Pet Health: Spot the signs of your cat being ill

Posted on: 02 December 2011 by Alexander Hay

Become more mog-aware and recognise symptoms and illness in your ageing cat

Sick catWould you know if your cat was in pain? With dogs, it's easy to tell, not least because your dog will make it all too clear if he or she isn't well, and in any case you'll notice if they're limping when you take them for a walk.

But cats are different. They show little or no signs of pain and prefer instead to move about less and seem to be in a permanently bad mood. For some cat owners, this may understandably be hard to spot. In fact, they are suffering just as much, but have evolved to hide signs of weakness.

Worse, many cat owners may not realise this, even after having their cat for years. While nine out of ten cat owners say they would feel guilty if they didn't realise their cat was in pain, more than a fifth of owners would misinterpret their cat's symptoms, while three quarters admit they would not know the signs of chronic pain in their cat.

This is set to get worse, as the number of moggies making it past twenty keeps rising, with 87% of vets having treated at least one cat aged 22 and over. How, then, to spot the problem?

The Spot The Signs campaign, set up to advise cat owners on how to identify if your cat is in pain, has the following four tips:

  • Is your cat moving less or avoiding jumping about?
  • Is your cat sleeping more, staying in the same place or moving stiffly?
  • Is your cat no longer grooming itself as much as it used to? Does it look scruffier?
  • Is your cat less tolerant than before, or becoming more withdrawn?


Owners know their cats better than anyone, so should keep an eye open for these signs. If there is any doubt, take your cat to the vet - only 22% of owners take their cats for old age check ups.

So if your cat a little slower, less tidy or grumpier than usual? Be sure to Spot The Signs, and get them to the vets! Or as your pet might say, 'Mrrrrreow!'

For more information, go to www.spotthesigns.com, and be sure to check out the official Facebook page too!

ahay@olderiswiser.com

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Alexander Hay

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