How to Know if Your Cat is Sick

Posted by Joe Cayetano on Oct 2, 2018 1:06:48 PM

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Our feline companions shower us with a lifetime of unconditional friendship and love from the time we first meet them. So it’s only fair we return that affection just the same. Cats are well known at taking care of themselves, but like most of us, they'll require a helping hand occasionally.

One of the most interesting aspects about cats is how independent and calm their overall demeanor is. However, they might end up being too relaxed if not docile even when they're sick. So, it’s crucial to pay attention to your cat's health yourself beyond the threshold of regular medical check-ups. As a responsible and caring owner, it’s your duty to ensure your adorable friend gets treated as soon as possible.

It can be a tricky task to tell when your cat is actually feeling off. So, here are some tips that can help you deal with such situations.   


Deficiency in Movement Could Be Joint Pain

Though this attribute is can be associated with the cat getting older, loss of movement could be a sign of acute arthritis, according to Michelle Newfield, an eminent DVM at Gause Boulevard Veterinary Hospital in Louisiana. So, if you notice decreased movement from your cat, if it isn’t running around or jumping up on the shelves like it usually did, it might be experiencing joint pain.

Changes in Grooming Habits

Cats are self-groomers. So, if it suddenly stops doing this, it’s time to take note. A scruffy coat, or unhealthy grooming habits can indicate symptoms of thyroid. Also, excessive licking or itching, added with an unusual amount of hair loss can be further indications of poor health. An oily and dry coat of fur is also considered as a sign of long-term health issues.

Bowel Movements

The amount of urine your cat expels is another important factor, as too little or too much urine indicates bladder or kidney problems. The cause for concern doesn’t end with the frequency of bowel movements or urination, but also the place. If your cat suddenly starts "going" outside its usual litterbox, it might be an indication of incontinence. Also, take note that it can be a psychological issue, so seeking professional opinion is the best course of action. If there are causes of suspicion, inspect their stool. The cat might have blood in its stool or may be suffering from diarrhea. 


Cats often vomit, commonly form nausea or hairball, or because they ate something they couldn’t digest. The need to purge is quite evident in these cases. However, if your cat starts dry heaving, without expulsing anything, it can be a clear sign of obstruction. If the purged-out hairball is not completely comprised of hair, there are high chances that your cat actually vomited, and is sick.

Changes in Behavior

If your cat suddenly starts to act extremely spunky, hold on to your hats. Overactive behavior is a known sign of hyperthyroidism. Also, if it becomes overly rough, or even timid or fearful, with major changes in behavior clearly noticeable, these are clear signs of mental or health issues.  

Cats are extremely witty and perceptive animals. They are not the most emotional or affectionate of animals, so it becomes quite tough for the owners to deduce whether they are suffering from any issues or not. If your pet is exhibiting any of the above symptoms, consult immediately with a veterinarian or pet care experts. So, it’s time you start looking out for the signs that might suggest your cat is sick, it’s time to check out how they act and feel around you.

Photo credit: Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash

Topics: cat care, cats, pet, pet care, pets

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