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Pet Talk Tuesday - How to tell if your cat is not feeling well

Posted at 6:09 PM, Jan 11, 2022

Dr. Jen Stachnik’s topic today is how to tell if your cat is not feeling well. She says that there are some pretty clear signs if your cat is sick that you notice right away like they are vomiting, bleeding, having a seizure or sneezing but there can be some more subtle things to notice as well which are also important. Dr. Stachnik says if you cat has lost weight, you may feel you notice their spine more prominently or they are much lighter when you pick them up and it is a good ideal, especially with an older cat to weigh them periodically, maybe once a month or every other month. She says if you do notice they are losing weight and you haven’t changed their diet, it is important to get that checked out with your veterinarian.

Dr. Stachnik says another big thing to watch out for is the amount of water they are drinking. Most cats don’t typically drink a lot of water but if they suddenly start drinking a lot of water, she says it could mean they are diabetic or having kidney problems, so this is another thing to let your veterinarian know. She says you may notice they are drinking more because they are peeing more and in that case you may notice the clumps in their litter boxes are a lot larger than they used to be or you may notice where they used to be the same size some of them are much larger than others so one cat in the house may be having an issue.

Another thing to watch out is if your cat is hiding out a lot more; if they are more reclusive than usual. She says that cat may not be feeling well.

If a cat stops grooming itself regularly it could be painful and having difficult reaching that area or they may have a painful mouth, it may be difficult for them to groom.

Other changes could be very subtle like changes in breathing. If you cat has open mouth breathing or panting like a dog, it is definitely cause for concern, but even if a cat is just breathing faster than usually so more than 30 breaths per minute when they are resting or faster than the other cats in the house, that could be a sign of changes in their heart or lung and should definitely be checked out as well.

Look at their gums if your cat will let you look in their mouth. Dr. Stachnik says their gums are a little more pale pink than our typically but if they do look whitish, yellow or orange or brick red they should definitely be checked out by your veterinarian.

For more information visit nfveterinarysociety.org