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How To Tell If Your Cat Is Sick

It can be hard to tell when your cat isn’t feeling well. Cats typically spend most of the day sleeping anyway, so how do you know if your pet isn’t feeling the best? Learning how to tell if your cat is sick and which symptoms warrant a call to the vet, is necessary information that every owner needs to know.

You know your cat better than anyone. You spend hours with him everyday, and you know his normal routine. If you're observing your pet and you think that something is off, then it probably is.

There are many common symptoms of illness that are easy to spot, like vomiting, diarrhea or breathing problems. However, your cat may try his best to hide how he's really feeling. If he isn't showing blatant symptoms, you will need to closely observe your cat in order to notice even the most subtle changes in his diet and behavior.

How To Tell If Your Cat Is Sick

how to tell if your cat is sickIf you think your cat isn't feeling the best, you'll need to keep a close eye on him. Some of these symptoms are subtle, so you'll need to pay attention and be observant of any behavioral changes in your kitty. The most common signs to look for include:

  • Sudden change in mood – especially socialization (more or less social than normal)
  • No inclination to play or appearing lethargic
  • Much less or much more vocal than usual
  • Irregular breathing – shortness of breath or breathing heavier than normal
  • Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
  • Sudden change in drinking or eating habits
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Changes in litter box usage – check litter box for signs of bloody or mucus covered stool or blood in the stool or urine
  • Urinating or defecating in strange places

If just one of these symptoms is evident, keep a close watch on your cat and take notes if necessary. For example, if your cat seems to be using the litter box more or less than normal, record the times that he uses the litter box and any necessary notes. This will allow you to tell exactly how often your pet is using the bathroom and provide detailed information to share with your veterinarian.

One symptom wouldn't be anything to get too worried about. Monitor your cat closely, and call your vet if you have any questions. If the symptom begins to get better, it will likely clear up on its own. If the symptom begins to get worse or lasts for more than 48-72 hours, it's best to seek veterinary care.

If you notice more than one symptom or the change in behavior seems sudden or drastic, seek veterinary care immediately. Multiple symptoms are a sign that there is definitely something concerning going on. Do not wait, and do not try to treat the symptoms yourself.

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Samantha’s biggest passion in life is spending time with her Boxer dogs. After she rescued her first Boxer in 2004, Samantha fell in love with the breed and has continued to rescue three other Boxers since then. She enjoys hiking and swimming with her Boxers, Maddie and Chloe.