The reason behind this is that if a sick or diseased cat showed obvious symptoms of illness in the wild, they may become prey to other species or be dominated by other felines. It is therefore very important to realize that as both feline advocates and cat caretakers, we have to observe our cats for sometimes very subtle evidence of sickness.
This is also why routine preventive care visits are so important. Your veterinarian’s expertise can determine if that minor behavior change is just your cat being … well, a (mysterious and enigmatic) cat… or something more serious. And many feline diseases can be easily managed with early detection… EARLY being the key!
The following symptoms definitely warrant a trip to the vet
These symptoms can sometimes be very subtle (or not!) but MUST be taken seriously (this is by no means a complete list – when in doubt about any symptom, call us!)
- Hair loss or coat changes, itchiness
- Increases or decreases in eating or drinking
- Decreased weight
- Blood in the urine
- Changes in bowel habits- firmer or looser stools, straining to defecate
- Changes in urination- including increased frequency, blood in the urine, inappropriate urination or straining to urinate*
- Changes in breathing- coughing, rapid breathing, open mouth breathing, sneezing, nasal discharge
- Behavior changes- increased anxiety, aggression, withdrawal
*Note: Blockage of the urinary tract signals a veterinary emergency. A blockage is treatable, but timing is critical. Once identified, the cat must receive veterinary care as soon as possible. Otherwise, fatal complications could develop. Signs include straining in the litter box with little or no results, crying when urinating and frequent attempts to urinate.
Read more detailed information about subtle symptoms – Is my cat sick?