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Did you know that cats are masters of disguise?

Cats are very good at hiding illnesses so subtle changes in your cat's behavior may be the only clue there is a problem.

Here are some things to keep an eye on...

Changes in Appetite or Water Intake

Everyone knows loss of appetite is abnormal, but increased appetite or thirst can also be signs of illness. Diseases like thyroid disease and diabetes can cause increased appetite and water intake.

Changes in, or Inappropriate, Waste Elimination

Cat's kidneys are normally very efficient. Producing an increased volume of urine can mean kidney disease or poor kidney function. Also, frequent visits to the litter box or urinating frequently in small volumes can be a sign of lower urinary tract disease.

Urinating or defecating out of the litter box is often a sign of a medical, not a behavioral, problem.

Changes in Activity

A change, increase or decrease, in your cat's normal pattern of activity can be a sign of illness. It is important to note changes in your cat's interaction with your family, the time and place spent napping and his or her grooming habits. Often when cats are not feeling well they do not groom as much, if at all, resulting in an unkempt haircoat.

Unexplained Weight Loss

Often it is difficult to notice a gradual weight loss. And in some cases, your cat may be losing weight despite having a good appetite. Unexplained weight loss can be an indication of a serious health problem and should not go unaddressed.

Most owners know what is normal behavior for their cat. Any changes may be a sign of illness and should be addressed. If you notice any changes in your cat's behavior contact your veterinarian to schedule an exam to discuss your concerns.