Tuesday, July 18, 2017

How To Tell If Your Cat Is Sick or Sad

Can My Cat Get Sad?


Just like our four-legged canine companions, feline Furkids share the equal ability to feel depressed. Yes, even when they are usually derived as independent, and less expressive creatures (so wrong by the way!) Research by Veterinarians and Behaviourists have mostly confirmed that a Cat’s depression is almost usually co-related to an underlying illness. So as Pet owners, it would sure come in handy to know a few key signs to look out for, right?!

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How do we tell if our Kitties are ill or sad? For the most part they’re not blessed with the ability to speak, so we’d have to rely on monitoring their behaviour. Simply by spending more time with them, you should be able to tell whenever some behaviours seem different, or even unusual. 



How To Tell If Your Cat Is Sick or Sad


Here are a few signs you could absolutely keep an eye out for when your Cat starts acting strangely, and most importantly, don’t panic or be too quick to jump the gun! As mentioned, some obvious signs include:



Excessive Vomiting

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Experts and Veterinarians have advised that a Cat vomiting once in awhile could actually be healthy, as it helps them get rid of any indigestible stuffs in their bodies, or hairballs. But if this occurs way too often throughout the day, please consult some medical help from a Veterinarian immediately.



Heavy Breathing

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Cats are not supposed to be breathing heavily with opened mouths, nor have heavy heaving muscles as they do so. Heavy, dry coughs are also not a good sign, if you notice your Cat doing these, please seek Veterinary help immediately.



Head Tilting


Head tilts in a disoriented manner and Cat seems to have lost its bearings while moving about constantly (not in a confused or curious manner) could indicate neurological issues or even a ear infection. Cats are supposed to be agile and active, so you can see why this raises flags. Consult a Veterinarian immediately.




If you are a first time owner, you may also want to check out our article on Understanding Cats’Behaviour, which gives a guide on how to better understand some common actions of our feline pals Signs that are harder to identify are small, but simpler to pick out especially if you’ve spent a lot of time with your pet Cat. The following signs are behavioural changes to look out for.



Extra Vocal

When a normally quiet Cat starts getting way too vocal, there has got to be something wrong, especially if the vocalisations are in deep yowls. On the other hand, Cats that are normally chatty may become much quieter than before.



Excessive Sleep


We are aware that Cats sleep most of their time throughout a day, so this is entirely subjective to every individual Cat’s lifestyle habit. For example, you should know best when your Cat is usually awake or asleep. 
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So if they start being asleep at a time they usually aren’t (like greeting you at the door) you should keep a close eye out for more tell-tale signs. Some behaviourist also conclude that a sudden change in favourite sleeping spot could also be a sign of depression.



Loss Of Appetite


This point applies to every living creature, we need food to survive and for energy, but when we are depressed or sad, most of us shun away from food. Loss of appetite is a huge indicator that your Cat may be depressed or ill, so keep a close watch on their daily intakes. 
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Sudden gain in appetite can point to certain related illnesses too, so it is extremely important to monitor their diet and weight, so you’ll be able to tell any difference fast.



Lack Of Interest

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Another pointer similar to our canine friends, and we all know Cats are usually rather playful, especially when they are Kittens. So if a Kitten abruptly starts acting lethargic and uninterested in playtime or food and even treats, it’s highly due to an underlying illness, and for Adults, it could be depression.



Hiding And Aggression

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Most Cats find a nice dark corner to hide away when they are depressed or ill, so again, like our Doggy pals, Cats have the tendency to hide and avoid other Pets or Humans in the household too. Sometimes, in means of self-protection (knowing they are unwell and vulnerable), they may react aggressively as well. Otherwise they may do the complete opposite and begin to be extra clingy to their Humans, like sleeping real close to you, out of the blue.



Bad Loo Habits

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Cat lovers would tell you how important it is to find your Cat a suitable litter-box, and how much they like their litter boxes to be clean. So if a potty-trained Cat suddenly starts missing the litter tray or box and starts pissing around the house, your feline pal is trying to tell you that they are definitely bugged by something. Keep an eye out for blood in their urine or stool too, an indicator or certain illnesses.



Poor Self Grooming

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Cats are supposed to be fastidious, and a healthy Cat’s coat should look glossy and well-kept. Despite the fact that you are to maintain grooming efforts on your own end, their coats should not look matted, dull or messy. Depressed Cats usually do not spend time grooming themselves. Kinda like how a depressed person would mope around and think “why even bother”.



What You Can Do


First of all, at any sign in changes in your Cat’s behaviour, you should absolutely schedule a visit to your trusted Veterinarian to determine it the issue if related to your Cat’s physical health. And as we’ve mentioned, it most usually is tied to an illness, otherwise, it could be a passing of a companion Pet or Human. After a proper diagnosis, you can try out the following at home!
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More Attention


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Perhaps you have been busier lately, gotten more responsibilities to handle, and neglected your Feline friend. Spend a little more time with them, this is especially obvious when your Cat starts coming to your or attention (if it usually doesn’t) Letting them know you still love them gives them a sense of assurance and security.



Keep Them Entertained

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When you are at work or if you’re busy, make sure that your Cat is properly entertained with toys, especially those that are stimulating (i.e. puzzles, cat-nip, crackling noises). A Cat Condo works as well. In the day, keep your curtains open so they get to lounge in the light and watch birds if they’d like to. Don’t forget to keep your windows meshed for their safety!



Medication

In very severe cases where the above suggestions don’t work after a few months, Veterinarians may prescribe Cat Pheromones or medication that aids in relaxation and happiness. These are only prescribed in very dire situations and should adhere to strict instructions as provided by the Vet.



Notes


All our Feline pals deserve as much love and care from their owners, and they are by no means not expressive! In fact, lots of owners have bonded with their Cats in much more way than one, and studies have also shown how Cats are much more affectionate in their own ways. So don’t take the silence for granted, spend a little more time to study and understand their daily behaviour to be able to notice unusual patterns.  

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