How to Tell if Your Cat is Sick

A black cat, with wide eyes, peeks up at the camera.Cats are notorious for masking symptoms of pain or illness, making it quite difficult for most owners to know whether their cat is sick or not. Because cats are innately wired to act OK even when they’re ill, it’s important to know what signs to look for in order to keep your pet happy and healthy.  

The Subtle Signs of Illness in Cats

There are some obvious situations that require veterinary care, such as when your cat is struck by a vehicle, attacked by another animal, or when they exhibit serious symptoms, like collapse. However, subtle signs your cat may be in trouble include:

  • Changes in weight (sudden gain or loss)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Drinking more water than usual
  • Changes in litter box habits (increased accidents or diarrhea)
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Increased vocalization
  • Lack of grooming or excessive grooming  
  • Reluctance to jump
  • Withdrawn (doesn’t want affection)
  • Straining to urinate
  • Lumps or bumps
  • Panting
  • Vomiting repeatedly
  • Sleeping more than usual

Some of these symptoms can be easily explained, so it’s important that your pet is seen by a veterinarian to receive an accurate diagnosis.

Keep Your Cat Healthy with Preventive Care

Whether it’s providing the right diet, keeping them well-groomed, or offering lots of exercise and enrichment, there are many ways you can ensure the health of your furry loved one. However, the best thing you can do as an owner is to maintain regular wellness visits. These annual screenings include blood work, urinalysis, and other important diagnostic testing, ensuring no problem flies under the radar for too long.

When it comes to detecting health changes in our feline friends, we’ve come a long way. Owners are no longer left in the dark when it comes to figuring out whether their cat is sick, and early detection efforts can actually prevent serious problems from ever arising. We can identify even slight changes in your pet’s baseline of health, making it much easier for us to recommend changes now that can help you avoid trouble later on.  

If it’s been a while since your precious cat companion has been in for a routine wellness exam, please give us a call. We’re always here for you and your cat!