By Tom Hewitt
Sometimes it’s clear when your pet cat needs to be taken to a veterinarian, but other times the clues are more subtle. If your cat shows a change in their typical behavior—such as eating less, sleeping more, becoming shy or hiding more, scratching or sneezing more, or becoming much more or less vocal—it might be a sign that your cat could be ill or injured and they should be examined. It’s an inherited instinct for cats to want to hide physical weakness because in the wild, predators might identify signs of illness or injury as signs of an easy prey.
If your cat displays such changes in behavior, make sure they have plenty of food and water, a clean litter box, and a comfortable, quiet place to stay that is not too hot or cold. Give your cat a gentle examination to see if there are any obvious signs of trauma, illness, or injury, such as wounds or places where the hair has fallen out. If you find anything unusual, you should take your cat to the vet.
If your cat is producing mucus from their eyes or nose, gently clean it off with a damp cloth. Mucus may be a sign of the common cold (which tends to pass in a week to ten days), but it may also be a sign of a more serious illness. If your cat displays signs of illness or injury—such as the behavior changes mentioned, or excess mucus production—for an extended period and they do not seem to be getting better, then you should take them to the vet to see what the trouble is.