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How to Tell If Your Cat is Sick

Cats conceal signs of illness exceptionally well. Here, our Voorhees vets share some signs sand symptoms that can help you tell if your kitty is feeling under the weather. 


Symptoms of a Sick Cat

Like many animals, cats are quite adept at hiding their discomfort when they are ill. In fact, you may not notice obvious signs of illness until your feline friend is feeling very unwell. That's why it's important to make an appointment with your Voorhees vet as soon as possible if you see any of these signs or symptoms:

  • Improper use of litter box
  • Bad breath
  • Swelling or wounds
  • Skin irritation or hair loss
  • Hiding
  • Neglecting grooming or excessive grooming
  • Injuries or limping 
  • Discharge from nose or eyes 
  • Rapid breathing or shortness of breath 
  • Significant weight loss or weight gain 
  • Much less or much more vocal than usual 
  • Sudden changes in appetite, eating, or drinking habits 
  • No inclination to play or appearing lethargic 
  • Vomiting or diarrhea 
  • Constricted or dilated pupils 
  • Sudden change in mood 

Knowing When Your Cat is Sick 

You're the best judge of your cat's demeanor and normal behavior. Be sure to monitor your cat for subtle shifts in behavior that others might not notice. Take note of any changes to your cat's usual habits or body language. 

If something just doesn't seem right, this would be a good time to schedule an appointment with your vet for a thorough examination, even if your cat isn't displaying any of the symptoms listed above. 

Common Causes of Illnesses in Cats 

The symptoms detailed above are all signs that your cat may be sick. Here are a few common illnesses that can develop in cats:

  • Abnormal use of the litter box may indicate anything from a urinary tract infection to kidney disease or bladder stones. 
  • A sudden increase in appetite may point to inflammatory bowel disease, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, or even intestinal cancer. 
  • If your cat is drinking far more water than usual, it could be a sign that your cat is suffering from kidney disease, thyroid problems, or diabetes. 
  • Upper respiratory infections can cause breathing problems and reduce your cat's enthusiasm for activities and play.
  • Injuries and arthritis can result in a drop-off in your cat’s acrobatic activities. 
  • Bad breath in cats is a strong sign that your cat may be suffering from periodontal disease or experiencing tooth pain. If left untreated, dental disease in cats can lead to more serious issues such as heart, liver and kidney conditions.  

What To Do if Your Cat is Sick

If your cat is displaying any unusual behaviors it's worth a trip to the vet for diagnosis and treatment. Early detection and treatment of illnesses can help to prevent conditions from becoming more severe or potentially life-threatening.

Cat injuries or illnesses often require urgent medical attention, surgery or even emergency care. It is essential to seek professional veterinary advice as soon as possible. The sooner treatment begins, the sooner your furry friend will be acting more like themselves again.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is your cat feeling unwell? Contact our vets at Voorhees Veterinary Center to schedule an examination for your feline companion.

New Patients Welcome

Voorhees Veterinary Center is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of New Jersey's companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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