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Is Your Cat Sick? Signs to Look For!

Updated on November 26, 2009

Cats are notorious for their ability to appear healthy when in fact, they are ill or simply not feeling well. Unfortunately, cats can't speak, therefore, it is very important that we (as cat owners) know our pets and are able to look for and recognize signs of illness. Personally, I can tell when my cat Norman is ill. Norman has quite the playful personality, therefore, when he turns his nose up at the cat teaser toy or doesn't move from his cat bed for hours on end, I know that something is not right. It is very important that you get into the habit of giving your cat or kitten a weekly mini-exam. Catching an illness or problem early is extremely important as you will want to quickly provide the necessary care in order to get your cat or kitten back on their paws and on the road to recovery! It is easy to care for your kitten or cat as long as you know the signs!

The Signs

So what signs should you be looking for? Well, my cat loving friends, there are many and some signs are easier to spot than others! Lethargy or excessive sleepiness is a sure sign that your kitten or cat is not well. Most cats sleep up to 17 hours per day so lethargy might be a difficult sign to spot. It is important that you make note of your cat's sleeping patterns so that you will be able to detect any changes…for example, sleeping more than usual or sleeping through mealtime.

Along with noting your cat's sleeping patterns you should also keep track of his food and water consumption. If your cat stops eating, obviously, there is something wrong. If your cat all of a sudden begins to drink large amounts of water…this too is a sign of a possible medical issue. Keep an eye out for variations in both your cat's food and water intake.

Personally, I wouldn't mind losing a pound (or ten) however, when it comes to your cat or kitten weight loss can be a sure fire sign that something is not right. Weight loss is one sign that often goes undetected as it can be difficult to tell when a cat has dropped a pound or two. This is especially true with cats that have long hair. Owners who groom their felines can often tell rather quickly if their pet has lost weight (bones that were once not so easy to feel have become more prominent). Though your cat losing a pound may not sound like a bad thing….it is when he or she only weighed ten or eleven pounds to begin with! If you notice that your cat is losing weight, make an appointment to see the veterinarian as soon as possible.

Just as the eyes are the windows to the soul…the litter box is the window into your cat's health! Changes in litter box behavior can be a sign that your cat is ill. If you notice that your cat is using the litter box more often or having difficulties when it comes to elimination it is definitely time to pay the veterinarian a visit. Cats will often poop or urinate outside of the litter box when they are ill (they associate the litter box with pain and discomfort..hence the reason they avoid it).

Other signs that your cat or kitten may be ill include changes in behavior and grooming habits. If your cat has suddenly become aggressive for no reason (that you can see) make an appointment and take him or her to the vet as something is definitely wrong. If your cat OVER-grooms himself this may be a sign of a skin problem (such as an allergic reaction to something). If your cat has given up on grooming all together…this too can be a sign of a medical issue that needs attention.

Over all caring for your kitten or cat is easy! Our pets depend on us to provide medical care, therefore, it is important that you know the signs of illness and what to look for. If possible, keep a small notebook handy so that you can write down important facts such as how much your cat weighs, how long he sleeps and what his normal eating times are. By keeping a "kitty journal" you will be able to tell when something is not quite right with your furry, four-legged friend. Good luck and here's to keeping your kitty healthy and happy!

For more great cat information, read the tale of the tail! Another great HUB with interesting cat information!



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    • DearBandit profile image

      DearBandit 5 years ago

      Good info!