Though cats are independent and generally take care of themselves, they can be difficult house pets to have, mostly because it can be very hard to tell when something is wrong with your cat. Since cats are so good at keeping their pain and discomfort hidden, you need to be extra vigilant in order to spot any signs that something may be wrong. Two signs to look for are your cat avoiding his or her litter box and odd grooming habits.
Avoiding The Litter Box
One of the major signs that something may be wrong with your cat is if he or she suddenly stops using the litter box. If your cat's litter box is kept clean, then the fact that he or she is no longer using it means that there is likely a health issue. One of the most common health issues that can change your cat's litter box habits is a kidney stone or infection.
While any cat having a kidney stone is a bad thing, it is especially dangerous if you have a male cat since a blockage is more likely to occur and interrupt the flow of urine. This is because male cats have a narrow urethra that is more easily obstructed. Not only is this going to be very painful for your cat, but it can also be fatal.
If your cat is avoiding the litter box, it is imperative that you take him or her to the vet as soon as possible. The vet will be able to diagnose the issue and provide treatment options quickly enough to potentially save your cat's life. If the issue is not life-threatening, the vet can provide medication that can soothe your cat's discomfort until the issue passes.
Odd Grooming Habits
Another thing to look for in your cat's behavior is any odd grooming habits that he or she may have developed. One example of this is if your cat has suddenly stopped grooming himself or herself. Since cats like to be clean and well-groomed, it is highly unusual for them to stop grooming altogether.
A possible cause for this is arthritis in an older cat. In that situation, the arthritis is causing it to be way too painful for your cat to go through all of the twisting and turning that is requiring for him or her to do the grooming. A vet can help in that situation by providing pain medication and supplements that can help the cat deal with the pain and potentially reduce the effects of the arthritis.
Visit your local animal hospital or vet whenever it seems that your cat is exhibiting odd behavior as it can often be a sign that something is wrong with his or her health. Odd grooming habits and avoiding the litter box are just two of the warning signs that you will want to keep in mind when you have a cat.