Cats can be notoriously skittish, so you might not think twice if your kitty keeps disappearing under the bed. But if your cat is hiding more than usual, it could be one of the cat symptoms or signs that your pet is in pain or isn’t feeling well. “They could feel more secure in their hiding spot than out in the open,” says Dr. Rossman. “It’s their safety net.” It’s easy to spot abnormal shyness in a more social cat, but the behavior change is harder to spot in a timid kitty, Dr. Antin points out. If your cat is hiding in different places or for longer periods and is displaying other symptoms, take it to the vet, he says. Extra hiding is particularly concerning in older cats, which could be developing cancer or metabolic issues, he says. Check out these other 17 things your cat wishes you knew.
Cognitive decline in your pet could cause a host of cat symptoms, from meowing more to seeming disoriented. Yes, some cats will respond to treatment for senility, but that’s not the only reason to check with a vet. “There are other things that can cause that odd behavior that are not actually senility,” says Dr. Antin. “This other stuff might be treatable.” For instance, your cat might have eaten something toxic or be dealing with kidney disease, but you’ll need to rule those out before trying any medications for cognitive decline. Make sure you know these 11 subtle signs your cat is depressed.
Missing the litter box
A cat that’s stopped using its litter box might be sending a message by marking its territory, but you’ll still want to take it to the vet. What you assume is a behavior problem might actually be a medical issue, such as bladder cancer or a kidney stone, says Dr. Rossman. “It’s always good to rule out the medical things first because those are easier to fix than the behavioral ones,” she says.