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How to Tell if Your Cat is Sick: Signs & Symptoms

How to Tell if Your Cat is Sick: Signs & Symptoms

Cats are very good at hiding signs of illness from their owners so it is important to be able to recognize the potentially subtle clues that might indicate sickness. Our South Plainfield vets will teach you how to recognize the signs and symptoms of a sick cat and what you should do to help them feel better. 

How can I tell if my cat is sick?

Our pets are masters at hiding illness, so it can be difficult to tell when something is wrong. Annual checkups and physical exams ensure your pet is in good health but issues can arise between checkups resulting in serious illness. If your cat is experiencing any of these symptoms they may require at trip to the vet: 

  • Hiding
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Constricted or dilated pupils
  • Sudden change in mood
  • Limping or injuries
  • Sudden changes in appetite, drinking or eating habits 
  • Gaining or losing weight 
  • Changes in breathing (rapid breathing or shortness of breath)
  • Bad breath
  • Discharge from eyes or nose 
  • Hair loss or skin irritation 
  • Neglecting grooming or over-grooming
  • Improper use of litter box
  •  Much less or much more vocal than usual 
  • Wounds or swelling 
  • No inclination to play or appearing lethargic

You know your cat best, if you're wondering "is my cat sick?" chances are they are acting out of character which could be cause for concern. Even if they have one of these symptoms but aren’t showing signs of pain, take action and visit a vet.

Potential causes of illness in cats

The symptoms above can be caused by any number of things. Though it’s normal for cats to change over time as they age, the sudden appearance of litter box issues could indicate anything from a urinary tract infection to kidney disease or bladder stones.

Extreme weight loss could be due to cancer, while noticeable weight gain can result in obesity, which may result in many long-term issues such as diabetes and cancer. These diseases reduce your cat’s quality of life, and life expectancy so it’s important to get them medical attention.

Other issues may be caused by dental diseases. Upper respiratory infections can cause breathing problems, while arthritis or injury can result in a reduction of the amount of movent your cat is able to do throughout the day. Keep an eye on their fur while you’re petting them. Any abscesses that are hot to the touch or aren’t healing are also cause for concern.

What to do when your cat is sick

It can be distressing to see signs that all is not well with your cat, but the sooner you can get them to a vet, the sooner you can get them back to feeling healthy, happy and limber. Because some illnesses or injuries require urgent medical attention, surgery or even emergency care, it’s imperative to seek professional advice.

Are there some signs your cat is sick? Book an appointment today and let our knowledgeable and compassionate veterinary team get your feline companion back to their usual selves.

Welcoming New Patients

At Plainfield Animal Hospital, we are always welcoming new patients! Our vets are passionate about providing state-of-the-art care to South Plainfield's companion animals. Contact us today to book your first appointment.

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