Cats are serene by nature which makes it all the more difficult for their owners to determine pain and sickness. Healthy diet, exercise, and sufficient rest may not be enough to prevent the development of ailments on your feline companion so it pays to be an extra vigilant altogether. Cats typically showcase subtle signs of pain and suffering so it is best to learn about them before it’s too late! • Change in food and water consumption Pet parents should be aware of the fact that a reduced appetite is not the only tell-tale sign that their fur babies are sick. In the case of hyperthyroidism and diabetes, cats experience increased appetite instead. Check if your cat is suffering from dehydration by stretching the skin fold of the shoulder area. Skin snapping back immediately to its position means that a cat is well hydrated, whilst slow return means your cat is dehydrated. • Change in elimination habits and quality One place to check for illness is your cat’s litterbox. Check if the fecal matter has changed in consistency as well as frequency. It is also best to check how many times your cat is urinating in a day. Frequent urination and decreased frequency may mean kidney disease- a condition that is common among senior cats. In addition, check for the presence of blood in urine and stool regularly for early prevention and treatment. • Activity Has your cat manifested a change in movement and activity? It is easy to detect if your cat has suffered from injury simply by assessing their gait and movement. If your cat is typically active and started showing signs of sluggishness, weakness, or inactivity, it may be best to check for breaks on the skin. Experts also recommend on performing routine over-all check up by integrating it onto grooming habits such as combing and bathing. Any bumps, wounds, or skin irritation are considered abnormal and should signal you to schedule a visit with a veterinarian. Signs that Need Urgent Medical Attention • Symptoms that should prompt you in seeking emergency medical attention for your cats are as follows: • Seizures • Difficulty in breathing • Protracted vomiting • Hemorrhage • Difficulty in urinating • Jaundice • Low or high body temperature Pet parents are advised to bring their fur babies to the veterinarian for emergency medical care. Do not wait for a few days to seek medical intervention as these symptoms are most commonly associated with very serious conditions which result in death when left untreated. Prevention To reduce the chances of illness, pet parents should take the initiative and bring their cats to the vet on a regular basis. Veterinarians recommend that they undergo general checkup once every two months. In addition, it is always best to have cats vaccinated to protect them from feline medical conditions such as distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parainfluenza, feline panleukopenia, rhinotracheitis, calcivirus, chlamydia, and rabies. As the adage goes, prevention is better than cure.