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Published: Nov 29, 2012

Cats have a way of hiding pain from their owners, leading many to think they don't get sick as often as dogs, or don't need as much veterinary care - one of the most common cat myths there is, according to VCA Animal Hospitals. Although sometimes you will know when your cat needs to see the vet, she might also be hiding a serious medical problem. Here are some surefire signs she needs some help.

She's caught a cold
Humans commonly catch colds and cats can too, but a runny nose, sneezes and crusty eyes could also be a sign of something more serious. Cat vaccinations protect feline companions from most viruses, but they are not perfect. Feline herpes and feline calicivirus both have symptoms similar to the common cold. If your cat's symptoms do not go away after seven to 10 days, bring her to the vet.

She's talking a lot
Some cats are more vocal than others, but if you have noticed a change in your cat's meows - especially if she has become more vocal than usual - she could be in pain or suffering from another medical problem. First see that she has food, water, access to her litter box and attention from you. If all of her needs are met, you might want to call the veterinarian for an exam to get to the root of the problem.

Avoiding the litter box
If your cat has been perfectly potty trained her whole life and is suddenly urinating everywhere but the litter box, she is probably avoiding it (or missing it) for a reason. Some cats won't use a box that is soiled, but if you keep yours in tip top condition and she still stays away, it might be because she has a medical issue that is causing her pain when she urinates. She may associate this pain with the litterbox, or not be able to hold her urine until she gets there. Bring her to the vet to determine the cause of this behavior.

She's skipping dinner
Cats usually perk up at the sound of their food, so if yours seems more interested in sleeping than in eating, drinking or playing, she may be sick. Cats sleep about 16 hours a day, and if yours is sleeping more than that and skipping meals, her body is likely responding to illness. Bring her to the vet to determine what's wrong, because going more than two days without eating can cause a deadly metabolic disease called fatty liver disease.