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6 Signs That You Should Bring Your Cat to a Veterinarian

Updated on October 18, 2017
Maggie Bonham profile image

Maggie Bonham, or Margaret H. Bonham, is a multiple award-winning pet author and expert. She has written more than 20 books on pets.

Cats don't say much when they don't feel well. Often, they pretend everything is okay when it's not. The reasons are many, but usually has to do with their survival instinct. In the wild, a sick cat doesn't have a pack to help support him; instead, he's got to tough it through. Because that instinct is so strong, even though your cat relies on you, he may not be telling you he feels under the weather.

Here are six signs that may mean you should take your kitty to the vet.

Eliminating Outside the Litterbox

Litterbox problems are the number one behavioral problem in cats, and yet, the reality is many cats who urinate and defecate outside the litterbox may have a health problem. Urinary tract infections, urinary stones, megacolon (impacted feces) and other diseases and conditions can cause your kitty to avoid the litterbox. So, if you keep the litterbox clean and your cat starts urinating or defecating outside the litterbox, a quick trip to the veterinarian is in order.


A cat that doesn't eat is one who is sick.

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Excessive Grooming

Sure, cats groom themselves, but if your kitty is biting off hair or ripping out fur, it's time for a quick trip to the veterinarian to find out why. Your cat may be suffering from allergies, fleas, an auto-immune condition, or hyperthyroidism. Your vet will likely want to run tests to determine why your cat feels the need to remove his fur.

Vomiting and Diarrhea

Yes, cats throw up hairballs, but if your cat vomits more than once or the vomit is black or tarry, or your cat has diarrhea with it, it is time to bring your cat to the veterinarian. Vomiting may be a sign of a disease, blockage, or other malady. The sooner you have your vet diagnose your cat, the sooner your cat will feel better.

Weepy Eyes and Sneezing

Sure, it might be allergies, or it could be much worse. Cats are prone to "kitty colds" that are very contagious and can be very serious in kittens. These diseases include feline rhinotracheitis virus, feline calicivirus, and chlamydia (pneumonitis). These diseases can be prevented through vaccinations. Common signs are snotty noses, sneezing, ulcers around the mouth, weepy eyes, and fever.

Hiding or Behaving Oddly

If your cat suddenly starts hiding under the bed or tries to stay out of the way, he may be telling you he doesn't feel well. Likewise, if your kitty lashes out when you pet him, when he is normally very affectionate, that should be a sign that all is not right. Changes in sleeping habits, eating habits, and behaviors are sure signs something is amiss and you should have your cat checked out.

Not Eating

A cat that doesn't eat is one who is sick. It's not normal for a cat to miss a meal and a cat who suddenly stops eating could suffer from a fatal condition called hepatic lipidosis where the fat accumulates in the liver and the liver's function becomes impaired. A variety of conditions can cause a cat to stop eating, so be sure to bring your cat to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

How to Get Your Cat to the Veterinarian


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