Why cats hide their illness

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Cats are known for hiding weakness, pain or illness—especially ongoing  conditions like thyroid, kidney and dental disease. This is due to their origins in the wild when trying  to remain under the radar of would be predators. This means it is important for pet owners to be observant and to know the signs that something is wrong with their cat.

Changes in any of the following areas can be significant

Weight – loss or gain

Appetite or thirst – an increase or decrease can be important

Toilet habits – look out for changes in habits, increased urination, abnormal sounds.

Energy levels and activity levels

Sleeping habits

Skin and coat – changes in grooming habits, hair loss, or poor coat appearance

Interactions with you or other pets.

Vocalisation – unusual sounds (is your cat trying to tell you something)

Breath – bad breath can indicate dental disease and also renal disease

Gum colour

You should also look for signs of vomiting or diarrhea, blood in the urine, any discharge from the eyes, nose or genitals, an unsteady gait and abnormal breathing/panting.

Cats are also great at hiding in quiet, dark places such as under a bed or in a wardrobe. It is not unusual for them to stay out of sight for long periods, however when they are not feeling well, cats may hide to conserve energy or avoid pain.

Regular check ups are essential to maintain good health particularly in older cats. Your vet will know the right questions to ask and may spot physical signs that are not obvious to you.  Sometimes blood tests are needed when to pick up signs of disease before it is too late. Cats commonly suffer from a number of very treatable conditions as they age. Early detection is key to maintaining quality of life in older cats.

If you have any concerns about your cat you can contact us at:

T: +353 (0) 98 26006

E: info@lodgevethospital.ie