What To Do if Your Cat Just Seems Off
Let me fill you in on a little veterinary secret -- we use the term ADR for “Ain’t Doin’ Right” quite commonly in our field. We do this because a lot of dogs and cats will be brought in by their pet guardian for general vague signs of malaise -- or what we fondly call ADR.
So what does this mean, and how can you tell if something is truly wrong with your cat? When in doubt, trust your gut instinct.
What are some of the signs of “ADR?”
Here is a general list of ADR signs that warrant a trip to your veterinarian practice. (Note: This list is not all-inclusive. When in doubt, seek veterinary attention to be safe!):
- Decreased appetite or not eating
- Acting lethargic
- Open mouth breathing
- Elevated respiratory rate at home
- Excessive tearing, rubbing or abnormal discharge from the eyes
- Malodorous smell (This may be coming from anywhere, but isn’t normal!)
- Feeling warm or cold to the touch
- Not drinking
- Not using the litter box for more than 24 hours
- Making multiple trips to the litter box
- Straining to urinate
- Excessive grooming of the perineal region
- Crying out in pain or acting painful
- Change in hair coat (e.g., unkempt, greasy, etc.)
- Limping (that does not resolve in 1-2 days on its own)
- Not being able to move, dragging the back legs, or acting suddenly paralyzed
- Distended abdomen
- Excessive thirst or urination
- Larger than normal clumps in the litter box
- Weight loss
Any of these signs may represent serious medical conditions.
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Justine has more than 18 years of experience in the veterinary industry and is a board-certified emergency critical care veterinary specialist and toxicologist as well as the CEO and founder of Vetgirl. She is also a founding member of IDEXX’s Pet Health Network team.