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Catch Your Cat's Illness Early by Knowing What to Look For

Cats are able to hide their symptoms much more readily than dogs. If your dog is sick, you usually know it immediately. If your cat is sick, though, she may show it through only through a slight change in behavior. This means that you may have a very sick cat on your hands by the time you get her to the vet. If you know how to recognize sick cat symptoms, though, you can intervene early and your cat has a better chance for a full recovery.

Behavioral Changes

Illness in cats is generally accompanied by behavioral changes, so you need to have a good idea of your cat's habits and general way of interacting with others. Any change-even one that appears positive-can be a sign of an underlying illness. For example, an elderly cat that suddenly becomes kittenish and playful may actually be showing sick cat symptoms, as this can be a sign of hyperthyroidism, which is fatal if untreated. In general, if you see a behavioral change, even a very slight one, first look for its origin in the environment, such as the introduction of a new pet, a new person moving in, a change in the household schedule, or even a change in the weather. If there's no clear environmental change, you should monitor your cat closely and consider taking her to a vet if she displays the following behavioral changes:

o Clinginess in an independent cat.
o Aloofness or hiding behavior in a social cat.
o Higher or lower tolerance of other animals and people in the household than usual.
o A marked increase or decrease in vocalizations.
o A marked increase or decrease in activity.
o A marked increase or decrease in food consumption.
o A change of any sort in your cat's daily rituals.

Balance Problems

Cats are built to be able to easily jump onto tables and counters and elegantly pick their way among knickknacks displayed on your shelves. As much as you don't want your cat to do this, if she's no longer able to do these things, she may be showing sick cat symptoms. You cat may have an infection or other problem if she shows the following symptoms:

o Inability to jump on surfaces that she was previously able to jump on.
o Lack of confidence in jumping either onto a surface or onto the floor from a surface.
o Falling or slipping.
o Appearance of dizziness when walking on the ground.

Overt Sick Cat Symptoms

Of course, sometimes your cat's symptoms may be overt, even from the beginning of the illness. Some things, even a cat can't hide. Seek veterinary advice immediately when your cat has any of these overt symptoms:

o Refusal to eat or drink.
o Excessive drooling.
o Straining at the litter box.
o Bloody urine.
o Bloody stools or continuing diarrhea.
o Discharge from eyes or nose.
o Expression of pain when you touch a certain area of her body.

Catching your cat's symptoms early is the key to intervening early enough to help your cat be on her way to a full recovery.

Ian Pennington is an accomplished niche website developer and author. To learn more about cat illness symptoms [], please visit My Pet Cat [] for current articles and discussions.

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