Cat Behavior Changes: Red Flags to Watch Out For
Always remember that you know your cat best. You know his habits and how active he is. You know what gets him excited, what he likes to eat, and how much he eats. Sometimes subtle changes in your cat’s behavior are nothing to be concerned about, but other times, even the subtlest change in your cat’s behavior could mean there’s a problem. Here are some red flag behavior changes you should always be on the lookout for.
1. Appetite Changes
Loss of appetite is a very clear sign that there’s a problem. And, to make matters worse, a cat who isn’t eating isn’t getting proper nutrition, which means his health could spiral downward even faster. Rapid weight loss in a cat who only weighs eight pounds to begin with could be devastating.
Of course, there are numerous reasons a cat may stop eating. He could just have a toothache, but it could also be something as serious as kidney failure. Refusal to eat can lead to additional problems quickly, so call the vet right away if your cat loses his appetite.
2. Excessive Thirst
If your cat is suddenly emptying his water bowl much more quickly than he usually does, it’s time to call the vet. Excessive thirst could indicate a very serious problem, such as feline diabetes or kidney disease. Of course, a cat that’s not drinking enough should raise an alarm, too. Cat’s can quickly become dehydrated, which can lead to urinary tract issues.
3. Grooming Habit Changes
There are numerous reasons a cat may stop grooming himself. A lot of times, it’s simply that he’s gained a little weight and he can’t reach certain areas anymore. It could also be a red flag that there’s a bigger issue, so give the vet a call if you can’t determine the problem on your own.
When a normally social cat suddenly starts hiding in out of the way places, it can be a big red flag that there’s something wrong. Sick cats will often hide in a dark, quiet place because their instincts tell them to hide from predators, or they may simply want to be left alone. If this behavior goes on for more than a day or two, you may want to chat with the vet, especially If your cat is demonstrating other unusual behaviors, too.
5. Litterbox Changes
Keeping an eye out for litterbox changes is a smart way to catch possible health problems early. Changes in stool consistency or the number of urine clumps can indicate a problem. If you see diarrhea, bloody stool, or more or less urine, your cat could be sick. Sometimes, there could be other issues, too, like a urinary tract infection or bladder stones. A check-up at the vet should tell you what’s going on.
Even a change in voice or a sweet cat that suddenly becomes aggressive could be a red flag. Never be afraid to contact your vet if you notice subtle changes in your cat’s behavior. You just might catch an illness early, before it becomes a serious issue.