Cats are really smart about their bodies and know where to go to get what their bodies need.
But when things are wrong with them that they’re unable to resolve themselves, we need to step in to help, care for and comfort them.
Still, they may start to cry out for help in ways we might overlook, so how do we know they need us?
Look for these body language and warning signs to know when your cat is asking for help:
1. Squatting but not peeing
If you notice your cat squatting in the litter box but not producing urine, it could be a sign of a urinary tract infection or blockage.
This condition can be life-threatening, so taking your cat to the vet is crucial.
2. Peeing blood
Blood in your cat’s urine can indicate a urinary tract infection, bladder inflammation, or something more severe.
If you notice bloody urine, contact your vet immediately, as it could be a sign of a life-threatening condition.
3. Not eating for more than 24 hours
Some cats are picky eaters; my cat is, but not eating for an entire day or more is a cause for concern as it can be a sign of a severe illness or digestive issues.
If your cat is not eating and has gone more than 24 hours without food, it’s a great idea to schedule a vet appointment to find out what’s going on.
Some medical conditions can cause a loss of appetite, and the condition of your cat can worsen without proper treatment.
4. Constant diarrhea
Diarrhea can indicate anything from food intolerance to serious health problems. It may also lead to dehydration,
Diarrhea lasting more than a day or two can cause dehydration, weight loss, malnutrition, and more serious complications.
Take your cat to the vet if they have more than 24 hours of diarrhea.
5. Changes in bathroom habits and avoiding the litter box
If your cat stops using the litter box or has frequent accidents outside of it, then this could be a sign that something is wrong.
When a cat suddenly starts avoiding their litter box, peeing/pooping outside of the litterbox, it isn’t always territorial marking.
Here are some physical issues that can cause cats to stop using their litter boxes,
- Urinary tract problems or gastrointestinal discomfort
- Joint pain in cats, which may cause them to avoid the litter box due to discomfort while squatting
- Arthritis and other joint issues can affect your cat’s mobility and behavior
6. Hiding all the time
If your cat starts to hide more than usual, it could indicate potential health issues.
They might be avoiding social interactions because they feel uncomfortable or in pain. If you notice this behavior, take them to the vet to rule out any medical issues.
7. Excessive grooming
Over-grooming can indicate that your cat is suffering from anxiety or depression, which may require behavior modifications or veterinary intervention.
While cats groom themselves regularly, too much grooming can lead to bald patches, skin allergies, or infections.
Emotional or pain-induced grooming can result in fur loss or matting. It’s very important that you seek advice from a veterinarian immediately if you’re noticing this.
8. Excessive drinking or eating
Increased drinking can be a sign of many serious medical issues, such as kidney disease, liver disease, or diabetes, to name a few.
Increased eating can also indicate underlying medical issues that require immediate veterinary care.
9. Vomiting frequently
Vomiting can happen for several reasons, such as a hairball, gastrointestinal problems, or eating too fast.
It becomes an issue when it happens frequently or if there is blood in the vomit.
These symptoms are caused by medical conditions that require prompt veterinary care.
10. Extreme aggression
If your cat has become more aggressive all of a sudden, it could be a sign of a medical issue.
Think about how easily aggravated and upset we get when we have a toothache or feel any unpleasant pain.
11. Your cat pulling their hair out/losing hair
Cats can pull their hair out due to anxiety, boredom, or other behavioral issues triggered by physical pain or psychological issues.
This behavior can lead to skin infections, bald patches, and self-inflicted injuries.
If you notice your cat over-grooming, pulling hair out, or mysteriously getting bald spots, seek veterinary advice to resolve what is going on.
Paying attention to our cat’s body language is how we help them
Here’s why sometimes you shouldn’t wait for your cat to give obvious signs that they’re sick before you consider bringing them to a vet.
By the time cats start showing more serious signs of illness, they probably have been feeling sick for a long time.
And the reason why that’s not good is because catching issues before they worsen will most often make treatment easier.
A few months ago, I started giving my cat some new treats. I noticed my cat was scratching a lot around her stomach area and over her eyebrows.
I started noticing blood and bald spots in her fur in these areas, and she looked more stressed out than we had ever seen her.
It’s to the point where I thought we would have to put her down if things didn’t get better, but thankfully, we got her to the vet.
To make a long story short, I took my cat to the vet, paid a lot of money (thank goodness for pet insurance), and discovered the new treats were causing an allergic reaction in my cat.
It’s so important to be aware of the warning signs your cat may be experiencing something more than just being “picky” or “moody.”
If you notice any of the signs mentioned above, it’s best to take your cat to the vet as soon as possible to rule out medical issues.
No one will advocate (take care) for your cat as you will, so don’t be afraid to speak up if you think something isn’t right and don’t think twice about getting a vet visit. Your cat needs you!
The earlier a medical condition is treated, the better chance your cat has of a full recovery.
Taking swift action is how we help give our cats the care and attention they need, which in the end, ensures a better quality of life for us and them.