Signs Your Cat is Ill

LIFESTYLE Focus

Signs Your Cat is Ill
By ELLEN WHYTE
Saturday May 13, 2006

AFPphotoWhen properly inoculated, fed and cared for, cats tend to be healthy creatures.

Many only visit their vet when it’s time for their annual booster shots. But many die from disease when their owners don’t recognise they are ill, or because of delays in seeking medical attention.

Healthy cats have clear sparkling eyes, noses and ears. Swelling, discharge or soreness is a sure sign of trouble. Also, a visible ‘inner eyelid’ over the open eye means your pet is run down and needs to see a doctor.

Panting is also a common sign of distress signalling extreme heat, stress or pain.

Cats who feel unwell tend to isolate themselves. If your cat is hiding in corners, seems listless and is unusually standoffish or ill-tempered, this may be an early sign of illness or disease.

Other signs your cat may need medical attention include:

• Lack of appetite
• Lethargy
• Doesn’t want to play
• Drinking an unusual amount of water
• Retching or vomiting
• Change or problem with urinating or defecating

Cats will cough to get rid of hairballs. If the cough lasts more than a day, or you see other symptoms, it’s best to visit the vet. Delaying the call can mean a longer and more expensive recovery for your pet.

If your cat is sick, be aware that he or she may not behave as normal. Unwell kitties sometimes bite or scratch, especially if you are touching a sore spot.

One of the surest ways to check on your pet’s health is to have daily brush sessions. Grooming will reveal swellings, cuts and other problems. Also, studies show that grooming releases stress and promotes wellness for both the brusher and the brushed!

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