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How to Identify a Feline Illness

It's difficult when you know your cat isn't feeling well because she can't tell you her symptoms or exactly how she's feeling. Instead it's up to you to pay close attention and monitor any changes in behavior or changes in routine so you can identify any possible signs of feline illness.

It's important to know your cat's regular habits including regular activity level, regular eating and drinking habits and regular litter box or "bathroom" habits. Also remember that with certain feline illnesses a cat may not exhibit many symptoms or she may only show very mild symptoms. It's important to pay close attention to any changes in your cat's behavior and even take notes on the changes in behavior or habits.

Gathering more information about your cat's symptoms can help you and the veterinarian know where to start when working on a diagnosis for the feline illness. Sometimes the diagnosis for cat health problems is determined quickly, but other times it can be complicated and any additional information from you can be helpful.

The earlier you discover your cat has a feline illness the better. The sooner you start treatment the fewer problems you're likely to have and you're also likely to have a better success rate. Plus some feline illnesses can cause cat behavior problems like going to the bathroom outside of the litter box. This can turn into a difficult cycle of problems so avoiding this cat behavior as much as possible is obviously best for both you and your cat.

How do you know if your cat has a cat health problem?

As mentioned earlier changes in your cat's behavior can be a sign that something may be wrong with your cat. But there are also some specific feline illness symptoms to watch for:

  • Constipation (including lack of feces in the litter box)
  • Diarrhea
  • Urinating or defecating outside of the litter box
  • Straining in the litter box
  • Changes in appetite
  • Increased thirst
  • Changes in energy level
  • Change in weight
  • Vomiting (other than hairballs)
  • Excessive scratching
  • Depression or lethargy

These are just a few possible symptoms, but anything out of the ordinary should be monitored and discussed with your veterinarian. Never try to self-diagnose a feline illness -- diagnosing needs to be done by your veterinarian. Feline health problems can be complex and may require lab tests so it's best left to the professionals.

Preventing Feline Illness

Prevention is the best medicine. Of course it's not possible to completely prevent a health condition but you can at least help reduce the chances of your cat contracting a feline illness.

Nutrition is the foundation of your cat's health. To keep your cat's immune system strong it's important to feed a healthy, species-appropriate diet and make sure she has access to clean water at all times. Cats require a high percentage of protein and it's best if their diet includes moist food. Buying your cat a high quality cat food can actually save you money and headache in the long run.

Keeping your cat mostly indoors can help prevent illness too so she isn't exposed to carriers of feline diseases or parasites. And don't forget the routine vet visits.

Heather adores cats and takes great care to better her understanding of their well-being and behavior. Please visit her site so she can share with you all the knowledge and wisdom she's gained while studying and caring for a lifetime of kitties:

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