5 major signs your cat is sick (& how to afford vet visits)

If only cats could talk – here’s how to tell if your cat needs medical attention and the symptoms to look out for

It can be scary to see signs your cat is sick, but a visit to the vet doesn’t come cheap, which is why so many of us might put off the dreaded vet visits until we can afford them or until it is a medical emergency.

What we don’t realise is how important routine care is for our pets, from blood tests and physical exams, it can all help as preventative measures in ensuring our beloved furry members of the family are always living life to their fullest.

This is where pet insurance comes in. Pet insurance is pretty much the same thing as medical aid or health insurance is for humans. This means that for a monthly premium, you are ensuring the health of your cat or dog is taken care of when unexpected accidents happen.

But pet insurance is more than just emergency cover – if you choose a quality pet insurance provider (we highly recommend Oneplan Pet Insurance), they’ll cover the costs of routine care too, so you can get a comprehensive Pet Insurance Plan that’s easy on your wallet. This means that you can finally afford check-ups and things like dental care for your precious pet.

We mentioned Oneplan Pet Insurance as a great option because they do what no other pet insurer does – they pay you BEFORE you visit the vet so that you’ve already got the funds available when it comes time to pay!

So, now that you know there is an option to affording vet bills, keep reading to learn about these warning signs signs your cat is sick…

The 5 major signs your cat is sick

1.     Basic signs to check for:

Body temperature

The normal feline body temperature should be between 38 to 39.2 C. If your cat’s temperature is below or above this, then phone your vet to ask him or her what you should do. Heads up – you can check your cat’ s temperature using a rectal thermometer.

Respiratory rate

Your cat’s respiratory rate (breaths per minute) should be between 16 to 40 breaths a minute. You need to measure this when your cat is at rest. If your cat is in pain or suffering from heart issues, heat stroke or stress, then this can lead to increased breathing issues. Allergies and infections can also cause heavy breathing.

Heart rate

The average cat should have a heart rate between 120 to 140 beats a minute. If your cat is stressed, then his or her heart rate will increase, but if your cat is healthy, then this increased heart rate will normalise once he calms down. If you notice your cat’s heart rate is consistently increased, then speak to your vet about what to do next.

Discover: 8 Signs Your Cat Loves You

2.     Excessive meowing

If your cat is normally not much of a talker and is excessively vocal even if all of his needs are met such as food and water, then something might be wrong. If your female cat is unspayed, then she might be in heat. Always make sure you spay and neuter your pets!

If there are no signs of obvious trauma on your cat, then use your hand to gently cup his face to see if you can see a wound or swelling in his face, then move your hands along his body to see if you find anything. Even if you don’t find anything, it is always a good idea to see your vet about it.

3.     Runny nose, crusty eyes, sneezing and coughing

If your cat has a runny nose, is constantly sneezing or coughing or has crust around his eyes, then it could be a cold or it could be something more serious.

This is why vaccinations are so important for cats! Use a damp warm cloth to get rid of any crust and phone your vet if you notice the symptoms getting worse.

4.     Sleeping all the time

Cats sleep about 16 hours ut if your cat is choosing sleeping over eating, drinking or playing – then this could be a serious issue. Sleeping is a response to illness. When a cat won’t eat, her body will tap into its reserve fat supply for energy, which can result in fatty liver disease. Phone your vet if your cat is excessively tired or refusing to eat for more than one day.

Related: Why Do Cats Hide from Their Owners? Plus 6 Common Hiding Places

5.     Inability to urinate

Your cat might have an infection if he or she is unable to urinate. Try to see if there are any damp spots in the litter box after your cat uses the loo, if on the second time there still aren’t any – then something might be seriously wrong such as bladder stones or infection. It’s important to know these signs in cats in order to get them the medical care and attention they need.

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