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7 Signs of Illness In Cats

September 1, 2019
Cats are full of curious—and often amusing—characteristics. We may never entirely understand Fluffy’s catnip obsession, or figure out exactly why she finds boxes so irresistible. However, not all of our feline pals’ quirks are harmless. In fact, one in particular can be quite dangerous. Kitties instinctively mask signs of illness. This can make it really hard to tell when they aren’t feeling well. You may not even realize anything is wrong with your beloved pet until she’s very sick. That’s why it’s so important to watch for red flags. A Fayetteville, NY vet lists some common ones below.


We know, sometimes Fluffy just likes to curl up for a snooze in a quiet, out-of-the-way spot. However, if your furry friend is just trying out a new napping spot—or, for timid kitties, perhaps hiding from guests—she should emerge by dinnertime or when things quiet down. If your cat seems uncharacteristically withdrawn, she could be ill.

Poor Grooming

Our feline friends are quite the little divas. Fluffy can spend hours each day carefully grooming herself. If your pet doesn’t feel well, she may forego her usual beauty routine. If she does, her fur will soon start looking unkempt, greasy, or matted.

Tummy Troubles

The occasional hairball is more or less ‘purr for the course’ with cats. However, frequent or excessive vomiting is definitely not normal.

Change In Food/Water Consumption

Healthy animals have healthy appetites. Although cats can be finicky, they usually complain—loudly—if they just don’t like what you offered. If Fluffy is eating and/or drinking more or less than usual, there could be something going on with her.

Respiratory Issues

Healthy cats should breathe quietly, except of course when they’re meowing for food or attention. Coughing, wheezing, gasping, and shallow breathing are all warning signs that something is wrong.

Litterbox Trouble

Any changes in the smell, color, amount, or texture of Fluffy’s waste can be a red flag. Straining to go and/or soiling outside the litterbox are also signs of trouble.

Uncharacteristic Behavior

Keep an eye out for behavior that isn’t normal for your pet. For instance, if your usually-quiet kitty starts yowling, she may be ill. A cuddly cat that suddenly seems grouchy could also be sick. Please contact us, your Fayetteville, NY vet clinic, for all your kitty’s veterinary care needs. We’re dedicated to offering great care!
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