Five behaviour changes that you need to look out for in your cat

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07 May 2020
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Cats are independent creatures and can be quite particular with how they interact and behave on a daily basis. But when there is a sudden change in your cat’s behaviour or habits, these changes should never be ignored.

As sudden change in your cat’s behaviour or habits can be an indication of a medical, or even psychological problem, that needs prompt veterinary attention.

Cats are masters at hiding their illnesses and pains. As they’re both predators and prey, showing strength and sharpness all the time is a crucial survival strategy. Cats are often ready to hide their problems for as long as possible until their suffering becomes intolerable. As a cat owner, watching your pet carefully to notice any changes will help you spot any signs sooner. Here are a few behavioural changes to look out for:

Changes in sleeping habits

Adult cats spend on average 16 to 18 hours sleeping or cat-napping throughout the day. Most cats wake up when their owner is around or when it’s time to feed. When your cat does not react to your presence or when it’s time for food, this might be an indication that something is wrong. While sleeping less can also be a sign that something is not quite right. Some illnesses can make cats sleep longer than normal or shorter than normal.

Obese cats may sleep more due to low energy levels or pain. When a cat changes its sleeping area, it may be that your feline friend wants to get away from other pets or humans. Also, changes in sleeping areas can be indicative of pain from arthritis. Cats who are in pain may start sleeping in the closet or under the bed, for example, if they’re struggling to get to climb to their favourite sleeping spot.

Changes in appetite

Loss of appetite can be a clear indication that something is wrong. Cats need adequate nutrition so this is important to check this promptly with your vet. Your cat may stop eating for a number of reasons. Toothaches and kidney failure are often the primary reasons why your cat suddenly loses appetite or its ability to eat. When you notice your cat has stopped eating, it’s important you speak to your vet as soon as possible. Cats eating habits will naturally change with age too so catching up with your vet about your cat’s diet is always a good idea.

Voice change

You might think that a change in your cat’s voice shouldn’t be a thing of concern, but it can be. Changes in a cat’s voice can be a sign of a serious problem. It may be that there is something lodging in the cat’s throat and preventing him from sounding normal. In trying to remove the foreign material in the back of her nose or in his throat, the cat coughs or sneezes continuously. If you notice an uncommon sneezing behavior in your cat, it’s OK to ask questions like – why does my cat keep sneezing? Is it normal? Should I be worried? Well, just like humans, cats too sneeze, but if the sneezing is continuous, then you should alert your vet to the situation.

Changes in drinking habits

As with humans, hydration is very important part of cats’ day-to-day life. A change in your cat’s diet can cause this problem – when you change your cat’s diet from dry to wet food or vice-versa, it can impair their drinking habit. Also, if your cat is too weak or nursing a pain, it might not be able to get to the water dish. Consider keeping an eye on your cat’s drinking habits, such as how often and how much the cat is drinking, so that you can keep your vet informed.

Changes in playing behaviours

Some cats are more playful than others, and just like humans, they have individual personalities. But when a regularly jumpy and playful cat suddenly stops playing like it used to, then there could be a problem. A cat that’s in pain or doesn’t feel well may not want to jump as it used to or chase toys like it used to. Study the cat for a day or two and if there are no positive changes, check it out with your vet.

You know your cat

You know your cat better than anyone else. Being in tune with your pet means you will notice any abnormality in their behaviour or habits. Sometimes these changes in behaviours or habits may be nothing, but to be on the safe side, it is worth discussing them with your vet.