As a cat owner, you know your feline companion can be very vocal.
He may meow loudly to wake you up or greet you when you return home from work. Or he could cry when he’s hungry or annoyed.
But what if your cat really starts making a ruckus? Is it just typical cat behavior, or is something else going on?
Nothing feels worse than not knowing if your fur baby is sick or hurting. If you’re in doubt, here are four sure signs you need to take your cat to the pet hospital.
1. Persistent Coughing
All cats will cough from time to time. But ongoing coughing in your cat could be a sign of something serious.
How frequent is he coughing? Does it sound wet or dry? Does it happen after he eats or at certain times of the day?
Possible causes of coughing include:
- Heart disease
- Lung disease
- Digestive issues
If your cat develops a cough that lingers for more than a few days, take him to the pet hospital for a checkup.
2. Wrong Gum Color
Normal, healthy gums are a deep pink color. When you press a fingertip against them, they should quickly return to the same pink color.
If your cat’s gums are very pale, it could indicate anemia, shock, or poor circulation. If his gums are bright red, he could be overheated or suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Are his gums yellow instead of pink? This could be a sign of jaundice.
3. Sudden Biological Changes
In general, your cat should follow a consistent pattern of eating, drinking, and using the litterbox.
Any sudden and noticeable changes in any of these behaviors is a cause for concern. A cat with a hidden illness may lose his appetite, drink less, and urinate and defecate less.
On the flip side, some illnesses can produce the opposite effect. If your cat suddenly starts drinking and urinating a lot, it could be a sign of diabetes.
You should also observe your cat’s behavior while he’s in the litterbox. Is he attempting to urinate often, but only a few drops come out? Does he strain or meow in the process?
These behaviors could indicate a urinary tract infection (UTI). Get your cat to the pet hospital right away for a diagnosis.
4. Strange Behaviors
Aside from changes in eating or drinking, you may also notice some bizarre behavioral patterns.
Cats are good at hiding their pain, so it might not be obvious that they’re hurting. Here are few tell-tale signs to watch for:
- Resisting being picked up or handled
- Withdrawing from people and normal activities
- Aggressiveness when touched or approached
- Decreased (or increased) grooming in certain areas
- Limping or stiff movements
- Unexpected or unusual reactions when touched
- Other personality changes
If your cat just doesn’t seem like himself, have your vet look him over to determine the issue.
Do You Need to Visit the Pet Hospital?
If your cat shows any of these signs and symptoms, you should take him to the pet hospital without delay.
Even if it turns out to be a false alarm, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing you did the right thing.
For more helpful tips on caring for your dog or cat, please check out our blog.