9 Signs Your Cat Is Sick

November 6, 2023by Nicole Tengco0

Cats are fascinating creatures, and they’re communicative in their own subtle ways. However, because they can also be mysterious and secretive animals, it may be hard for pet parents to know if they’re sick. 

Hiding signs of sickness is an instinctive survival mechanism that cats have inherited from their wild ancestors to avoid appearing weak to potential predators. While this might have been helpful for their survival in the wild, it can make it difficult for us to realize when our furry friends need some extra care.

So, how can we tell if our cat is sick? Here are some common signs your cat is sick:

Photo by Tan Danh

1. Your Cat’s Eating or Drinking Habits Have Changed

One of the most telling signs your cat is sick is a change in their eating or drinking habits. This could manifest in a loss of appetite or water intake. The reverse is also true—your feline friend may drink or eat more than usual. 

Sometimes, your cat might just be having an off day, but if these changes persist for more than two days, it’s time to call the vet. 

2. Its Bathroom Behaviors Are Different

Cats are usually very clean animals. So, changes in their litter box behavior can be a significant red flag. 

Frequent urination, difficulty urinating, or defecating outside the litter box could indicate a urinary tract infection, kidney disease, or other serious health issues that warrant a vet consultation. 

3. Your Cat’s Activity Levels Have Changed

Cats love their sleep, with many of them sleeping from 12–18 hours per day. However, if your usually playful kitty is sleeping more than usual or seems lethargic, it could be a sign that something’s wrong. On the other hand, if your lazy cat suddenly becomes hyperactive, it could be a symptom of a condition like hyperthyroidism.

4. Your Cat Has Lost or Gained Weight

If your cat is losing or gaining weight without any changes in their diet or exercise, it’s time for a vet visit. Weight changes can be a sign of various conditions, from diabetes to dental issues.

5. It’s Grooming More or Less Than Usual

Cats love spending their waking hours grooming. However, if your cat’s coat starts looking unkempt or if they’re grooming excessively to the point of causing bald patches, it could be a sign of stress, skin issues, or other health problems. 

Photo by Susanne Jutzeler, suju-foto

6. Your Cat Has Bad Breath

While cat breath isn’t usually minty fresh, exceptionally stinky breath could be a sign your cat is sick. It may have dental or gastrointestinal issues. 

7. The Cat Suddenly Has Unusual Vocal Changes

While some cats are naturally more talkative than others, excessive meowing, especially at night, could be a sign of sickness or stress.

8. It Has Some Eye or Nose Discharge

Excessive tearing, unusual eye discharge, or a runny nose could indicate respiratory infections, eye infections, or allergies. 

9. Your Cat Is Experiencing Vomiting or Bowel Issues

This is one of the most telling signs your cat is sick. While the occasional hairball or upset tummy can be normal, frequent vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation is not. 

The Takeaway

It’s best to remember that you know your cat best. If something about them just doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t. If you notice signs your cat is sick, always err on the side of caution and consult your veterinarian. 

Our feline friends rely on us to keep them healthy and happy, and catching potential health issues early can make a big difference in their wellbeing. If you’re ready for an online vet consultation in the Philippines, PetPal can help. Talk to our trusted vets and schedule an appointment today!

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