How to Tell if Your Cat is Sick

Does a kitty live in your home? These cute furballs have been our friends and companions since the dawn of history, when they used to help us by eating the vermin that fed on our crops. Nowadays, Kitty doesn’t live in the wild anymore, and she has traded her lifestyle of being a free-roaming predator in for lounging about on your furniture, but some of Fluffy’s old habits persist. When cats lived in the wild, they had to be very cautious of predators. Since many predators instinctively seek out animals that are weak or injured, prey animals sometimes instinctively try to mask any signs of illness or injury. Cats can be a bit complicated, to say the least. Here are some recognizable signs for you to watch out for that will let you know if your furry feline is sick, as described by your Shawnee veterinarians Drs. Ferrell and Regehr.

Here are a few examples:

Lack of Appetite

Normal cats have healthy appetites. As you may have noticed, our feline friends tend to take breakfast very seriously. If your kitty isn’t interested in her food, keep a very close eye on her.

Dull Fur

Healthy cats are very meticulous about their beauty regimens, and will spend hours grooming themselves to keep their fur soft and shiny. Kitties that are not feeling well will often not bother with their daily baths, and it won’t take long for their fur to show the signs of neglect. If your cat’s coat seems dull, matted, or greasy, she may be ill.


This one is a bit tricky, because sometimes cats like to hide just for the heck of it. A sick cat, however, will remain withdrawn, and if you coax her out of her hiding hole, she will likely immediately return to it.

Behavioral Changes

If your furball is usually a cuddlebug who purrs as soon as you pick her up, but suddenly hisses when you touch her, there’s a red flag there. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a normally aloof cat that suddenly wants to cuddle may not be feeling well.

Excessive Thirst

If your cat can’t seem to get enough water, she may be having kidney, thyroid, other metabolic issues like diabetes. We recommend changing Fluffy’s water daily, not only for hygienic reasons, but because it’s easier for you to monitor her water intake. A lack of thirst is also a bad sign.


If your cat seems to be having difficulty in the litter box, or has diarrhea, there may be something going on with her.

If you see any of these symptoms in your cat, contact your vet immediately.

Please click here for more articles on cat care and behavior. As your vet clinic in Shawnee, we are here to answer all your questions, so don’t hesitate to call us anytime.

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