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How Do I Know If My Cat Is Sick?

Cats tend to be very secretive when they are sick, and sometimes they can even hide their illness when they are not feeling well. Unfortunately, this can lead to serious health problems. By the time their owners realize their cats need to see a veterinarian, it could be too late. You can avoid this devastating moment by knowing the signs that can alert you to your cat being sick. According to VetStreet, most cat illnesses are best treated in their early stages, so it is very important to know what to look for in your cat’s behavior. 5 Points Animal Hospital has been providing veterinary services to the East Nashville community since 2011. We would like to share with you the signs of your cat being sick so that you will know when to bring your pet into our office for treatment.

HIDING

Although it is common for cats to play games of hide and seek with their owners, cats tend to hide away in out-of-the-way places when they are sick. If you are having a hard time finding your cat, the chances are likely that he may be sick and in need of professional veterinary care. If your cat cannot find a hiding place, he may lie quietly in a hunched position if he is not feeling well.

LITTER BOX BEHAVIORS

If you notice your cat going to the litter box more frequently than normal, it could be a sign of kidney disease, diabetes, or other illness. If your cat is only producing a small amount of urine or is meowing from pain during urination, he could have a urinary tract infection, which can be a serious condition. Diarrhea is another sign of sickness, especially if it is bloody and accompanied by vomiting. You should always seek help from a veterinarian when this occurs. While constipation can be common in cats, it can be very painful. 5 Points Animal Hospital can help you adjust your cat’s diet to keep this from happening more than it should.

COUGHING

When you hear your cat cough, more often than not, he is trying to clear a hairball from his throat, but it could also be a symptom of a more serious issue, including asthma, heart disease, respiratory problems, or other illnesses. If your cat is coughing for more than a day or is repeatedly coughing with breathing difficulties and bluish gums, you need to immediately bring him into 5 Points Animal Hospital or another professional veterinary clinic for treatment.

Keep your cat healthy and happy. Contact us today at 5 Points Animal Hospital to schedule an appointment for his annual well check exam.

Avoiding Cat Obesity

Even though the Internet is filled with memes featuring fat cats to be humorous, the reality of cat obesity is not very funny. The best way of preventing your cat from reaching the point of obesity is to keep up with the appropriate feeding schedule that is recommended for your cat. Our staff at 5 Points Animal Hospital can tell you how often and how much to feed your pet, and this will depend on your cat’s age and activity level. By not allowing your cat to gain excess weight, you are avoiding the obesity problem because cats can have a hard time losing extra pounds. We would like to give you some tips from Doctors Foster and Smith about how to keep your cat at an ideal weight.

Avoiding Cat Obesity Image - Nashville TN - 5 Points Animal Hospital

Have fun with your cat and play!

Playing with your cat with interactive toys is not only a lot of fun, but it is a perfect way to get your cat to exercise. Exercising daily has many benefits for cats. They burn calories, of course, but physical activity also provides a way to relieve boredom, release energy, and stay active mentally. Their respiratory and circulatory systems are strengthened, and it tones muscles, keeps joints flexible, and aids in digestion.

Feed your cat the best food and the right amount.

The age of a cat has the most influence on diet. When cats are young, they need more protein, energy, and minerals. Older cats do not need to eat as much, even if they remain active. Whether or not your cat lives indoors can also make a difference on how much your cat can eat. Outdoor cats need to eat more in cooler weather because they need more energy to keep warm. The best way to monitor how much your cat eats is to not leave food out all the time. Provide food as meals to keep up with the amount of food eaten.

Make a habit of checking your cat’s weight.

It can be challenging for you to know if your cat has gained several pounds without actually weighing him or her. Make a regular habit out of weighing your cat at the same time during the day, and use the same scale every time. You will be able to see any increases in weight, which you can stop early to prevent it from becoming a worse problem. Start this habit when your cat is young as younger cats that are overweight can easily become obese adults, if this weight gain is ignored.

Pay attention to the amount of treats you give your cat.

One of the biggest causes of cat obesity, treats have excessive calories and little nutritional value. Giving your cat too many treats can be dangerous and add unneeded extra weight to your cat. Keep an eye on how many treats you offer your cat everyday. Honestly, cats prefer your attention over a treat, so take some time to groom or play with your cat instead of always reaching for treats.

Concerned about how much weight your cat has gained? Contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital to find out the best food and feeding schedule to keep your cat from becoming obese.

Ways to Keep Your Indoor Cat Healthy

Having an indoor cat has many benefits for both you and your pet. They live longer, are less likely to develop many diseases that they would face in the wild. Protected from weather, cars, and predators, there containment gives you peace of mind. Keep your cat entertained and happy so they don’t get bored or depressed by using some simple tricks.

Keeping Indoor Cats Happy - Nashville TN

If your cat is a fan of catnip, it’s almost necessary to put the stuff wherever you can. They love it, and you will love seeing your cat reach that state of bliss. Plant it in a jungle-like setting with other cat friendly plants that aren’t toxic. Stuff it into toys and rub it on cat trees to encourage scratching. Use anything that gets them active and moving around. Play with your cat using a flexible rod with an affixed feather, or even the beloved laser pointer to keep it active. Make sure not to point it directly in their eyes though. Cheaper toys can be just as entertaining though. Any sort of box they can climb into, or wads of paper are perfect alternatives. Anyone with both kids and cats knows the usefulness of wind-up cars or bugs. Interactive activities are fun for both you and your pet, just get involved! Videos of wildlife or screensavers on your computer are a more passive entertainment for you. Sit back and relax while your cat attempts to swat at the animals on the screen.

Your cat is programmed by nature to love heights, especially because they love looking down on the world and everything they think is theirs. If the budget allows, getting them a cat tree with multiple levels is the best way to give your cat the best view in the house. Installing the cat tree near a window with a bird feeder is going above and beyond, but make sure there aren’t any other cats running around outside that could make your cat anxious or mad.

Keeping your home safe and sanitary are both important factors in keeping your cat thriving. Besides making sure that your home is free from food and plants that could make it sick, it’s good to know the signs in case something happens. Monitoring your cat for changes in its mood and energy level will help you diagnosis a problem more quickly. Lack of enthusiasm for food, water, or play is more obvious, but constant sneezing or panting can also be a sign that something is wrong. Taking your cat for its yearly exams is just as important as monitoring. We look for problems that you might not have noticed, and we take the important steps in ensure that your cat is in the best health possible. Call us here at 5 Points Animal Hospital today!

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5 Points Animal Hospital | 1103 Woodland St., Nashville, TN 37206 | Click to Call Us Now