How Do I Know When My Cat Is Ill
Symptoms of a sick cat Sudden mood changes. There is no tendency to play or it seems that there is no appetite. The pupil is contracted or dilated. Much less or much more than usual. Rapid breathing or shortness of breath. Significant weight loss or gain. Sudden changes in appetite, drinking, or eating habits. Vomiting or diarrhea.
Do They Drink Excess Water
If you observe your cat drinking excess water, then there could be an underlying pathology which needs taken care of. Diabetes is one of the most common causes of your cat drinking excess water. Kidney problems are another possible reason. Eating too much could be a problem also as they may have a parasitic worm which is taking some of their nutrients. If your cat is eating a lot more, but not putting on weight, this is a likely sign of a problem.
As we said before, loss of apetite is one of the more common signs your cat is unwell. Taking a close look at their eating and drinking habits is important.
How Long Does It Take For A Dying Cat To Die
When a cat enters the active stage of death, it can take 1-5 days to die. It is highly recommended that the veterinarian evaluate the cat at this point. Do cats know that they are dying? Dying Cats: Signs of Cats Dying-Cat-Worldcat-world.com/dying-cat-signs-and-care/ Search: How long does a dying cat take to die?
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About Amanda Jondle Dvm
Dr. Amanda Jondle is a veterinarian who practices small animal medicine and surgery and integrative medicine such as acupuncture in all sizes of animals. Growing up on a small farm, she knew from a very young age that she wanted to work with animals and started spending time at a local vet clinic at 11 years old. In addition to working full time at an animal hospital, she now enjoys helping pets and educating clients through writing and editing articles to inform pet owners on how to best care for their pets. She and her husband currently have 4 rescue dogs and 3 cats of their own and are often fostering pets with health issues until they find their forever homes.
Common Kitten Illnesses May Be Unexpected And Need Medical Care
Your kitten may not let you know that theyre sick. They may feel unwell and may show many signs or none at all. If you notice a change in behavior, please seek medical care. But by being proactive, seeking medical care, and preparing for the unexpected with a Trupanion policy for your kitten, you can rest easy knowing you have help if something happens to your best friend.
To learn more on kittens, read this Cat Care Guide.
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Lethargic Cats With Other Symptoms
Lethargy is a very nonspecific clinical signits seen with almost every health problem a cat could develop. Therefore, veterinarians will often focus on any other symptoms a cat might have when they are trying to figure out what is wrong.
Lethargic and DroolingDiseases or injuries affecting the mouth are common causes of drooling, and they can cause lethargy too.
Lethargic and VomitingVomiting is seen with problems directly affecting the digestive tract and metabolic diseases like diabetes or kidney failure.
Lethargic and Not Eating / DrinkingLike lethargy, not eating or drinking well are nonspecific clinical signs that are seen with many cat diseases.
Lethargic and Losing WeightA poor appetite can lead to weight loss, but so can diseases like hyperthyroidism or diabetes, even if your cat is eating well.
Lethargic and WobblyCats who are wobbly could be suffering from a neurologic problem or metabolic disease, or they could simply be very weak.
When Does A Cat Vomiting Need Veterinary Attention
Most cat owners have experienced the unpleasant sensation of cat sick between the toes on a nighttime bathroom trip, or as a nice addition to your favourite rug. Vomiting is the active expulsion of stomach contents, which in cats can be violent, and may have many causes. It needs to be differentiated from regurgitation: where food is brought up with minimal effort from the oesophagus before ever reaching the stomach.
You may see warnings signs such as drooling, swallowing, licking their lips more, or hiding away. Short-term vomiting consisting of one or two episodes, or lasting less than 24 hours, in an otherwise healthy cat is usually nothing to worry about.
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Risk Of The Virus That Causes Covid
The virus that causes COVID-19 can spread from people to animals during close contact. Pets worldwide, including cats and dogs, have been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after close contact with people with COVID-19.
The risk of pets spreading COVID-19 to people is low.
- Do not put masks on pets masks could harm your pet.
- Do not wipe or bathe your pet with chemical disinfectants, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or other products, such as hand sanitizer, counter-cleaning wipes, or other industrial or surface cleaners. There is no evidence that the virus can spread to people from the skin, fur, or hair of pets. Talk to your veterinarian if you have questions about appropriate products for bathing or cleaning your pet.
What Changes Should I Look For In Appetite Or Thirst
Since sick cats may eat less or eat more, or may have more or less thirst than usual, any change in appetite or thirst may be of concern. Cats with dental disease may seem to be picky about their food. Cats that have some metabolic diseases such as hyperthyroidism or diabetes mellitus may have a hearty appetite and increased thirst. Cats with liver or kidney problems often lose their appetite, but usually have increased thirst.
“If your cat has not eaten properly for 24 hours, seek immediate veterinary attention.”
If your cat has not eaten properly for 24 hours, seek immediate veterinary attention. Cats that have not eaten are prone to developing a condition called hepatic lipidosis or fatty liver disease , in which the cats appetite becomes completely suppressed for weeks. If fatty liver syndrome develops, your cat will require extensive medical management for several weeks to months before things get back to normal.
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When Should I Worry About My Cat Vomiting
We start to worry about cats being sick when theyve vomited frequently in a single day or a couple of times over a few days. Its also a cause for concern when they stop eating altogether or will try and eat but bring the food and water back up. This can be considered an emergency because your cat isnt able to keep anything down and can quickly become dehydrated and lead to an issue with sugar. If your cats vomiting is accompanied by any other symptoms such as lethargy, diarrhoea or pale gums, if theres blood in their vomit or theyre showing signs of pain, dont delay in contacting your vet.
- Allergic reaction to a food
- Heat stroke
Does He Have Diarrhea Or Constipation
Diarrhea can result from nervousness, a change in diet or water, food sensitivities, intestinal parasites, infections, poisoning or many illnesses. Watery diarrhea, diarrhea with blood, or diarrhea accompanied by vomiting or other signs of illness warrants a call to the veterinarian. Cats commonly become constipated. They may strain to defecate cry or meow in the litterbox pass only small, hard feces or pass small amounts of watery feces. Examine your cats litterbox to make sure hes defecating as he should be.
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Limping/having Trouble Jumping Up
Changes in your cats gait or movement can be a good indicator that your cat is in pain. Cats will often adapt how they move when one or more of their joints is uncomfortable.
Normal aging can result in painful arthritis that can make your cat limp. The limp or change in gait may be subtlepay attention to how your cat jumps up or down from surfaces and how they go up and down a flight of stairs.
Extreme causes of a changed gait would be a broken bone or injury to a muscle, ligament, or tendon due to trauma.
Any changes, whether subtle or drastic, should be investigated by your vet.
My Cat Keeps Being Sick What Can I Expect At The Vets
Your vet will check your cat over by performing a clinical examination and also ask you questions to see what you have observed at home. Since there are many possible reasons your cat may be vomiting, your vet may need to perform some further tests to work out whats going on. These might include blood tests, urine tests, x-rays or ultrasound.
Treatment will depend on the diagnosis but may include intravenous fluids a drip to correct dehydration or antibiotics if infection is suspected. She may also be given anti-vomiting medication, called antiemetics, and stomach protectants if its appropriate. If a so-called foreign body is suspected, surgery may be performed to remove it.
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Signs Your Cat May Be Sick That Warrant A Call To The Vet
Cats are notorious for hiding signs of illness. Though your feline friend probably spends most of their time curled up on the sofa rather than prowling the jungle, domesticated cats have retained many of their wild ancestors mannerisms. In nature, sick cats are easy targets for larger predators. It only makes sense that they would want to hide signs of illness and perceived weakness.
Unfortunately, this means that pet owners often do not realize that something is wrong until a problem has become serious. As veterinarians, we frequently see feline patients suffering from late-stage disease and have to deliver heartbreaking news to their owners.
You do not have to be a vet to recognize when something is not quite right with your pet, though. By learning to recognize the signs of sickness in cats, you will be better equipped to detect problems with your companion. And when you detect signs of trouble early, we can begin treatment much sooner and often offer a better prognosis. Weve rounded up seven signs your cat may be sick that you should watch for at home, and shared them below.
Acute Kidney Failure & Acute Liver Failure
Dysfunction of the organs responsible for detoxificationthe liver and kidneyscan cause vomiting in cats. In these cases, vomiting is often considered a non-specific symptom, meaning that the vomiting is not directly linked to kidney or liver failure.
However, due to the severity of such failure, it is important for your veterinarian to test for organ function to rule out any potential problems.
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Ingestion Of A Foreign Material
Kittens are curious. They like to interact and play in their new home. While interaction and enrichment are encouraged, be mindful that your home is safe. If your kitten ingests something, you may not immediately notice. Cats seem to be more likely to swallow things they like to play with like string, hair ties, rubber bands, or sewing needles, states Nold.
Signs of ingestion may include:
If you think your kitten has ingested anything, please seek the medical care of your veterinarian.
Did you know?
According to the Trupanion data team:
- A cat is 1.5% likely to develop this condition
- For kittens that do have foreign body ingestion issues, the average annual cost is between $700-$1,700.
What Changes Should I Look For In Breathing
Breathing difficulty such as shallow breathing, mouth breathing, or panting may indicate a problem with the airways or lungs. Cats with breathing problems often will have their head and neck extended or may be unable to sleep in a normal position. Repeated bouts of sneezing or coughing are signs of health issues.
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What Should I Do If My Kitten Has An Ear Infection
Kitten ear infections are a common occurrence if routine cleaning is not performed. The moist environment and hair in a kittens ears serve as a great place for bacteria, mites, and fungi to grow. Ears should be checked often for any signs of infection, as well as any dirt and debris that may need to be gently cleaned out.
When checking the kittens ears, thick and dark wax may be a sign of infection. Other symptoms of infections include a red and inflamed inner ear, ear discharge that may have a strong odor, frequent scratching of the ear, and shaking and tilting of the head. Severe infections may result in deafness and neurological damage, so it is important to treat the kitten promptly. Because there are various causes of an ear infection, contact a veterinarian to diagnose the cause and prescribe the proper treatment.
Treatments commonly include oral antibiotics or drops that must be put in the ear, and it is important to use the treatment according to direction from the veterinarian to ensure a full recovery. For severe infections, sedation and thorough cleaning at the veterinary office may be necessary. Use caution when administering treatments to the ear as to not damage the eardrum, and conduct routine cleaning after the kitten has recovered to prevent infections in the future.
Assessing The Urgency Of The Situation
Some symptoms indicate that your cat is in immediate danger. If your cat doesn’t awaken or respond or has difficulty breathing, call the vet immediately. You’ll know your cat is having difficulty breathing if you hear him gasping for air. The breathing may be labored or sound raspy.
Other emergency symptoms include vomiting that won’t stop, even if the stomach is empty, or excessive drooling. Changes in gum color and yowling or uncharacteristic hiding are also cause for immediate concern. Incessant diarrhea also needs to be addressed immediately. The above symptoms can indicate poisoning, choking, or a heart, kidney or liver problem. The yowling and uncharacteristic hiding can indicate an obstructed bladder or urinary tract, which is also an emergency.
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Cat Throwing Up Undigested Food
There is a difference between vomiting and regurgitation. Regurgitation is when cats throw up undigested food, often with little or no effort.
This undigested food may be covered in mucus and shaped like a tube. Regurgitation is often brought on by coughing, difficulty breathing, oesophageal problems or foreign bodies.
If your cat is vomiting foam, its likely to be bile. This is usually yellow or greenish in colour. Blie is an acidic liquid created in the liver and stored in the gallbladder until food has been ingested, when its released into the intestine. Bile helps cats break down food. It can, however, leak into the stomach and cause vomiting. If your cat vomits bile persistently or their sickness is accompanied by other health issues such as diarrhoea, loss of appetite or lethargy, seek urgent advice from your vet.
Preventing And Dealing With Fleas And Ticks
Fleas are very common on cats and can cause illnesses and discomfort, along with a frustrating problem to deal with at home. Because of their prevalence, cats and kittens should be treated routinely with flea control products, such as flea collars, repellents, and topical solutions, to prevent fleas. Symptoms of flea infestations include excessive itching and visible fleas and flea dust, but sicknesses may occur if diseases are transmitted from the feeding flea to the cat.
If an infestation occurs, talk to a veterinarian first to get advice, then purchase a flea treatment accordingly. There are many over-the-counter solutions, from powders and sprays to drops and shampoos. Treat the entire home and any pets consistently, as flea infestations may take a few months to be eradicated.
Ticks are a less common issue than fleas, but they can cause extreme illness if not taken care of as quickly as possible. A tick infestation may cause itching and skin irritation, and severe cases may cause anemia and various tick-related diseases. As with fleas, similar tick control products can be used year-round to prevent ticks from attaching to the kitten.
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Does Your Cat Scratch A Lot
If your cat is scratching a lot, it is a likely sign they have parasites. Fleas are perhaps the most frequent,but there are many types of external parasites such as ticks and mites which will cause your cat to scratch more than usual. With parasites like this, prevention is always better than cure. This is why it is best to treat your cat with antiparasitic treatment such as back of the neck flea ointment or a flea collar. Ensuring they have an adequate deworming schedule is also important.
Fleas and other insects won’t just make your cat unhappy, but they can infest the rest of your house and fabrics. There are some homemade treatments to get rid of fleas, but severe infestations will need to be treated by a vet.
Differences Between A Tired Cat And A Lethargic Cat
How do you know if you have a lethargic cat or just a tired one? That can be tricky, but closely watching your cat will give you the answers.
It can be difficult to determine if a cat is truly lethargic and ill or simply tired and in need of a little extra sleep.
Behaviors of a Tired Cat
A tired cat will sleep more but once awake will play, run around, explore, and behave normally while also still eating and drinking. Tired cats are only tired for a short period of time. Once they have slept off an exciting afternoon, they are ready to bounce back to their normal day of being a curious active feline.
Behaviors of a Lethargic Cat
A lethargic cat will have an extended period of weakness, depression, or lack of energy. Even after a nice long nap or relaxing sunbathe, these cats will continue to be tired and not as active as they normally are. Cats with lethargy are sick and typically there are other warning signs that something is wrong.
Many lethargic cats will hide in a quiet dark place such as under the bed or in a closet. They tend to prefer areas away from people and other pets.
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