As cat owners, the companionship and love our feline friends bring into our lives is cherished. Cats, known for their independent and mysterious nature, often hide their discomfort or illness. However, being attuned to your cat’s behavior is essential in ensuring their health and well-being. Subtle changes in their behavior can be early indicators of underlying health issues.
In this article, you can read about behavior changes to keep a lookout for. When it is time to visit the vet, you can consider using mobile vet services and letting the vet come and take care of your cat in the safe surroundings of your home.
Changes in eating habits or litter box issues
A sudden decrease or increase in your cat’s appetite can cause concern. Loss of appetite, also known as anorexia, could indicate various health problems, including dental issues, gastrointestinal disorders and kidney disease. On the other hand, excessive eating, known as polyphagia, may be a sign of an overactive thyroid or diabetes.
A cat that starts avoiding the litter box or urinating outside of it may be trying to communicate a health issue. Urinary tract infections, bladder stones and kidney problems can cause discomfort while urinating, leading to litter box aversion. If you notice changes in your cat’s litter box habits, it’s essential to get them examined by a vet promptly.
Unexplained weight loss or gain, or lethargy and reduced activity
Weight changes in cats should never be ignored. Unexplained weight loss could indicate various issues, such as hyperthyroidism, diabetes and kidney disease. Conversely, sudden weight gain could indicate an underactive thyroid or other metabolic disorders.
Cats are known for their playful and curious nature. It might be a red flag if you notice your cat becoming unusually lethargic, not engaging in their usual activities, or sleeping excessively. Lethargy can be a symptom of various illnesses or even pain. A vet can help determine the underlying cause and provide appropriate treatment.
Changes in grooming habits or vocalization
Cats are meticulous groomers, and changes in their grooming habits can be indicative of health issues. Over-grooming or excessive licking in specific areas may indicate skin problems, allergies and even behavioral stress. Conversely, a decrease in grooming can indicate pain or discomfort, especially in older cats. A veterinary evaluation can help identify the reason behind these changes.
Cats communicate through vocalization, and any sudden increase or decrease in meowing, yowling or other vocal behaviors should be noted. Excessive vocalization can indicate distress, pain or cognitive issues in older cats. Conversely, a sudden reduction in vocalization might indicate a problem with the vocal cords or even a respiratory issue.
Changes in social behavior or respiratory issues
Cats are known for their unique personalities, and changes in social behavior should be observed closely. An ordinarily friendly and affectionate cat becoming withdrawn or aggressive might be experiencing discomfort or pain. Conversely, a sudden clinginess in an independent cat could also indicate underlying issues.
Any signs of difficulty breathing, rapid or complex breathing, or coughing should never be ignored. Respiratory issues can indicate respiratory infections, allergies, asthma and even heart problems. Immediate veterinary attention is crucial if your cat exhibits any of these symptoms.