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How to Tell If Your Cat Is Sick

Signs of Cat Illness: When Cats Should Visit Their Manitoba Vet

Your cat may be ill right now with a bacterial, viral or parasitic illness and you would not know it. That's because cats, like all other animals, instinctively hide their vulnerability from predators when feeling sick. Even though spayed or neutered cats seem perfectly happy as domesticated pets, they still retain some of their "wilder" impulses when it comes to survival. To help you recognize early signs of cat illnesses, your vet in Manitoba provides a handy guide to symptoms and what they could possibly indicate is wrong with your cat.

Weight Loss/Weight Gain without Change in Appetite

If your cat is losing weight but still eats the same amount of food, you may need your vet to perform a feline thyroid test to determine if an overactive thyroid is causing a metabolic disturbance. A tapeworm or roundworm infection can also cause cats to drop weight without appetite loss. Unusual weight gain could indicate an underactive thyroid or a musculoskeletal problem that reduces a cat's level of physical activity.

Lack of Appetite

Cats can be finicky eaters but going longer than 24 hours without eating or drinking means a cat may be suffering a respiratory infection, hyperthyroidism, liver disease, mouth/tooth pain, gastrointestinal disorders or pancreatitis.

Head Shaking

Cats shake their heads like dogs when something is irritating their ears, eyes, nose or head. Usually, one or two shakes takes care of the irritant. If you notice your cat shaking their head frequently, an ear infection or ear mites could be the culprit. Odd head tilting is more serious and might mean your cat has a vestibular disorder or tumor that is causing episodes of dizziness.

Bad Breath

While a cat's breath should smell like cat food after a meal, it shouldn't smell really odorous. If a cat's breath is so strong you can smell it when you are near the cat, your Manitoba vet will likely find gum disease, tooth decay and/or abscesses while examining the cat's mouth. Feline halitosis may also be caused by kidney or liver disease or digestive problems.

Coughing and Hacking

Hairballs are the most common reason behind coughing cats. Coughing helps bring the hairball up for easier regurgitation. Once a hairball is vomited, coughing should stop. If you notice your cat hacking repeatedly but never regurgitating a hairball, it could be due to asthma, allergies, lung disease, heart disease or other illness. Your vet in Manitoba recommends bringing your cat in for an exam if coughing and hacking persists for more than 48 hours.

Refusing to Use the Litter Box

Eliminating elsewhere besides the litter box may be a behavioral issue rather than related to an illness. In some cases, urinary blockage or bladder/urinary tract infections may interfere with a cat's ability to "know" when they have to go to the bathroom. In addition, older cats can develop incontinence problems just like older humans do. When changing the litter type or location of the litter box doesn't fix the problem, schedule your cat for a wellness exam with your vet in Manitoba.\

Call Us Today To Make An Appointment!

Your Bridgewater Veterinary Hospital and Wellness Centre in Winnipeg offers 24 Hour emergency vet services as well as regular office hours to keep your pet happy and healthy. Call us today to make an appointment: (204) 452-0911.

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