Feline Health: Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore
Don’t write off your cat’s unusual behavior as a cry for attention – it could be a cry for help! Be aware of these symptoms that could signal a health problem.
When it comes to giving your pet the best care possible, you need to go beyond environmental enrichment and nutrition and also be aware of symptoms that you shouldn’t ignore.
There are certain signs of health problems that are pretty obvious, such as a lump that won’t go away, or frequent vomiting or diarrhea. In those cases, you already know that a trip to the vet is required. But there are other, less obvious signs that something might be wrong, and these are the symptoms that you should be aware of, just in case they occur.
If you notice your cat exhibiting any of the following symptoms of illness, take him to the veterinarian right away to receive a proper diagnosis and necessary treatments.
Head pressing is a symptom that’s characterized by compulsively pressing the head against an object, such as a wall, without any real reason for doing so. In other words, you may find your cat putting his head against the wall and remaining there for a period of time. Cats who exhibit this strange symptom should be seen by a vet right away, as it is generally an indication of nervous system damage.
Causes for head pressing are varied and can include toxic poisoning or prosencephalon disease, which involves damage to the thalamus and forebrain. Other causes include metabolic disorders like hyponatremia or hypernatremia, a tumor in the brain or elsewhere in the pet’s body, and infections within the nervous system, such as a fungal infection or rabies. Head trauma could also be the culprit.
It’s important to be aware that head pressing may be accompanied by other symptoms when prosencephalon is to blame. These include seizures, visual ailments, damaged reflexes, changes in behavior, and compulsively circling or pacing that could even lead to sores on the paws. Head pressing could also result in injuries to the head and face if your cat spends a long time with his head against a surface.
Related: What Is Feline Whisker Fatigue?
Your vet will thoroughly examine your cat and determine the cause of the head pressing so that the proper treatment can then be administered.
Hanging Head Over Water Bowl but Not Drinking
If you notice that your cat is hanging his head over his water bowl without actually drinking, it’s time for a visit to the vet, as this could be an indication of kidney disease or diabetes.
When your cat behaves in this manner, it likely means that he’s extremely thirsty and wants to drink, but he is also feeling too nauseated or sick to drink. Your vet will be able to examine your pet and determine the cause of this behavior so that you can start providing the right treatments right away.
Increased Thirst and Urination
It may be a little difficult, but try to keep track of how much your cat typically drinks and how much he urinates so that you can note if there are any changes.
If your cat is drinking and urinating more than usual, you shouldn’t ignore these symptoms, as they are associated with diabetes and kidney disease, which is progressive and needs to be treated as soon as possible. Other congenital abnormalities, such as psychological ailments or a reduction in steroid production by the pet’s adrenal glands, can also cause these symptoms.
Your vet will also be able to determine if the increased thirst and urination are the result of a diet that’s low in protein, aging, or medications that your cat is taking, so it’s important to rule out serious causes by having your pet examined.
In addition to monitoring your cat’s weight, appetite, and behavior, keeping an eye out for the symptoms above is important, as they could be your first indicators that something is wrong and that your pet needs to be seen by a vet as soon as possible to receive treatments to get better. Ultimately, if anything seems amiss or different about your pet, a trip to the vet is warranted, as even small changes could indicate underlying medical problems.