If you’re a cat owner, it’s important to know a couple basic health signs to better keep them happy and healthy. The more aware of your cat’s health, the sooner health problems can be addressed, and oftentimes it saves you from costly procedures the longer you wait. Get a favorable outcome when you take your cat to your local animal health clinic at the first sign of illness.
The Vet Set treats a variety of furry friends, including cats. We have a keen eye, trained skills, and innovative technology to offer your pet the best care. Examine signs and symptoms that may better clue you into your cat’s health.
Cat’s come with a baseline of what’s considered normal in their health, just as dogs and people do. Below are common signs and symptoms to look for when assessing your cat’s health.
A breath or respiratory rate that is normal for cats falls between 16 to 40 breaths per minute. Cat’s who are ill, stressed, experiencing discomfort, or suffering from heatstroke will have an increased and rapid respiratory rate. If your cat has an increased breathing rate and they’ve only been resting, you may want to check in with your local vet.
Cat’s temperatures run a little higher than humans, as a normal range is between 100.5 F and 102.5 F. Anything that peaks 103 F or drops below 100 F, may warrant a call to your vet. Despite the tips of taking your cat’s temperature via the moistness of their nose, this is not reliable. The only way to know their temperature is through a rectal thermometer.
A cat’s normal heart rate is between 120 and 140 beats per minute, but if they’re stressed or ill it will be higher. Cats can suffer from heart issues such as heart disease and other conditions including hyperthyroidism that can skyrocket their heart rates to a rapid 200 beats per minute.
Along with cat’s vital signs listed above, there are symptoms that you can look for in a sick cat.
Diarrhea – If your cat suddenly begins to have diarrhea, take note and see if it becomes chronic. Sometimes they may just have an upset stomach, while chronic, untreated diarrhea can indicate other health issues such as a parasite. Ensure your cat is not dehydrated and schedule an appointment with your vet.
Lethargy – If your cat becomes inactive and seems disinterested, even in a subtle way, this could reveal a potential issue. If your cat is laying around, has low-energy, or is sleeping more than usual, you may want to connect with your animal health clinic.
Vomiting – Some people think vomiting is a normal symptom for cats, but truly, it’s not. Yes, cats do get the occasional hairballs, but it shouldn’t go beyond this. If your cat begins vomiting, get a consult with your veterinarian.
Changes in appetite – If your cat begins to lose interest in eating and food or begin to have an increased appetite, this could raise concern. Because a cat’s appetite will ebb and flow daily, it’s important to keep track of major changes. If your cat skips a meal here and there, that may not be an issue, but if they’ve stopped eating for the entire week, this should raise a red flag. If your cat begins to eat a lot more food, especially if they’re older, this could be signs of hypothyroidism and can lead to feline obesity.
Personality changes –You know better than anyone, your cat’s distinct personality. If it begins to change and they suddenly are more aggressive or are acting afraid, explore these changes with your animal care clinic to better understand what may be going on.
There are many signs and symptoms your cat may be struggling with a health issue, so know your cat’s behavior, and when in doubt, schedule an appointment with your vet.