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Concerning Behavior Changes in Cats

Learn when to be concerned about your cat.

Cat behavior isn't always straightforward for us humans to understand. It can be challenging to make sense of when something our cat is doing should be concerning.

Here, we list some of the behavior changes that you should watch for in your cat. If you see any of them, get to the vet right away.

Change in Litter Box Habits

Any change in litter box habit, including urinating or defecating outside of the litter box, not going as much, passing increased amounts of urine, or having diarrhea or hard stools should all be checked out by a vet. Many feline health problems cause changes in litter box habits, but behavior issues can cause eliminating outside of the box too. In that case, the sooner you address it, the less likely it is to become a chronic problem.

Change in Appetite

Any change in appetite in a cat can indicate a serious health problem. That includes not eating as much, being pickier, eating more, and eating non-food items or trying to get human food when they never did before.

Change in Sleeping Patterns

Cats' sleeping patterns can change as they age, but they also may abruptly change if the cat is sick or suffering pain like arthritis. If your cat is suddenly sleeping more, less, or at different times (up all night crying and sleeping all day), see a vet.

Change in Grooming Habits

Many cats groom less as they get older, but a cat that stops grooming altogether is likely suffering from some medical problem.

Also, cats that suddenly begin overgrooming may have pain, anxiety, or a skin problem.

Different or Increased Meowing

If your cat's voice changes or the amount or type of vocalizing they do changes, there is probably a medical issue going on. Check with your vet if your cat starts meowing more or it sounds different than before.

Weight Changes

OK, this one isn't a behavior, but you still need to observe for it. Most of the time, you'll be looking for a decrease in weight even though you haven't changed feeding strategies. That could indicate one of many health conditions, including cancer, kidney problems, hyperthyroidism, infectious diseases…and the list goes on.

But increases in weight need to be addressed too because it could mean the kitty isn't getting enough exercise, is getting the wrong food, or has a space-occupying tumor or medical issue that causes fluid retention.

You May Also Like These Articles:

Cat Not Using Litter Box? Inappropriate Urination in Cats

Pica in Cats: Why Cats Eat Strange Things

Cancer in Cats

Kidney Disease in Cats

Hyperthyroidism in Cats

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