4 Red Flags You Shouldn't Ignore With Your Cat's Health

Cats are complex creatures, and when they're not feeling well, it can sometimes be difficult for pet owners to tell. That's because cats, like most animals, have instincts that cause them to withdraw and hide their suffering in order to protect themselves. Still, if your cat is showing any of these "red flags," it may be time to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian, as your feline companion may be suffering in silence.

Excessive Grooming or Scratching

Cats are known for being very clean creatures, and they can spend hours a day happily grooming themselves. However, if your cat appears to be grooming more than usual or if your cat is over-grooming a particular area of the body, this could be the sign of an underlying problem. Some cats will groom excessively out of stress, whereas other causes could include an underlying skin allergy, worms (especially if over-grooming around the anus), or dry skin.

Blood in Urine or Feces

As unpleasant as it may be, it's a good idea to keep a close eye on your cat's litter box habits. When scooping, do your best to check for signs of issues, such as blood in clumps of urine or feces. While a couple of drops of bright red blood in your cat's feces could be caused by simple constipation, any ongoing issues should be reported to your cat's vet. Blood in the urine is never normal and should be reported to a vet right away. If possible, bring in a fresh sample of your pet's urine or feces when you visit the vet so they can perform testing as needed.

More Frequent Litter Box Trips

The number of times a cat will visit the litter box each day can vary greatly, which is why it is again important to keep an eye on your cat's habits. If your cat seems to be making more frequent trips to the litter box, this could be indicative of an underlying health problem, such as a urinary tract infection or kidney disease.

Changes in Behavior/Personality

Finally, listen to your gut when it comes to perceived changes in your pet's behavior or personality. If your usually friendly and sociable cat suddenly becomes withdrawn and lethargic, there may be something he or she cannot tell you. A trip to your vet for a thorough physical exam will help you determine if there's anything more serious going on.

For more information, visit a professional like those at Baywood Animal Hospital.