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How to Tell if Your Cat Is Sick: Signs & Symptoms

How to Tell if Your Cat Is Sick: Signs & Symptoms

If your feline friend isn't feeling well they will show subtle changes in behavior and energy level, but our Elk Grove vets know that these changes can be difficult for pet parents to detect. That's why it's important to monitor your kitty's health and watch for these signs of common cat illnesses.

Sick Cats

Much like people cats can suddenly find themselves feeling unwell. Cat illnesses range from common and highly contagious cat colds (upper respiratory infections), to diabetes, feline immunodeficiency virus, feline leukemia virus, worms, hyperthyroidism and even cancer.

Of course, the symptoms that your cat shows will depend upon the kind of illness they are suffering from however there are a number of symptoms that are common to many health issues in cats.

Below our vets from Bruceville Pet Hospital share a few signs that can mean it's time to book a vet appointment, as well as more serious symptoms that indicate that your cat is in need of emergency veterinary care.

Signs of a Sick Cat

Cats possess a natural instinct to hide if they are sick or injured, so it's important to monitor your cat's behavior to watch for anything that seems out of the ordinary for your kitty. Although it may just be a passing bout of indigestion or a cold, it's also possible that your cat has a more serious condition that needs medical attention.

Cats hide pain and illness well, so what looks like a minor issue could be the sign of something more serious. Contact your vet to book an appointment if you notice any of the following symptoms.

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea or constipation - especially if your cat appears to be in pain
  • Lethargy - sleeping more than usual
  • Increase or decrease in appetite
  • Weight changes - Sudden decrease or increase in weight
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Breathing issues, or changes in breathing
  • Runny eyes or nose, clear, green or white
  • Excessive shedding, bald patches, skin irritation
  • Blood in the urine
  • Changes in personality - in longer playful or refuses to go outside

When Your Cat Needs to See an Emergency Vet

While the symptoms listed above indicate that it's time to book a veterinary appointment for your cat, the symptoms listed below are much more serious. If your cat shows any of the following symptoms urgent veterinary care is required.

If you are unclear whether your cat's symptoms are indicative of an emergency, you can call us and we can help you decide.

  • Indications of severe pain - typically accompanied by loud crying or aggression
  • Seizure
  • Trauma
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Signs of pain while urinating
  • Discolored gums - blue, grey, white, or unusually pale
  • Bleeding that is moderate to extreme
  • Any exposure to poison
  • Vomiting blood
  • Unresponsiveness or unconsciousness
  • Unable to walk or signs of dizziness
  • Overly high or low temperatures - under 99° or over 104°

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If your cat is showing signs of illness it's time to head to the vet. Contact our Elk Grove vets at Bruceville Pet Hospital to book an examination for your cat, or contact your nearest veterinary emergency hospital for urgent care.

New Patients Welcome at Bruceville Pet Hospital

We are happily accepting new patients at our conveniently located Elk Grove veterinary clinic! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of companion animals. Reach out today to book your pet's first appointment.

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