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

Cats can be stoic creatures and often manage to hide their discomfort when they are sick. Our Ypsilanti vets share some signs and symptoms that indicate your feline friend may be feeling under the weather.

Symptoms of a Sick Cat

Cats are skilled at masking their discomfort when they are sick, just like many other animals. As a result, indications of illness may not be noticeable until your cat is seriously unwell. This is why it is critical to see your Ypsilanti veterinarian as soon as possible if you observe any of the symptoms or signs listed below:

  • Constricted or dilated pupils
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Sudden mood change 
  • No inclination to play or appearing lethargic
  • Much less or much more vocal than usual 
  • Sudden changes in appetite, drinking, or eating habits 
  • Noticeable weight loss or gain
  • Rapid breathing or shortness of breath
  • Neglecting grooming or over-grooming
  • Improper use of litter box
  • Limping or injuries 
  • Wounds or swelling 
  • Bad breath
  • Discharge from eyes or nose 
  • Hair loss or skin irritation
  • Hiding

Knowing When Your Cat is Sick

As a cat owner, you have a unique understanding of your feline companion. It's essential to keep an eye on your cat's behavior for any subtle changes that might go unnoticed by others. Pay attention to any alterations in your cat's typical body language or demeanor.

If you notice something unusual or out of the ordinary, it's best to take your cat to the vet for a thorough check-up. It's better to be safe than sorry, even if your cat is not exhibiting any of the symptoms mentioned above.

    Some Common Causes of Illness in Cats

    The above symptoms indicate illness in cats, which common illnesses can cause.

    • The sudden appearance of litter box issues could indicate anything from a urinary tract infection to bladder stones or kidney disease.
    • A sudden increased appetite could be an indication of diabetes, hyperthyroidism, inflammatory bowel disease, or even intestinal cancer.
    • If your cat is drinking far more water than usual, it could be a sign that your cat is suffering from kidney disease, thyroid problems, or diabetes. 
    • Upper respiratory infections can cause breathing problems and reduce your cat's enthusiasm for activities and play.
    • Injuries and arthritis can result in a drop-off in your cat’s acrobatic activities. 
    • Bad breath in cats is a strong sign that your cat may be suffering from periodontal disease or experiencing tooth pain. If left untreated, dental disease in cats can lead to more serious issues such as heart, liver, and kidney conditions.  

    What To Do if Your Cat is Sick

    If your cat is exhibiting any unusual behaviors, it is important to take them to the vet for diagnosis and treatment. Early detection and treatment of illnesses can help prevent conditions from becoming more severe or even life-threatening.

    Injuries or illnesses affecting cats often require prompt medical attention, including surgery or emergency care. It is vital to seek professional veterinary advice as soon as possible. The sooner treatment is administered, the sooner your furry friend will be back to normal.

    If your cat isn't feeling their very best, contact Michigan Avenue Animal Hospital to book an appointment today

    Caring for Pets in Ypsilanti

    Michigan Avenue Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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    Book Online (734) 482-8171