Get to know the signs and symptoms of a sick cat, as well as the possible causes. Find out what to do to make sure your cat is happy and healthy again.
Signs of a Sick Cat
Sometimes, our cats get sick, and it can be hard to figure out what's wrong with them. It's important to have them checked out by a qualified veterinarian once a year, but problems can arise between visits that can lead to a seriously sick cat. In this case, your cat might be sick and need to be taken to the vet.
- Constricted or dilated pupils
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Sudden change in mood
- Much less or much more vocal than usual
- 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
- Limping or injuries
- Wounds or swelling
- No inclination to play, or appears lethargic
You know your cat best and can probably sense when they are not their regular selves. 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
If you have the symptoms above, they could be caused by a lot of different things. A sudden rise in litter box issues could be a sign of a urinary tract infection, bladder stones, or kidney disease. It's normal for cats to change over time as they age.
A person who loses a lot of weight could have cancer, while someone who gains a lot of weight could be obese, which can cause diabetes and cancer in the long run, among other things. These diseases can hurt your cat's quality of life and even cut it short, so it's important to get them checked out.
People who have dental problems may have other problems. Upper respiratory infections can make it hard for your cat to breathe, and arthritis or an injury can make it less able to do acrobatics. Keep an eye on their fur as you pet them. When any abscesses are hot to the touch or don't seem to be getting better, they should also be a cause for alarm.
What to do when your cat is sick
If your cat shows signs that something isn't right, it can be very upsetting. The sooner you can get them to a vet, the sooner you can get them back to feeling healthy. Because some illnesses or injuries need immediate medical attention, surgery, or even emergency care, it's important to get professional help.