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Watching For Signs of Illness in Your Cat

Aug 29, 2008
Are you feeling concerned about the health of your cat? Even if your kitty seems to be relatively healthy, recognizing poor health or early signs of illness is important in order to make certain your cat is as healthy as possible. By looking for a few signs and symptoms of illness, you will be more likely to catch the illness early enough to treat it effectively.

Appetite

A healthy cat should have a strong appetite. Therefore, a cat that doesn't want to eat is certainly a cat that is not feeling well. In fact, one of the first signs of illness shown by most cats is anorexia. Of course, any change in your cat's appetite is a sign of concern and should be addressed. In order to help you better monitor your cat's appetite, it is best to feed it a small amount of canned food each day as well as dry food once or twice per day rather than simply leaving out a bowl of dry food all day.

Activity

Any change in activity is also a sign of concern, though a cat that suddenly becomes less active is the most troublesome. When a cat doesn't feel well, it tends to lie around more often and becomes far less active. Some pet owners assume this change of activity is because the cat is just growing older, but this usually is not the case. If your cat is suddenly less active, take it to

Strength

If your cat seems to be weaker than usual or does not seem to be able to maintain its balance or coordination, it is a sign of potential trouble. Often, this weakness is what leads to the lack of activity, though you may also notice weakness in other ways. For example, if your cat seems to suddenly be unable to jump up on a counter or generally seems to have lost interest in its environment, it may be due to lack of strength.

Weight

If your cat stops eating regularly, it will obviously start to lose weight. In some cases, however, you may notice a change in weight without noticing a change in appetite. In fact, it is possible that your cat will eat more food than usual while still losing weight. It can sometimes be difficult to notice weight loss in a cat, particularly in a cat that has long hair. If you can feel the ribs of your cat or if it seems generally lighter or bonier, contact your veterinarian to have it looked at.

Hygiene

Cats are quite picking about their appearance and do a very good job of taking care of themselves. If your cat isn't feeling well, however, it may lose interest in grooming itself. If your cat's coat has become matted or if your kitty simply isn't keeping itself clean, this is often the first sign of illness. Similarly, if you notice that your cat's breath is quite unpleasant, it can be a sign of a metabolic disorder or a dental disease. Either way, a visit to the vet is warranted.
About the Author
CS Swarens is the president of Find a Pet Online. 800 998-7065 For additional information on dogs, cats, birds, horses, and exotic pets visit the internet's pet resource including pet classifieds at http://www.findapetonline.com. Research over 45 cat breeds at http://www.findapetonline.com/cat_breeds_a_z.html
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