

Seek Help

There are many instances that can make a cat sick at home. While we understand the perceived value of waiting to see if they recover, it’s always best to err on the side of caution when dealing with a potentially sick cat.

Pet emergencies are always worrisome. Please do not hesitate to contact us at Berkeley Veterinary Center

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