to Tell When Your Cat Is Sick
by Herb Weisbaum
SEATTLE -- When it comes to pet companions, cats are number one. According
to the 2007-2008 national pet owners survey conducted by the Humane Society
of the United States, there are about 88 million cats and 75 million
dogs in this country.
Female cats outnumber male cats and the about half the households with
a cat have more than one. And get this: Seattle is ranked as one of the
top 10 cat-friendly cities in the country. That's according to CATalyst,
a nonprofit group that works to raise the stature of cats.
Unlike dogs, when cats are sick, they're very good at hiding the signs.
Here's what you should look for that may indicate your cat needs medical
SLEEPS MORE: This can be associated with a wide variety of conditions,
such as kidney disease, anemia and arthritis.
CHANGE IN LITTER BOX HABITS: More urine in the box can mean diabetes,
thyroid or kidney disease. Less urine in the box can mean your car is
urinating elsewhere and has a medical problem like cystitis.
CHANGE IN APPETITE: An increase might be a sign of an overactive thyroid,
diabetes or intestinal problem. A decrease in appetite can be associated
with many medical problems. In either case, take your cat to your veterinarian.
HIDING: Your cat may be sick or in pain and not want to come out. Arthritis
is very common in cats and very difficult to recognize.
GROOMING: Cats are normally very clean. A decline in self-grooming can
mean obesity, dental disease or some other painful condition. An increase
in grooming is a sign of skin conditions.