The Cat Care

how to tell if your cat is sick

How to Tell If Your Cat is Sick? A Complete Guide

Cat parents are always a bit skeptical when it comes to the health of their feline friend. If you suspect that something is wrong with your cat and want to know “How to tell if your cat is sick”, then this is the right article for you.

Is it possible that your cat is ill? It might be difficult to determine whether small changes in your cat signal a health concern. Cats are masters at concealing sickness. This instinct can protect them against predators or other cats in the wild. Even if the only potential threat is a housemate, today’s house cat has the same inclination to avoid vulnerability. Even cats in single-pet households have a natural impulse to defend themselves.

Another reason cats and many other animals are less likely to display pain or disease is that they do not have an emotional connection to their condition. Animals, on the other hand, prefer to accept pain or disease as the new normal and go on. It is possible that persons will not notice their illness until they are severely unwell.

This is why it is rudimentary for you as a cat friend to read this article on “How to tell if your cat is sick”, so you can pick on abnormal behavior and take your cat to a vet for immediate attention.

Recognizing When Your Cat Is Sick

If you are wondering “How to tell if your cat is sick”, your gut feeling is your best guide. Nobody knows your pet better than you. Keep an eye on your cat for subtle changes in behavior that others may miss; note any changes in your cat’s typical body language or disposition.

Even if your cat isn’t exhibiting any of the symptoms listed below, it’s a good idea to take your cat to the doctor for a complete checkup if something just doesn’t seem right.

A Sick Cat’s Symptoms

By the time you discover something is wrong with your cat, it might have been going on for longer than you think. Take note of small changes in behavior and keep an eye out for more. Keep an eye on your cat’s temperament and body language. Is there something wrong? Understand what is typical for cats and what is normal for your cat, and never ignore apparent indications of sickness at all costs. When in doubt, seek guidance from your veterinarian.

Here are a few symptoms you should watch out for when wondering “How to tell if your cat is sick”:

  • Pupils that are constricted or dilated
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Sudden mood shift 
  • No desire to play or look sluggish
  • Changes in hunger, drinking, or eating behaviors that are considerably less
  • Much more vocal than normal
  • Weight loss or increase that is noticeable
  • Rapid breathing or shortness of breath 
  • Neglecting or over-grooming 
  • Irregular litter box usage
  • Limping or injuries 
  • Wounds or swelling 
  • Breathing problems
  • Eye or nose discharge 
  • Hair loss 
  • Skin irritation 
  • Hiding

Paying close attention to these symptoms will help you answer “How to tell if your cat is sick” appropriately.

Things to watch out for if you suspect your cat is sick

If you want to know “How to tell if your cat is sick”, then make sure to watch out for these modifications in your cat.

  • Appetite Modification

Eating too much or too little might be a symptom of illness. If you detect any changes, please inform your veterinarian. There are several illnesses that might induce overeating or appetite loss. Your veterinarian’s task will be to figure out why. This is usually preceded by blood tests, X-rays, and/or ultrasound.

  • Behavior Modification

If your typically sociable kitty turns antisocial for no apparent reason, there might be a medical explanation. The hide is a classic symptom of illness: kitty feels unwell, seeks to hide from “predators,” and hides in a closet or beneath a bed. 

  • Smelly breath

A bad odor emanating from your cat’s mouth might indicate gum disease or   decay.

Brushing your cat’s teeth is an effective approach to reduce those dangers. Consider going 5, 10, or 15 years without cleaning your teeth! Furthermore, ammonia-smelling breath might be an indication of renal illness.

  • Excessive urination outside the litter box

This vexing habit might be caused by a behavioral issue or by sickness. Before treating this as a behavior issue, discuss your pet’s symptoms with your veterinarian to rule out a bladder infection or urine obstruction.

  • Weight loss or gain

Loss Weight might be a sign of thyroid illness or, worse, malignancy. Weight gain or a rising belly can be caused by a variety of diseases, including pyometra (a uterus full of pus).

Obesity is bad for your pet’s health since it may cause arthritis, cancers, and a shorter lifetime.

Additional Things to Watch Out for if  you Suspect Your Cat is Sick


No single sign can tell you if your cat is sick. Here are additional signs you must pay close attention to if you suspect that your cat is sick.

  • Changes in grooming

Inadequate grooming might result in a dull or oily hair coat, which can signal skin illness or other issues. Some cats over-groom, resulting in hairless patches. This behavior can be caused by skin parasites like fleas or mange, as well as stress.

  • Alteration inactivity

An overactive thyroid can cause a sudden rise in activity level in a middle-aged to an elderly cat. If your cat looks uninterested in moving around or playing, this might be an indication of arthritis or other problems.

  • Alteration in sleeping habits

Notice the sleeping pattern of your cat, any changes such as sleeping all day may be a way for them to tell you they are sick. On the contrary, no sleep all night or day is another sign that the cat may be ill or experiencing some problems. If your cat is up all night wandering the house, vocalizing, or becoming hyperactive during the day, there might be an underlying cause.

  • Stress-related behavior

A change in your cat’s habit might indicate stress. Changes in your pet’s surroundings, such as the addition of another pet, renovation, or loud sounds, can all cause hiding, sadness, or a loss of appetite. When explaining any possible modifications to your veterinarian, be impartial and detailed.

  • Voice alteration

Voice changes might be an indication of a problem. Normally quiet cats who suddenly become chatty, or chatty cats who suddenly become quiet, might indicate problems.

Read Also:  How to Brush Cat Teeth and Tips

Some of the Most Common causes of Illness in cat

The symptoms described above are all indications that your cat is ill. Here are a handful of the most frequent diseases that cats can get:

  • Litter box problems that arise suddenly might signal anything from a urinary tract infection to bladder stones or renal illness.
  • A rapid rise in appetite may indicate diabetes, hyperthyroidism, inflammatory bowel illness, or even intestinal cancer.
  • If your cat is drinking a lot more water than normal, it might be a symptom of renal illness, thyroid issues, or diabetes.
  • Upper respiratory infections can cause breathing issues as well as a decrease in your cat’s zest for hobbies and play.
  • Injuries and arthritis might cause a decrease in your cat’s acrobatic activities.
  • Bad breath in cats is a significant indicator that your cat is suffering from periodontal disease or is in pain with his teeth. Dental disease in cats, if left untreated, can lead to more serious problems such as heart, liver, and kidney illness.

When is Your Cat in an Emergency Situations?

Certain circumstances may be deemed urgent. When your cat is in distress, you should not wait for an appointment with your veterinarian. Keep a list of after-hours veterinarians on hand in case you need to see one quickly. Do not hesitate if you see symptoms of an emergency. Go to the nearest open veterinarian as soon as possible.

  • Trauma (for example, falling from a great height or being hit by a car) 
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Blue, white, or very pale gums
  • Collapse, unconsciousness, or inability to respond
  • Seizure
  • Inability to walk 
  • Dizziness, imbalance, or circling 
  • Moderate to profuse bleeding 
  • Exposure to a poisonous substance
  • Excruciating agony (showing signs like crying out loudly and excessively or acting aggressive when touched)
  • Body temperature greater than 104 degrees Fahrenheit (ca. 40 °C) or less than 99 degrees Fahrenheit (ca. 37 °C) (normal is usually 100.5-102.5)
  • Hasn’t eaten properly in the last 24 hours

If you notice anything else that concerns you about your cat, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you need assistance determining whether something is an emergency, contact your veterinarian or an emergency veterinarian.

What Should You Do If Your Cat Is Sick?

If your cat exhibits any strange behavior, a trip to the doctor for evaluation and treatment is in order. Early detection and treatment of diseases can assist to keep problems from worsening or becoming potentially fatal.

Cat injuries or diseases may need immediate medical treatment, surgery, or even emergency care. Seeking competent veterinarian advice as soon as possible is critical. The sooner therapy begins, the sooner your beloved buddy will resume normal behavior.

How to Prevent Cat Illness?

Many cat owners underestimate the value of routine veterinarian care. They may have to wait several years before bringing their cats to the vet for routine check-ups. Worse, they frequently wait until their cat is ill before acting. It’s reasonable that owners would prefer not to subject their pets to the stress of a veterinarian appointment. At the vet, some cats get extremely nervous, even violent. Rather than waiting, try to locate a less stressful veterinarian clinic for your cat. There are several feline-friendly practices available, including some that are just for cats. Alternatively, you may look for a mobile vet that would come to your home. Many cats thrive in a familiar setting.

 Refer to the pointers below to ensure your cat remains healthy:

  • Cats require annual veterinarian examinations. 6 Biannual check-ups and periodic lab testing can help senior cats. 
  • When your cat seems healthy, the vet will inspect him throughout these appointments. 
  • Minor anomalies on the exam may suggest a minor issue before your cat becomes very ill. 
  • Early detection may allow you and your veterinarian to intervene before the condition worsens.
  • You may also keep your cat healthy by offering nutritious food. A nutritious diet will help your cat prevent obeys and a variety of other health problems. 
  • Many veterinarians prescribe wet meals that are strong in protein and low in carbs.
  • Use regular parasite prevention as directed by your veterinarian. This can keep fleas, intestinal parasites, and other parasites away from your cat.
  • Give your cat a joyful, low-stress environment. 
  • Keep fresh water on hand at all times, as well as lots of clean, easily accessible litter boxes, in your home. 
  • Provide vertical space, such as cat trees and wall shelves, in smaller or multiple-cat houses.

Conclusion: How to Tell if Your Cat is Sick?

Cats are known to disguise pain and illness as a natural tendency. This implies that in the early stages of sickness, a cat owner may notice simply that the cat has become quiet and reclusive. Unfortunately, this means that a cat may become quite ill before the owner notices anything is amiss.

Veterinarians may detect subtle symptoms that a cat is developing a health condition via training and experience. This is one of the major reasons why the American Veterinary Medical Association and other veterinary professionals suggest twice-yearly wellness checkups for the average adult cat. Delaying your cat’s veterinarian appointment until there are evident indications of sickness may need drastic steps to cure the condition. You will be able to detect early warning signs and know what information you need to offer your veterinarian if you have some awareness of how cats display symptoms of the disease.

We hope this article on “How to tell if your cat is sick” was informative, and you are now able to understand and watch out for the signs mentioned above. For more informative blogs like “How to tell if your cat is sick” related to cats, visit our Cat care website now.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.