Common Signs That Your Cat Is Sick

Because cats can be very stoic when it comes to sickness, pain or injury, it can be pretty hard to know if they are really sick or not. According to research, this specific behavior of cats may be attributed to their defense mechanism. Like many other classes of animals, cats tend to hide their sickness so they will not be viewed as something vulnerable.

For this reason, you need to pay extra attention to your pet’s behavior so you can easily determine if it needs some medical attention. Understanding your cat by just seeing and feeling it can help you determine if it is acting unusual. Here are some signs that could tell if your cat is sick:

Sudden change in appetite

It is normal for pets (even for people) to lose their appetite if they are not feeling well. However, even increase in appetite can indicate sickness for cats. Sudden change in appetite may be linked to a lot of medical conditions. Only your vet can determine what exactly is happening to your pet. That’s why it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

Unexplained weight loss

Weight loss in cats can be a sign of an underlying medical condition. Whether or not you notice a change in your cat’s appetite, you may need to consult your vet if you notice abrupt decrease in its weight. Weight loss in cats can be caused by a number of reasons. Some of which are anemia, diabetes and kidney failure.

Behavior change

Cats are normally clingy, outgoing and active. If you notice your cat suddenly becomes quiet and irritable, it can be a sign of sickness or it may be feeling pain. Sick cat usually hides in dark places and often lie in hunched position.

Stinky breath and pale gums

Your kitty’s stinky breath definitely does not come from the food you’ve put in the food bowl. Like humans, cat’s bad breath may indicate tooth decay or gum disease. Moreover, a breath that smells like ammonia may indicate kidney disease, which is something that needs immediate attention. Lastly, pale gums can be an indication of poor circulation and possible disease.

Urinating outside the litter box

Oftentimes we think this annoying habit is caused by bad behaviors. However, it can also be a sign of urinary tract infection or bladder disease. Consult your vet immediately specially if this is a sudden behavior switch for your cat.

Change in sleeping pattern

Sleeping all day can be a sign of sickness specially if your cat is naturally active. This might be a way for your pet to tell you that he or she is not feeling well. Also, if your cat is up all-night and meowing constantly, this could be a sign of stress-related sickness. Constant cat meowing could also be symptoms of hyperactive thyroid, diseases related to kidneys and urinary tract and other medical conditions.

Changes in grooming habits

Cats are naturally meticulous when it comes to their hygiene. You can observe healthy cats spending much of their time grooming themselves. Decrease in grooming habits can indicate sickness. Overweight cats may experience difficulty in reaching certain areas of their bodies. Also, excessive grooming could indicate allergies or skin irritation. Some cat groom excessively due to stress and anxiety.


It is pretty normal for cats to vomit from time to time. Occasional vomiting could only mean they have eaten something bad or too much or too quickly. However, if you notice your cat vomiting for an extended period of time, it could be a symptom of something more serious.


Coughing is caused by a number of reasons. It may maybe something usual like allergens, hairball or foreign bodies. Still, it could also be caused by something serious. If your cat’s coughing continues for more than 24 hours, bring him or her to the vet immediately.

Overall appearance

Sometimes you can’t pinpoint what is specifically wrong with your cat. Maybe the way he or she stands or walks. Maybe the way his or her tail moves. When you notice something odd about your cat, it would not hurt to consult your vet right away. 

Like the old saying goes, “prevention is better than cure.” One of the best ways to protect our pets from illnesses is vaccination. It is a critical part of preventive heath care program for your pet. Vaccines are given to pets in vet clinics and pet care centers like Petco.

Any form of illness is best treated when caught early. If you notice any of these changes to your cat, don’t waste any more minute and bring him or her to the veterinarian.

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