The following question that I received from a reader illustrates this point.
My 16 year old siamese mix started acting weird a couple of months ago. She is urinating profusely (in the box!) and her eyes are dilated all the time.
Sometimes she will hold her tail at a weird angle (curved at the base)and walk in circles flicking her feet. She's only done that a few times.
She also will walk up to our dogs and stare at them like she's never seen them before (she used to want NOTHING to do with them).
She wants to stay inside all the time now, she used to want to stay out all day and only came in at night before.
I know she's old and I don't want to prolong her life unnaturally, but I don't want her to be in any pain. She eats and drinks normally and wants to sit with us and will purr. Any idea what this could be and should I take her to the vet?
You definitely need to take your kitty to the vet as soon as possible. She may well have a disease that can be treated and keep her comfortable and happy for a long time to come.
My first reaction to your feline illnesses symptoms are in response to your comments about her eyes, the way she is acting with the dogs, and the fact that she wants to stay indoors. It appears to me that she could be blind. We often don't realize our cats are blind because they are SO good at adapting to blindness and finding their way around normally. However, the outdoors is not as easy for her to maneuver.
Urinating more frequently can be a symptom of several different diseases - hyperthyroidism, diabetes, kidney disease - and only an exam and blood work is going to be able to tell the difference.
When you combine dilated eyes and probable blindness in a cat with increased urination, it sounds most similar to kidney disease. The kidneys play a major role in blood pressure and if they are not working properly, blood pressure may become high enough to destroy the blood vessels in the eyes, causing blindness.
However, hyperthyroidism can also raise blood pressure and other things can be wrong with a cat's eyes. Feline eye disease is common, can be serious, and can result from many different causes.
It is very important to take your kitty to the vet right away and find out what is going on because the three diseases I have mentioned can be very treatable. The feline illnesses symptoms you describe are serious and definitely warrant a vet visit, but are not enough to make a definite diagnosis.