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Why cats hide their illness….

Cats are known for hiding weakness, pain or illness—especially ongoing  conditions like thyroid, kidney and dental disease. This is due to their origins in the wild when trying  to remain under the radar of would be predators. This means it is important for pet owners to be observant and to know the signs that something is wrong with their cat.

Changes in any of the following areas can be significant

Weight – loss or gain

Appetite or thirst – an increase or decrease can be important

Toilet habits – look out for changes in habits, increased urination, abnormal sounds.

Energy levels and activity levels

Sleeping habits

Skin and coat – changes in grooming habits, hair loss, or poor coat appearance

Interactions with you or other pets.

Vocalisation – unusual sounds (is your cat trying to tell you something)

Breath – bad breath can indicate dental disease and also renal disease

Gum colour

You should also look for signs of vomiting or diarrhea, blood in the urine, any discharge from the eyes, nose or genitals, an unsteady gait and abnormal breathing/panting.

Cats are also great at hiding in quiet, dark places such as under a bed or in a wardrobe. It is not unusual for them to stay out of sight for long periods, however when they are not feeling well, cats may hide to conserve energy or avoid pain.

Regular check ups are essential to maintain good health particularly in older cats. Your vet will know the right questions to ask and may spot physical signs that are not obvious to you.  Sometimes blood tests are needed when to pick up signs of disease before it is too late. Cats commonly suffer from a number of very treatable conditions as they age. Early detection is key to maintaining quality of life in older cats.

If you have any concerns about your cat you can contact us at

Hermitage Veterinary Clinic, Lucan, Co. Dublin                                                    01-6010060

Old Bawn Veterinary Clinic, Tallaght, Dublin  24                                                   01-4140830

Carton Veterinary Clinic, Maynooth,  Co. Kildare                                                01-6291949

A little about our veterinary clinics

For those of you who are not familiar with us our  first veterinary clinic was opened  in Lucan in 2005 by Liam Moriarty a 2001  UCD vet graduate, alongside Gillian Lynch a qualified veterinary nurse. We quickly established ourselves as the no. 1 vet clinic for pets in Lucan Village and took on a second vet – Jenny Darmstadter who graduated top of her class from UCD. We currently have 2 vets and 3 vet nurses. Our second veterinary clinic opened in Old Bawn Shopping Centre in Tallaght in 2008. It is run by vet Nuala Moriarty (Liam’s sister) who is assisted by Emer Butler, both of whom are UCD graduates.  Carton Veterinary Clinic in Maynooth, Co. Kildare was opened on 1st February 2012. John Twomey who graduated from UCD in 2000 is the residing vet surgeon in Maynooth. All of our vets are recently graduate and are full time companion animal vets – we just look after pets, we do no farm animal work. All of our vets partake in regular formal continued veterinary education in order to keep pace with the rapidly changing world of veterinary medicine. Having a team of 5 vets means there is always another person to review a difficult case, assist with a surgery or give a different insight into a challenging condition. Our nurses too have a depth of knowledge and experience and a genuine compassion for pets. All of us are pet owners and see our pets as part of the family. Our aim is to treat your pet as we would treat our own.

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