14 most common symptoms of illness in cats and tips for their care (2023)

Cats are good at hiding illnesses as they are known to keep it to themselves, so let's discuss some common cat illness symptoms that all cat owners should be aware of.

In this post I will try to highlight the most common symptoms of cat diseases, some cats may combine some of these symptoms of cat diseases at the same time.

Still, if you notice two or more cat disease symptoms on this page, don't ignore them and try to talk to a qualified veterinarian.

I'll try to keep things as simple as possible, keep reading...

Symptoms of cat disease

The following are some of the more common symptoms of cat sickness to watch out for:

1. Persistent changes in appetite

Persistent fluctuations in appetite are a sign that something is wrong with your cat or with the food you are offering.

Anorexia nervosa is a condition that occurs when a cat's appetite decreases and she is unable or unwilling to eat.

Intestinal parasites, an overactive thyroid, diabetes, or a gastrointestinal condition that causes poor food intake can increase your appetite.

Nausea, fever, food aversions, gastrointestinal upset, or mouth discomfort can cause loss of appetite. These may be due to dental disease, a mass, a foreign object, or trauma.

If a cat's loss of appetite lasts for more than 24 hours, it may be a health problem and you should take your cat to the vet right away to find out why.

2. Increased vocalization

Some cats meow more than others, and this varies by breed. Ragdoll cats and Siamese cats, for example, are known to meow more than other cats.

However, if you see your cat meowing more or in a different way, she may be trying to express physical or emotional pain.

When cats are hungry or unwell, they may meow louder, but if this is more than you're used to hearing, something is clearly wrong.

Some cats develop cognitive decline or senility as they age, which can affect how often they meow.

Read more: 13 TogetherSymptom of a dying cat.

3. Persistent lethargy

Persistent lethargy is one of the main symptoms of cat sickness that you should always watch out for.

Laziness, weakness, or boredom are signs of lethargy in cats and are easy to spot.

Despite the fact that it is one of their favorite activities, lethargic cats may refuse to walk, play or eat.

Monitor your cat's lethargy, whether total or partial, and take her to the vet if things don't improve.

Sitting cats like to sit and lie down and will not respond to your calls, so this situation may be different.

4. Persistent self-isolation

Cats that hide are mostly trying to communicate with their home.

Self-isolation from favorite activities is one of the most typical indicators of a sick cat; While this may be uncomfortable for some cat owners, it's important to recognize your cat's desire for isolation.

Cats hide when they are afraid, but they also hide when they are upset, in pain, or trying to avoid an intimidating feline or human relative.

If your cat used to run up to you and chase the ball, but not anymore, then something is wrong and you need to fix it.

5. Continue to lose or gain weight

Maintaining a consistent, healthy weight is a strong predictor of overall health; however, any significant change in weight may indicate an underlying health problem.

Fluctuations in cat weights, whether up or down, are always a concern.

Any of these symptoms can indicate an underlying health problem in cats and should not be completely ignored.

Weight loss is most important in the short term, although gaining weight over time is often more dangerous.

Make an appointment with your vet for an exam or at least a weight check if you are unsure of your cat's weight.

If your cat's weight drops by 10%, let your vet know. For smaller cats, this may be as little as a pound weight loss.

6. Persistent vomiting

Persistent vomiting is one of the most common symptoms of illness in cats to watch out for.

It is not uncommon for cats to throw up a hairball or vomit after eating.

However, if he vomits regularly, especially over the course of two or more days, it may indicate serious concern.

Also, keep in mind that vomiting that lasts for more than two days can lead to dehydration.

Keep an eye on your cat's vomiting to see what it looks like and how often it happens.

A visit to the vet is required if it looks strange, contains blood, or occurs frequently.

7. Frequent diarrhea

Diarrhea can indicate a number of problems, including food indiscretion, intestinal parasites, and many other problems.

Untreated diarrhea can lead to dehydration and additional intestinal irritation. It's also incredibly stressful for your cat.

Constipation can also cause vomiting and passing very small watery stools; However, frequent diarrhea can indicate a health problem.

Make an appointment with your vet and bring a stool sample if possible.

8. Increased or decreased urination

Increased or decreased urination is also one of the most common symptoms of illness in cats, which can appear sooner or later before the disease occurs.

Changes in urination should always be addressed. They usually indicate a problem with the urinary system or kidneys.

Make an appointment with your vet if you notice a change in the frequency or amount of urination, incontinence, or blood in the urine.

If your cat tries to urinate but nothing comes out, this can be a serious problem, especially in male cats.

Take your animal to the vet immediately.

9. Sudden changes in behavior

When a cat is in pain, it will exhibit behavioral changes, such as decreased activity, lethargy, or withdrawn behavior.

When a cat is sick, not all of them will behave adversely; Some become clingy or show signs of increased neediness.

It's natural for your cat's personality to change over time, especially as she gets older.

However, if your typically friendly cat becomes aggressive or your happy, confident cat becomes anxious, you should see your vet.

It's an even more serious scenario when your cat seems confused or disoriented.

10. Sudden changes in appearance

Sudden changes in appearance are also one of the most common symptoms to look out for when it comes to cat sickness, especially if you have a long-haired cat.

Obese cats find it difficult to brush their hind legs and spine in the tail area, which can lead to matted fur.

Over-grooming can be a behavior problem, but it could also indicate that your cat has a skin problem or is unwell.

If you notice excessive brushing, make an appointment with your vet to determine the source of the problem.

However, if a cat is uncomfortable in one or more joints, she may avoid brushing that region entirely, resulting in a matted or matted coat.

Pain can cause cats to increase or decrease grooming, which may seem paradoxical.

You may also see swelling of the cat's paw or other parts of the body, which is considered one of the most common symptoms of cat disease.

11. Suddenly avoiding the litter box

A cat's sudden avoidance of litter boxes may also be associated with one of the most common symptoms of feline illness.

If your cat suddenly stops urinating, seek veterinary help immediately.

A sick cat may have a blockage in the lower urinary tract, most commonly the urethra, which is a medical emergency.

When cats associate discomfort with the litter box, they may stop using it and start urinating or defecating elsewhere.

This can occur as a result of a bladder infection or diarrhea caused by a gastrointestinal condition that makes it difficult to get in and out of the litter box.

In multi-cat households, another reason cats avoid the litter box is because one cat guards the litter box and prevents the other cat from using it.

13. Changes in a cat's drinking habits

Changes in a cat's drinking behavior can only be noticed by cat owners who pay close attention to their cat's drinking or eating habits.

Increased thirst in cats can bring with it a variety of problems.

It usually indicates the presence of a medical condition such as kidney disease or diabetes mellitus.

Excessive thirst is a symptom of endocrine disorders such as diabetes and hyperthyroidism, which are common in older cats.

It can be a major problem if your cat's water bowl empties faster than normal, or if your feline friend searches for water in strange places like the toilet or faucet.

Many cat owners are unaware that their cats drink water.

So if you notice that your cat is spending more time than usual in the water bowl, it's a sign that something is wrong.

Make an appointment with your vet if your cat is drinking too much or too little.

Read more aboutSymptoms of stomach problems in catsYou must know.

14. Watery eyes or nose

Respiratory problems are indicated by sneezing, wheezing, watery eyes and nose or other flu-like symptoms, and wheezing or shortness of breath.

Squinting, cloudy or red eyes, and excessive discharge from your cat's eyes may indicate illness or damage.

Make an appointment for your cat as soon as possible; Keep in mind that eye diseases can progress rapidly and lead to blindness.

You should first consult a veterinarian before using any medication to treat any disease or alleviate clinical symptoms.

There you have the most common symptoms of cat diseases that all cat owners should be aware of and watch out for.

How to care for and comfort your sick cat

The following are some common approaches to calm and care for a sick cat:

  1. Offer a comfortable bed and blanket.
  2. Spend more time with your sick cat.
  3. Use a calm, reassuring tone to talk to your sick cat.
  4. Always approach your sick cat with caution.
  5. Keep your sick cat hydrated.
  6. Provide a relaxing and calm environment.
  7. Always keep your sick cat clean.
  8. Never yell at your sick cat.
  9. Offer smaller meals at regular intervals.
  10. Avoid any other source ofdistress.
  11. Keep your sick cat's temperature under control.
  12. Take care of your sick cat and keep it clean.
  13. Avoid moving around your sick cat.

Check here for more detailshow to care for a sick cat.

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