Monday, June 27, 2011

How to Tell if Your Cat is Sick - Part 1

Cats are notorious for being able to hide their illnesses and pain from everyone. They've had to do this historically in order to not appear vulnerable to predators. However, their great ability to hide pain and illness can also make it difficult for feline parents to recognize when a cat is sick or in pain. Getting to know your cat's routine and his or her habits is very important for being able to recognize the early signs of possible illness or pain in your pet.

Appetite and Eating: Knowing your cat's eating habits will help you recognize when something is amiss with his or her appetite or eating. For instance, if you feed your cat dry food in the morning and it typically lasts all day, you'll recognize your cat is not eating as much or doesn't have an appetite if his or her bowl is half-full at the end of the day. If you feed your cat wet (canned) food everyday and he or she is typically excited about it, you can assume he or she has no appetite if your cat doesn't come running for his or her wet dinner as usual. However, if your cat comes running for his or her dinner and then doesn't eat much (or anything at all), your cat may not feel as if he or she can eat much. Loss of appetite and/or changes in eating habits is one sign your fur baby may be ill.

Drinking: Your cat's drinking habits are another important thing you should know about him or her. If your cat is not drinking as much as usual, he or she may become dehydrated and may need to get fluids at your veterinarian. In order to tell if your pet is dehydrated, gently lift up the skin between his or her shoulder blades and release it. If the skin falls back into place immediately, your feline is hydrated. If the skin does not snap back into place immediately, your cat is likely suffering from dehydration.

Similarly, if your furry friend begins drinking more water than usual, it could be a sign of a serious problem, such as diabetes.

Elimination: Though it may not be the most comfortable thing to think about, it is important to know your cat's usual elimination habits. If your feline is litterbox trained and typically uses his or her litterbox, he or she may be ill or in pain if he or she suddenly stops using it and eliminates elsewhere. Of course, a refusal to utilize the litterbox could simply mean that the box is not clean enough for your furry friend. However, if after cleaning the box and filling it with fresh litter, your cat still refuses to use the litterbox, there is likely something amiss with your pet.

Personality and Behavior Changes: Personality and behavior changes are another sign that may indicate something is wrong with your pet. If your cat typically greets you at the door when you come home and stops doing so, there may be something wrong. If your furry friend usually follows you around your home, but stops doing so and begins sleeping in another room while you are at home instead, this could mean your fur baby is ill. Lethargy and sudden aggressiveness are some other changes you might see in your pet if he or she is not feeling well.

These are just a few of the signs that may indicate your pet is not feeling well. I hope you will return to learn about other signs that your feline may be ill or in pain.


  1. Thanks for commenting on our blog! xoxo Lars and James

  2. Luckily the cats that live with me have never been sick, but we'll know what to look for now.

    Nubbin wiggles,