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Cat Body Warning Signs

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All cat owners should know what to look out for to see if their cat is in good health or not. Here is a general guideline you can follow to keep tabs on the wellbeing of your cat.

Appetite
Does she have a favorite food? Is she finicky or a glutton? How much does she eat (measure the amount), and at what time of the day? Missing one meal usually won’t hurt her, but an aging cat shouldn’t go longer than 24 hours without eating. A change in appetite points to a variety of problems, from metabolic changes to chronic pain or organ dysfunction.

Weight Loss/Gain
How much does she weigh? Is she normal, under- or overweight? Fluctuations in weight can be a sign of pain, diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism, problems of the liver, kidneys or heart, or dental disease.

Water Intake
How often does the water bowl empty? Measure how much water goes in the bowl, and the amount left at the end of the day to see how much on average she drinks in a day. Increased thirst is a classic sign of diabetes and kidney failure as well as other organ problems.

Respiration
Is her breathing regular and easy, or does she gasp and strain to get air? Does she have bad breath? Panting or gasping is a danger sign in cats, and points to heart or lung disease. Bad breath may indicate periodontal disease, diabetes or kidney disease.

Gait/Movement
Does she arise easily from sitting or lying down? Does she refuse to move, hold up or favor a leg? Is she reluctant to climb, avoid stairs, jump onto or off favorite furniture, or seem fearful of the dark? Does she have trouble navigating unknown territory? Gait or activity changes are strong indications of painful arthritis. They may also indicate vision loss.

Eyes
Are her eyes clear, with no discharge or watering? Squinting or pawing at watery eyes indicates pain and changes in the appearance of the eye may point to eye diseases such as cataracts, high blood pressure or glaucoma.

Nose
What colour is the nose leather? Is it moist an smooth or dry and chapped Is there any discharge? Nasal discharge can be a sign of whole body infection. Changes to the nose leather as in the skin, can indicate metabolic changes or even nasal dermoid cancer.

Defecation
What is the colour/consistency of the faeces? Count how many bowel movements she produces each day. Does she ever have “accidents”? Changes in the frequency of elimination and/or consistency of the stool points to digestive problems or constipation. It may also indicate memory loss — she can’t remember where the litter box is or problems with mobility.

Urine
How often does she go? What is the colour and consistency of the urine? Does she ever have “accidents”?

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