One of the worst worries we can face in life is when a beloved pet is sick. They can’t tell you exactly what’s wrong – they may not even understand it themselves, and you can’t communicate to them the need for rest, for a trip to the vet or the examination, tests and medication.
This all adds up to lots of stress when your cat starts showing symptoms of sickness. Today we’re taking a look at some of the main reasons cats get sick, when you can relax, and when you need to get to the vet without delay!
Some of the most common symptoms your cat is sick are problems with their digestion. There are many causes of diarrhoea in cats, and sickness too, so alone, it’s not an indicator of serious illness.
The most common cause of feline digestive problems (and unpleasant clean up work for humans) is that they’ve eaten something that disagrees with them. Many cats hunt and scavenge, and it’s entirely possible for them to eat something that gives them an upset stomach. In these cases, you can expect the problems to pass in only a day or two.
If the diarrhea or sickness lasts, it could be an indicator of a deeper problem: chronic conditions like stress or thyroid problems, liver or kidney disease, or parasites can all cause long term sickness and your cat may struggle to hold down enough food to remain hydrated and healthy. If the problems continue, you should make a trip to the vet for tests.
In the absence of spoken language, you need to look to your cats behaviour, as this is how it can tell you if something is wrong. The most serious sign of distress is when your cat stops grooming: cats are fastidiously clean, and if they start allowing their fur to become dirty and matted, something serious could be wrong. Refusing to eat or drink is another serious change to behaviour that can indicate distress.
Other changes, like an energetic cat becoming withdrawn or exhausted, or a normally placid kitten getting aggressive and lashing out could be signs of illness or injury. Don’t ignore behaviour changes like this: you know what’s normal for your cat, and if they start behaving strangely, there could be a serious underlying cause, so take it seriously!
Try to keep a log of just how your cat is behaving strangely: if they get aggressive in response to specific things or at certain times of day. These could all be helpful to the vet as they diagnose your cat and help them to feel better again as quickly as possible!