Is My Cat Unhealthy? Easy Ways to Tell

All responsible pet owners want to take care of the animals they love, however its normally complicated for cat owners to figure out whether their cherished pet is sick. Stoic and independent, cats are elusive naturally and it’s tricky to quickly detect whether a cat is feeling good or poorly. No doubt, just about every cat owner will be faced with a situation involving a sick animal and numerous pet parents are left to determine if the situation is dangerous enough to justify a journey to the veterinarian’s office. If sickness is a likelihood, you can find several areas to monitor that can offer an owner advice to determine if their cat needs to be seen by a vet.

Grooming and Appearance

Cats are typically very clean and orderly animals, so the first place an owner should start is the cat’s all round appearance. Clearly if an animal feels unwell and lethargic, usual grooming behaviors will be the first activity to suffer. Following a simple checklist should provide a solid overall evaluation of the cat’s appearance and state. First, how does the cat’s fur seem? Is its appearance consistent with the way in which it’s normally kept? Second, is the cat’s fur it’s usual color? When an animal is feeling poorly, some new dietary habits often lead to a difference in fur color. Finally, look at the cat’s gum color. Typical gums should be a tone of pink, colors like white, grey, blue, yellow or brick can be indicative of sickness. Definitely, overall look should be the first sign that something may be wrong.


As any cat owner can confirm, cats are animals of routine and often behave in very dependable ways, which is why behavior can be such a good signal of wellness. Normally there are two behavioral types that cat parents can observe for variations in their pet’s behavior. A cat’s daily routine is normally very regular, so a modification of that routine indicates a cause for concern. Changing locations from spending time in the more highly trafficked areas of a house to the basement is an ideal illustration of a change in routine that could indicate a problem. A change in the manner in which a cat holds itself is an additional behavioral sign that something might be wrong. Changes in activity level, slower movement, frequency of jumping and panting behaviors are also indicators that something isn’t normal. Observing indications of altered behavior should give owners grounds for concern.

Dinnertime Habits

Because all pet owners must feed their pets, a modification in a cat’s eating habits is one of the easiest signs to see. While many changes can be attributed to routine alterations like a seasonal shift or using new pet food, cat owners must be vigilant because of the seriousness of not eating or drinking. Dehydration and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) can occur in under 24 hours, so it’s vital to recognize dramatic dietary changes immediately; the situation could turn very serious in just a matter of hours. Consequently owners must be vigilant to identify if the failure to eat is just a routine circumstance or something more serious. As anyone can see a dramatic alteration of eating habits can signify a serious situation that needs a vet’s immediate attention.

Contents of the Litter Box

Alongside eating habits, watching the characteristics of a cat’s urine and feces can be some of the easiest of signs for owners to look for, since a litter box cleaning should be on every cat owner’s regular to do list. Logically, a cat owner should look for changes that might suggest an illness. Typical signs include: increased or decreased creation of feces or urine; variations in stool consistency, blood in the litter or any other abnormalities. For example, a lot of hair in the pet’s stool can suggest an issue regarding hairballs, particularly if related issues are observed like vomiting and a dry hacking cough, especially after eating. Ultimately, monitoring the changes in a pet’s excrement can provide important clues to an existing illness.

Identifying whether a cat is ill and requires a visit to the local vet can be tricky, but by checking these areas, owners can quickly determine their pet’s overall condition.

Regina T. Roby is a fanatical cat owner that has lived through many feline emergencies with her inquisitive Siamese cat Thurston and Mackerel Tabby Oscar. Consequently, she’s found cat insurance in limiting major vet bills and is an avid proponent of pet insurance for every owner.

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