We all want our pets to live long and healthy lives. However, just like us, our pets can also get sick from time to time. Unfortunately, as they do not have the ability to vocalise or communicate their feelings, many illnesses go unnoticed until they develop into something more severe! Hence, it is important for owners to be able to recognise subtle signs that their pet isn’t feeling well.
Signs Your Pet Isn’t Feeling Well — For Cats
Cats are notorious for hiding their symptoms well — making it difficult to tell when they are sick. Other than obvious signs of illness such as a runny nose, watery eyes or obvious impairment in movement, your cat may show subtle signs that they aren’t feeling well and need medical attention.
Shows No Interest In Food
If there hasn’t been a recent change to their diet or environment, a cat that isn’t eating their favourite food or treat could signal that they are not feeling well. It could mean that your cat might have something mild such as an upset stomach, a toothache or even something more serious like kidney failure or an intestinal issue.
Unlike dogs, cats can not go for more than a day without eating as it might adversely affect their liver. Thus, try adding some wet cat food to your cat’s regular meals that might help entice them to eat. If there is still no improvement after 24 hours or more, seek immediate medical attention.
Weight Loss or Weight Gain
Sudden changes in weight can indicate that something is amiss. Weight change can be caused by health problems such as diabetes or kidney issues. Weight gain might also be a sign of hypothyroid. Do consult your vet if your cat’s weight either suddenly increases or decreases!
Drinking Too Much Water
Generally, cats do not drink a lot of water. If you notice that their water bowl is emptying more rapidly than usual, it can signal that your cat has diabetes, kidneys issues or hyperthyroidism.
In addition, if your feline is suddenly hiding more than usual, it might be a sign that they are not feeling well. As this behaviour can be caused by a huge variety of health issues, we encourage pet owners that observe this to also bring their cat for a quick checkup at the vet!
Other Signs That Your Cat Isn’t Feeling Well:
- Aggression (such as hissing, growling, scratching, biting etc.)
- Excessive Grooming (especially if they are losing too much hair or have dry, patchy spots on their coat)
- Frequent Vomiting
- Excessive Meowing or Being Overly Quiet
- Changes In Litter Box Use
If you cat is susceptible to urinary tract problems like cystitis or infections, you can try adding in the Cat Litter Company Health Indicator to your cat’s litter to help alert you when something is off!
If you’d like to find out some of the most common health problems in cats along with their symptoms and treatments, check out “5 Common Cat Health Problems”.
Signs Your Pet Isn’t Feeling Well — For Dogs
Here are some subtle, non-obvious signs that your dog might be telling you something is wrong.
Changes in Behaviour
If your dog is showing aggressive behaviour such as growling or snapping for no reason, it could mean that they are not feeling well. Additionally, if your canine is suddenly sleeping more, they could be trying to tell you that they need to see a vet.
Changes in Appetite
Most dogs love to eat. Thus, should you notice a lack of appetite, something could be wrong with your dog. This can be caused by a range of issues such as diabetes, kidney issues and parasites.
Change in Water Consumption
Dogs generally consume more water than cats. However, if there is a huge change to your dog’s water consumption habits, it could indicate that something is amiss. Increased thirst can be a sign of health problems such as diabetes, kidney issues or even a UTIs (urinary tract infections). If you are caring for a sick, aging or obese dog, you can also purchase pee pads to help you diagnose some potential urinary tract issues in your pet.
Changes in Potty Behaviour
If your canine is having accidents in the home, it could indicate that they are not feeling well. Just like cats, if they do not have regular bowel movements, it could signal health issues such as intestinal blockage or indigestion.
Others Signs That Your Dog Isn’t Feeling Well
- Nasal or Eye Discharge
- Changes In Sleeping Pattern
- Drooling Excessively
- Crying or Whining
However, if your cat or dog shows less subtle signals like if they are suffering from a fever, are vomiting frequently, has sudden drastic weight loss, has difficulty breathing, has red eyes or is dragging their rear, do bring your pet to a vet immediately.
Some of these behavioural symptoms also may point to other issues such as canine anxiety. If you would like to find out more about that, check out “Dealing With Anxiety In Dogs“.