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How can I tell if my cat is sick?

Because many cats have stoic personalities, they can sometimes hide their discomfort if they are sick. Our vets in Central Illinois share some signs and symptoms that your four-legged companion may be ill. 

Signs of a Sick Cat

Like many animals, cats may instinctively camouflage their discomfort when they are sick. Even the most attentive pet parent may not notice signs of illness until their cat is feeling very ill. This is why it's essential to see your vet in Central Illinois as soon as possible if you notice any of these signs or symptoms:

  • Appearing lethargic or no inclination to play
  • Shortness of breath or rapid breathing
  • Constricted or dilated pupils
  • Diarrhea or vomiting
  • Sudden changes in appetite, drinking or eating habits
  • Much less or much more vocal than usual
  • Noticeable weight loss or gain
  • Over-grooming or neglecting grooming
  • Hiding
  • Bad breath
  • Improper use of litter box
  • Discharge from nose or eyes
  • Injuries or limping
  • Wounds or swelling
  • Skin irritation or hair loss

Is my cat sick?

You are more familiar with your cat than anyone else, so you have a good baseline as to their normal behavior. Be sure to watch your cat for subtle changes in behavior others may not notice. Take note of changes in typical body language or demeanor. 

If your intuition is telling you something just isn't right, this is a good time to schedule a visit with the vet for a thorough checkup, even if your cat is not displaying any symptoms listed above.

Common Causes of Illness in Cats

The symptoms listed above are all signs that your cat may be sick. Here are a few common illnesses that cats can develop:

  • 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 displaying any unusual behaviors it's worth a trip to the vet for diagnosis and treatment. Early detection and treatment of illnesses can help to prevent conditions from becoming more severe or potentially life-threatening.

Cat injuries or illnesses often require urgent medical attention, surgery or even emergency care. It is essential to seek professional veterinary advice as soon as possible. The sooner treatment begins, the sooner your furry friend will be acting more like themselves again.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Has your cat been feeling ill? Our veterinary professionals at Pekin Veterinary Clinic have experience in diagnosing and treating many illnesses and conditions in cats. Contact us today to book an appointment.

Caring for Pets in Central Illinois

Pekin Veterinary Clinic is welcoming new clients to our clinic. Contact our team to book your pet's appointment.

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Contact (309) 346-1375