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Signs That Your Cat is Ill

March 15, 2020

Cats are very mysterious little furballs. One thing that’s important to understand about kitties is the fact that they often try to hide signs of sickness. Therefore, it’s important to know what to look for. In this article, a Downingtown, PA vet lists some signs that your cat needs veterinary care right away.

Poor Grooming

Cats are very clean, and will groom themselves every day to keep their fur looking good. If Fluffy doesn’t feel well, she may skip her usual beauty routine. Her fur will soon show the neglect, and start looking ratty or greasy.

Reduced Appetite

A lack of appetite is almost always a red flag. We know, cats can be finicky. However, if Fluffy doesn’t like what you put in her bowl, she should meow to demand something else. A sudden increase in appetite can also be a sign of illness.

Behavioral Changes

If we advised bringing kitties in every time they did something odd, our waiting room would always be overflowing with quirky felines. What you want to watch for are things that aren’t normal for your pet. For example, if Fluffy is usually cuddly, but suddenly hisses when you touch her, she could be sick.

Litterbox Issues

Changes in the amount, color, or texture of your kitty’s waste are a definite red flag. Eliminating outside the litterbox can also signify health issues. Straining to go is also a warning sign, and in fact should be treated like an emergency.


While the occasional hairball isn’t unusual for kitties, frequent and/or excessive vomiting is definitely not normal.


This one is a bit tricky, as some cats just like to curl up in quiet spots. However, if Fluffy doesn’t want to leave her hiding place, she may be sick.

Respiratory Issues

Fluffy may snore lightly or sneeze on occasion, but otherwise she should breathe quietly. Gasping, coughing, and other breathing problems are a sign that something is wrong.

Other Signs

These are just a few signs of illness in kitties. Other red flags include lethargy, trembling, heavy discharge or gunk around the eyes, patchy fur, changes in water intake, unusual vocalizations, and skin/fur issues. If you see any of these warning signs in your feline friend, call your vet right away.

Please reach out to us, your local Downingtown, PA vet clinic, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs.

3456 E. Lincoln Highway
Thorndale, PA 19372
(610) 380-2999

Opening Hours:
Monday 8:30am – 6pm
Tuesday 8:30am – 6pm
Wednesday 8:30am – 5pm
Thursday 8:30am – 8pm
Friday 8:30am – 6pm
Saturday 8:30am – 12pm